Category: Concern Worldwide, Oxfam, Save the Children
The British public has once again showed its generosity by helping to raise £50 million in 22 days for East Africa. The money will be used to enable aid agencies to step up their efforts to deliver food and assistance to millions of people who are on the brink of starvation. The total amount raised by the UK to help with food shortage in Yemen and East Africa is £72 million when you include the £15 million the UK government has also contributed.
Helping to save lives
This means the British people are already helping to save lives says Saleh Saeed CEO of the Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC). Mr Saeed says the £50 million raised for East Africa will provide millions of people living in the drought afflicted areas with food, water and access to medical care for more than two years. The Yemen appeal which was launched back in December last year has so far raised £22 million.
Assistance being delivered despite of obstacles
More assistance is already being delivered to those in need in spite of the fact that there are many challenges. For example, as a result of the conflict in Yemen the cranes in the port of Hodeida have been destroyed. In South Sudan fighting is taking place and in Somalia vast swathes of the country are controlled by terror groups who have blocked access to aid. Famine has been declared in parts of South Sudan and in Somalia people face the prospect of starvation with roughly 20 million people affected.
All the leading charities are contributing
The DEC is made up of the UK’s leading charities and is lending its support in East Africa where food shortages are most acute. According to Mr Saeed there have been reports that the delivery of aid has had an immediate impact to the lives of people affected by the crisis. Concern Worldwide has set up a nutrition centre just outside Mogadishu the capital of Somalia. Save the Children is also working with about 40 drought affected communities in Ethiopia and Somalia and providing them with food, water, and medical care. Oxfam is delivering water and providing sanitation to hundreds of thousands of people in Kenya.
Still lots more to be done
Mr Saeed said whilst the he was very grateful for what has been provided so far, there is still far more to be done as the crisis get worse. He added that the UK can be proud of its response to the East Africa and Yemen appeal. A lot of money has been raised and the UK government and the British public are leading the charge.
Category: Save the Children
Save the Children says it strongly condemns the recent appalling attack on busses that were being used to evacuate civilians from two towns in North-West Syria, Foua and Kefraya. A number of people including children are thought to have been killed in what appears to be a savage attack. Sonia Khush who runs Save the Children in Syria says people have been living under siege for the past couple of years and the condition they live in are truly horrific.
Attacking civilians with impunity
In a strongly worded statement Ms Khush added that once people finally had the chance to leave all sides participating in the conflict continue to attack civilians with no repercussions. This has had devastating consequences for children and their families. Ms Khush says civilians should never be targeted. The attack took place whilst thousands of people were being evacuated from four towns that are under siege.
Children are dying
Two towns are government held and are Foua and Kefraya, whilst the other two towns, Madaya and Zabadani are held by opposition forces. Whilst under siege, critical aid such as medicine and food are prevented from entering for months at time. To add to that, children are dying from starvation, sniper fire and bombing. Save the Children is urging all parties involved in the conflict to make sure that the remaining evacuees are completely protected and given safe passage.
Millions of people not receiving aid
650,000 people still live under siege in Syria. There are also more than 4 million people living in parts of the country that are considered ‘hard to reach’ and simply not accessible to aid agencies. Despite the fact that various participants in the conflict have pledged to increase aid access, over 90 per cent of people living in these parts of Syria have no seen a single aid convoy in 2017.
Category: Save the Children
Save the Children says that millions of children in war torn Syria could be living in a state of “toxic” stress as a result of extended exposure to the horrors of war. The charity says that an entire generation of children could be damaged irreversibly without immediate aid. The stress of war has caused children to engage in self harm, bed wetting, attempted suicide and aggressive behaviour. The findings were based on hundreds of interviews with children in Syria.
The largest study of its kind
The study by Save the Children is the largest of its kind covering the mental health and well-being of children stuck in Syria’s protracted civil war which is now 6 years old and has left more than 300,000 people dead. The report titled “Invisible Wounds” concludes with the fact that the mental health crisis of children trapped in the war is simply terrifying. The aid agency spoke to over 450 people as part of its research including kids of various ages, parents, caregivers, teachers, aid workers and teachers.
Almost all children affected
The study found that almost all children and 84 per cent of the adults said bombing and shelling were the main cause of stress for children. Two thirds of children have lost a loved one or had their home bombed or shelled. 71 per cent of those interviewed said that children were increasingly wetting their bed and involuntary urination is a symptom of toxic stress or PTSD. 48 per cent of adults interviewed said they had seen children losing their ability or suffer from speech impediments since the onset of war.
Toxic stress impedes development
About 2.3 million children have managed to flee the conflict in Syria and at least three million children under the age of six have never known anything other than war according to the report. Toxic stress can impede how the brain and other organs develop, increasing the risk of mental health problems developing in adulthood according to researchers.
“After six years of war we are at a tipping point, after which the impact on children’s formative years and childhood development may be so great that the damage could be permanent and irreversible. The risk of a broken generation, lost to trauma and extreme stress, has never been greater ” said Dr Marcia Brophy, a senior mental health adviser with Save the Children.
Study conducted only in safe areas
The research for the report was conducted in parts of Syria where Save the Children and its local partners were able to work. According to the aid agency the survey was conducted in mainly opposition-held areas. The report suggests that kids in areas under the control of either the government or the Islamic State where the agency is unable to work are also more than likely to be experiencing traumatic events.
Category: Save the Children
According to Save the Children, tens of thousands of children are sitting targets as a result of heavy shelling in East Aleppo which is the last part of the city held by the opposition. As the Syrian army continues to make advances, these children simply have nowhere to hide. There are thousands of people who have been crammed into a small area which means they are at grave risk from artillery and airstrikes causing the number of casualties to climb quickly. The situation is compounded by the fact that medical aid, supplies and food are scarce.
Children killed in makeshift school
Outside the city, fighting and bombing continues unabated. Recently three children died when a bomb exploded at their teacher’s home which was serving as an improvised school because the bombing had required the regular school to shut its doors. Save the Children said it is extremely concerned about the three quarters of a million people that are effectively living under siege in Syria. The charity says it is unconscionable that the UN Security Council would not come to an agreement on a cease fire. Save the Children is calling for urgent action without which many more children could be killed as a result of fighting or starvation.
Negotiate a cease fire
Save the Children says it wants all parties that have influence over the various groups participating in the civil war to start negotiating for an in internationally monitored ceasefire that would last for at least 72 hours. This would provide a window of opportunity for aid to reach the people who are stranded in the Eastern part of Aleppo. It would also give people the chance to leave as well. The charity wants safe routes from Aleppo to be established so that people can flee the city in relative safety.
If safe routes cannot be established Save the Children says “air bridges” should be created which would allow aid to be dropped off at landing strips and airports. The situation in Syria continues to remain severe after nearly six years of conflict and suffering. The international community should not stand by as civilians are bombed without consequence.
Category: Save the Children
Save the Children is warning that the latest efforts by both the EU and US to water down the language used to define the detention of migrant and refugee children is extremely worrisome and goes against international standards. Patrick Watt of Save the Children said that the UN refugee and migration summit was supposed to unite member states so they could find news solutions to arguably what has been the most pressing global challenge of our time. There are millions of people on the move, most of which are escaping violence and persecution. Instead of proposing solutions to help, members of the United Nations are arguing over existing rules including those that lie at the very heart of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. Mr. Watt says that all members must support the principal of ending the detention of children on the basis of the parent’s migration status. Anything less would be a big step backwards.
Forced to flee
Of the 65 million people that have been forced to flee as a result of persecution and violence in 2015, more than half are children who are especially vulnerable to abuse and exploitation whilst they are on the move or stranded at borders. Save the Children has been arguing for UN member states represented at the Summit to recognise their obligations under international human rights treaties so that these children have their best interests protected. Save the Children wants member states to commit to ending the detention of children once and for all.
“The de facto detention of children – the likes of which we are seeing on the Greek Islands – must not become a new normal. World leaders must live up to their existing commitments to ensure that the most vulnerable people on the move, including children, are treated with dignity and have their rights respected,” said Mr. Watt.
Raising the bar
Mr. Watt adds that both the United States and the European Union should be raising the bar instead of seeking to lower it. Whilst there have been some welcome developments in other parts of the declaration, the results of the negotiation should be to provide and ambitious and meaningful solution of millions of refugee and migrant children. This means that a new global system must be developed that ensures governments share responsibility for protecting refugee and migrant children as well as their families.
Category: Save the Children
Save the Children is escalating its response to the refugee crisis that is gripping Europe, with a particular emphasis on Serbia. The organisation estimates that over 25,000 children have arrived in Serbia during 2015 which includes 5,753 unaccompanied minors. Between July and August of this year, there has been a 66 per cent rise in the number of minors that arrived without a guardian. As many as one in four recently arrived children have been separated from their parents or families which leaves them vulnerable to abuse and exploitation.
Hundreds of distressed children arriving every day
Andrea Zeravcic, director of Save the Children in North West Balkans says that every day hundreds of distressed children are arriving. Many of the children have become sick as a result of the desperate conditions of the journey. Mr. Zeravcic adds that people are growing increasingly scared about where to go next as a result of Hungary closing its borders. People are fleeing situations that consist of unimaginable suffering, risking their lives in the process. It is Europe’s responsibility to help not just those that have arrived on its borders, but the millions that have been left behind as well.
Serbia is a staging post on the way to Europe
So far this year over 135,000 refugees have arrived in Serbia on their way to other countries in Europe. Following the closure of the border in Hungary thousands of refugees have entered Croatia on their way to Slovenia and other countries in the EU. Croatia has now shut down seven of its eight border crossings with Serbia and it is now no longer clear what other routes refugees will take. It is now expected the number of refugees arriving in Serbia will rise as it becomes harder to cross into neighbouring EU countries.
Capacity is stretched thin
Despite the Serbian government’s best efforts the overwhelming number of refugees has stretched capacity and many are now taking shelter in reception centres that have become overcrowded and unsanitary. Save the Children employees report that in Serbia, many children are arriving after a long trip completely exhausted and in need of medical assistance, food and water.
“Currently, there are 920 beds in five asylum centres, plus an additional 26 in one temporary centre near the Macedonian border, and communal tents in Kanjiza for 800 – 1000 people, but it is simply not enough to cope with the unprecedented influx of people, particularly with the freezing cold temperatures and rains that winter brings here,” warns Mr. Zeravcic.
Save the Children is establishing safe spaces for mothers with their babies as well as children. The organisation is also distributing food and water to refugees. The agency has also set up mobile child friendly spaces in two different Belgrade parks, where children can be treated for the trauma of their journey. Most of the refugees are fleeing the conflict in Syria where the fighting has forced over 12 million people to leave their homes. About 15 per cent of the refugees come from Afghanistan with five per cent coming from Iraq.
Category: Save the Children
Somalia has experienced decades of conflict and along with the state it has a barely functional health care system. It comes as no surprise then that the Somalia ranks as amongst the highest child mortality rates in the world. Nearly 20 per cent of all children do not make it to their fifth birthday in Somalia and those that do face enormous challenges for both their development and growth.
Save the Children has been involved in Somalia for close to 40 years and has delivered life saving servicers to thousands of families and their children. ]
The security situation in Puntland located in the North East of the country has improved somewhat over the last few years and the aid agency has been working closely with Ministry of Health to improve the local health care system so that children have access to at least basic healthcare services.
It is far from easy to gain access to Somalia to begin with, however access became even more difficult following a cyclone that affected the north east of the country. The storm caused flash flooding which left villages submerged and destroyed bridges which had the affect of cutting off vital supply routes. Essential drugs which were already in short supply became an acute problem now that that delivery has been hampered.
Recently a team from Save the Children’s visited Garowe, the capital of Garowe to strengthen the organisations partnerships in the regions. On their first attempt to gain access to the region, torrential rain had left the runway closed, leaving the aid workers disappointed and forcing them to return to Kenya and try again the following day.
The tropical storm affected the coastal communities who were left isolated as a result of flash flooding which made it much more difficult to access. Whilst there were a limited number of casualties the livelihoods of thousands of families have been disrupted as a result of the destruction of livestock and fishing boats.
The worst possible timing
There is never a great time to be hit by a storm however this one was particularly unfortunate having had the distinction of striking just a couple of days after Typhoon Haiyan struck the Philippines. The lack of information and images emanating from Somalia and the scale of destruction in the Philippines meant the former was under reported and therefore overlooked.
A state of emergency was declared in Puntland by the government following which international aid from Djibouti and Ethiopia began to arrive, currently the only two countries to have responded so far.
Save the Children and other aid agencies continue their efforts in supporting communities in areas they operate in with whatever resources are available despite the fact that delivering relief is far from straightforward.
Category: Childrens Charities, NSPCC
The NSPCC has a magical way for you to surprise someone this Christmas with a personalised Letter from Santa. Each of these amazing charity gift donations allow you to make each letter totally unique, by adding the chosen recipients name, age, address and gender. You can even add a best friend’s name too!
There’s three different age categories to suit different reading abilities, and there’s even a special letter available for a newborn; a perfect memento to save for a babies first Christmas with their family. Plus if you wanted to send separate letters to more than one child in the same home, you can do that too as long as you order at the same time.
Each letter is beautifully illustrated and will arrive through ‘Rudolph Mail’, the perfect way to add a bit of extra Christmas pizazz on this amazing festive treat. Prices start for just a small £5 donation, with the money you are donating going a long way to not only help stop child cruelty, but also provide 24 hour helplines and support. The NSPCC work tirelessly to help those children who need it the most, and thanks to your kind gift, they will be able to help more people this Christmas.
For some children, Christmas can be the most difficult time of the year. But with your help the NSPCC will be working throughout the festive period to answer as many phone calls as possible from those that are in distress and need someone to talk too. Last year alone, the NSPCC received 50,000 contacts to ChildLine. That’s almost a 20% increase on the year before. Thanks to your support, the NSPCC will be there for many more vulnerable children this Christmas.
As an added bonus, each letter that’s purchased will be put into a prize draw for a once in a lifetime trip to Lapland to see where Santa and his Reindeer are actually from. All orders need to be in by 18th December 2012, with the winner being announced on 7th January 2013. Even more reason to make someone’s Christmas this year by purchasing an amazing Letter from Santa with the NSPCC.
For more information on how the Letter from Santa works, check out our dedicated charity page to find out more about how you can help the NSPCC stop child cruelty and help those that need it the most.
Category: Childrens Charities, NSPCC
Well, it’s that time of year again when we get asked by Santa if we have been good. Personally I believe I’m well deserved of a few Yuletide treats this Christmas, as I can’t remember doing to many things wrong this year! Christmas is of course a time for giving and not just receiving, and what better way to surprise someone than to send them an NSPCC Letter from Santa.
This is a fantastic charity gift that is sure to make any child’s Christmas. These letters can be personalised too, offering a completely unique gift for children of all ages (even big kids like me too!). There are even three different age categories to match children’s reading abilities to help them understand what Santa has written, and there’s no bigger thrill than to receive a letter from the big man himself!
Donations start at just £5 per letter, though if you want to give more you’re more than welcome. Thanks to your kind donations, the NSPCC is not only able to care for children, but also provide 24-hour helplines, therapeutic sessions and young witness centres. 90% of all NSPCC funding comes directly from public donations, allowing them to help vulnerable children across the country in their time of need.
You can even win a free trip to Lapland with every Letter to Santa that is purchased! Everyone that orders a letter will be added to a prize draw, which will be selected at completely at random, with the winner being announced on Monday 7th January 2013. All orders need to be in by 18th December 2012 though to be in with a chance of winning, so don’t wait too long to purchase this amazing charity gift.
A Letter from Santa is not only a great way to give a child that you know a Christmas treat, it’s also an amazing way to help children you DON’T know who are having a difficult time. Christmas is all about giving, so why not surprise someone special this festive season by offering them a Letter from Santa, the perfect way to show you care about bringing an end to child cruelty.
To find out more about the NSPCC Letter from Santa, check out our dedicated charity page for more information on how you can help stop child cruelty.
Category: Childrens Charities
Roll up roll up folks, for a fabulous evening of comedy and music for a fantastic cause! Some amazing acts are getting together on Saturday 17th November 2012 at the Hammersmith Apollo, to help raise much needed funds for the Street Child of Sierra Leone charity.
The evening is hosted by award winning comedian Marcus Brigstocke, who back in June raised a staggering £230,000 for the charity by taking part in the first ever marathon in Sierra Leone – must have been a scorcher!
Other acts on the night include –
- Phill Jupitus
- Robin Ince
- Greg Burns
- KT Tunstall
- Plus many more…
with all proceeds going to help the Street Child of Sierra Leone charity, who believe that every child deserves the right to live in a safe, secure home and the chance to receive a quality education. Since the civil war, over half of the population of Sierra Leone are children, and they desperately need our help. With 70% of the population living in poverty, now is the chance to help this broken country towards a brighter future.
Simply click on the link below to order tickets for what is sure to be an outstanding evening of comedy and music for a truly great cause. Tickets start from just £20, but pleas do hurry has half the allocation have already sold out.