Every year, we receive money from the general public and other donors to fund our work with children all over the world.
Sometimes this money is given to us for a particular purpose, such as a specific emergency response, and that is what we spend it on.
Sometimes it’s not linked to a particular issue and we have more flexibility in how we use it.
This type of funding is especially useful when it comes to testing new ideas and trying out different ways of tackling the challenges facing the children and families we support.
How we fund new ideas
One way we use these more flexible funds is through the Breakthrough Strategic Investment Fund.
Each year we allocate money from this Fund to the best new ideas that our staff from around the world have come up with on how we can have a greater impact on children’s lives.
These ideas are turned into projects which focus on different issues, including education, health, nutrition, and protecting children (just to name a few), and are funded for up to 3 years.
The one thing they all have in common is that they’re piloting or testing a new way of addressing some of the difficulties children face in many different countries.
What your money funds
As with all new ideas, not everything works – and where that’s the case, we try to learn from what didn’t work and improve our ideas. But we have had lots of successes too.
Kangaroo Mother Care
For example, money was given to our in team in China to support their idea to promote Kangaroo Mother Care.
This is where preterm infants are carried, usually by the mother, with skin-to-skin contact. This can reduce the risk of death and infection, and increase rates of breastfeeding and weight gain.
Traditionally this isn’t common in Chinese culture, and through the work our team in China have done with hospitals and healthcare professionals there we’re already seeing a positive change in parents being allowed onto the neonatal wards with their babies to practice Kangaroo Mother Care.
Early Action in Ethiopia
Earlier this year, we gave some money to our colleagues in Ethiopia to support households in areas vulnerable to drought before the situation develops into a crisis – this is called Early Action.
By acting on weather forecasts, which predicted that rains would be delayed and below the previous 10-years’ average, our team in Ethiopia is supporting people earlier than usual and are trying to ensure that households don’t resort to coping mechanisms to deal with drought that can have negative impacts on their children.
These are just two of many examples in which we’re trying out new approaches to tackle challenges facing children across the world.
Your support is vital
Without your generous support, we couldn’t do any of this work.
It’s so valuable for us to be able to test new ideas that we would maybe not otherwise get the funding to do.
Our hope is that we can prove these approaches work, and we can share these ideas with communities, governments, and other charities so that more and more children’s and families’ lives are impacted for the better.