Pretoria - Hidden from newspaper headlines, scores of children born into poverty are fighting for survival on a daily basis, and it is for these children that the non-profit organisation, Save the Children, is trying to make a better life.
While it is a worldwide organisation, Save the Children SA, based in Pretoria, is working tirelessly to try to make life a little better for the children.
The NPO believes that every child deserves a future, and they are working towards making this a reality.
They work to ensure children have health care, food and shelter, education and child protection services when they need it most.
“We work every day to give children a healthy start in life, the opportunity to learn, and protection from harm. When crises strike which result in rendering children vulnerable, we are among the first to respond and the last to leave,” interim CEO in South Africa Gugu Xaba said.
The organisation’s mission is to inspire breakthroughs in the way the world treats children, and to achieve immediate and lasting changes in their lives. The services it offers include early-childhood care and development programmes across the provinces.
This gives children under five a safe, stimulating, and quality early living and learning environment.
They also provide health and nutritional programmes, aimed at ensuring that no child under the age of five dies from preventable diseases.
The NPO also has education programmes in place, as well as child-protection services, to ensure the young ones thrive in a safe environment.
Save the Children SA’s goal is to ensure by 2030 no child under five years old dies of preventable causes; that by this date all children receive a quality basic education and that no violence against children will be tolerated.
The organisation has extensive expertise, experience and capacity in civil society development, quality capacity-building approaches, and implementation and management of education, health and child protection programmes. This has resulted in tangible benefits for marginalised children as well as the youth in South Africa.
Xaba said their integrated child rights vision was to achieve equitable public services and resilient systems for children as well as increased and improved budgets spent on social services.
“We have a wide range of partners, including those that are implementing interventions funded by Save the Children South Africa.
“Partners strategically aligned to our objectives with which we work to achieve a common goal and coalitions with specific advocacy objectives,” Xaba said.
She believes that building local expertise on child’s rights will contribute to greater impact in communities.
Xaba also said that working with child-led organisations which would increase child participation platforms where decisions were being made, was also vitally important.
Save the Children SA’s humanitarian strategy objectives are to lead the child rights-sensitive humanitarian response in South Africa and to co-ordinate key inter-agency collaboration to strengthen disaster response and recovery mechanisms in South Africa.
“We grow through the facilitation and alignment of national coalitions or networks representative of child rights actors, as well as speaking out in the media and with decision-makers. Save the Children SA engages with advocacy or technical working groups to influence, inform and lobby how children’s rights are progressed.
Xaba said that their ability to amplify children’s voices drives their ambition to give more power to children in the decisions that affect them.
“We believe that whatever we do for children should be done with children,” Xaba said.