2012 Highlights:
Creating Brighter Futures for Millions of Children

2012 was a year of many achievements, large and small, for the 85 million children benefiting from Save the Children’s programs. We credit these tremendous successes to our generous partners and supporters who help children grow healthier, learn more and become better prepared to realize their dreams every day.

We are pleased to share with you a few highlights of our work for children in 2012. These transformations are made possible because of visionary philanthropists like you. Our heartfelt thanks go to each of you who share our hopes and aspirations for children.


Your generosity helped Save the Children provide relief, care and protection to 7.6 million children.

Syria: Since March 2011, hundreds of thousands of Syrians have fled widespread instability and ongoing armed conflict to neighboring Lebanon, Iraq, Turkey and Jordan in search of safety. To date, we’ve reached over 80,000 children and families.

Your gift helped Save the Children to:

  • Provide families with emergency food rations by supporting large-scale distributions in Jordan.
  • Prepare families for the harsh winter months by providing them with winter clothing, mattresses and blankets. We’re also distributing kits containing tools and materials to help families build their shelter against the bitter cold.
  • Bring children who are living in refugee camps and host communities back into the classroom and run informal education centers to give young people the normalcy they so desperately need.

New York and New Jersey: Thousands of people are still displaced after Superstorm Sandy hit on October 29th. Between the destruction of schools and child care, and the displacement of children and families far from their neighborhoods, many children are still without school or child care.

Over the next year Save the Children will:

  • Help restore access to local child care services or initiate temporary education programs in affected communities so children and families can continue their recovery.
  • Work with local education and child care providers to initiate our Journey of Hope program that helps children process and express the fears, emotions and stresses they experienced during the disaster and then build their own coping mechanisms.
  • Assist communities in emergency preparedness over the longer term with our Resilient and Ready program, so that those responsible for children are able to safeguard them when a disaster strikes.

West Africa: Over 18 million people have faced hunger triggered by crop shortages, rising food prices and insecurity. Save the Children is on the ground in Niger, Mali, Burkina Faso and Mauritania, and has been helping to save lives since the early warning signs of crisis in 2011. Our aid has already reached almost 700,000 vulnerable children and their families.

Your donations helped Save the Children to:

  • Improve agricultural and gardening practices and provide food and vaccinations to livestock.
  • Train hundreds of community volunteers and health staff to recognize and treat the early signs of malnutrition and screen 2,565 children under the age of five in Mali.
  • Provide 50,800 children and their families in Niger with access to food and other essential goods.


Your support allowed Save the Children to help nearly 10 million children engage in learning in more than 40 countries.

Ethiopia: Our Literacy Boost program, which supports children’s reading development in the first years of primary school, is improving reading skills! On average, students could read more than twice the amount of text in one minute after participating in our programs than they could prior to attending. Additionally, girls who borrowed books increased their reading fluency nearly 20 more words per minute.

El Salvador: Save the Children was invited to be part of a team that designed the national early childhood development curriculum. More than 2,800 community health workers from the Ministry of Health were trained by Save the Children on early childhood topics such as the stages of child development, the importance of breastfeeding and how to engage your infant to help stimulate proper brain development.

Malawi and Bangladesh: Save the Children designed new materials for Numeracy Boost, an innovative educational program that helps give children the basic math skills they need to thrive in daily life. This fall, we launched pilot sites to test the program and materials.


Thanks to your support of Save the Children, more than 16 million children in 32 countries have access to health care.

United States: Our Healthy Choices program is providing girls and boys with 30 minutes of physical activity each day. To promote healthy eating habits, Save the Children established a healthy snack standard for our afterschool and summer program, with 14,297 children participating.

Malawi: In 2012, it is estimated that sixty percent of children had malaria and thirty two percent were anemic. With your help, Pupil Treatment Kits – a school health kit to treat common health problems, including malaria – were reintroduced in schools. We trained teachers from 25 schools to implement these kits, and identify, treat or refer children.


Bangladesh: Save the Children piloted the Child Protection Emergency Preparedness Training Module to strengthen emergency preparedness and response capacity with the development of written guidelines and training. 

Globally: We have served thousands of girls and boys with our Child Friendly Spaces program, an innovative and low-cost solution that help kids cope with the trauma they have experienced and start them on the road to recovery. This year, in collaboration with the GirlFund, Save the Children is working to address protection concerns facing adolescent girls in emergency settings and contribute to developing the Child Friendly Space as a more effective girl-friendly intervention.

Democratic Republic of the Congo: Save the Children developed Project SAFE to strengthen child protection systems by addressing issues of violence, abuse, exploitation and neglect of children living without a family.


Save the Children’s Hunger and Livelihoods programs reached more than 5 million children and adults, thanks to government, corporate and individual supports like you.

Iraq: Save the Children helped 4,000 vulnerable women in rural and peri-urban settings to generate and control financial capital for themselves and their children by setting their own rules and making their own decisions.

Mali, Niger and Burkina Faso: Save the Children has worked with tens of thousands of families to distribute seed and tools to mothers who have home gardens; create cash for work programs designed to help communities withstand the next drought; and provide food for animals to families relying on milk for their children’s diets. 

Guatemala: Fifty percent of the children in Guatemala are undernourished – the fourth highest rate in the world. Save the Children worked with over 100,000 beneficiaries to distribute food rations; monitor child nutrition; train mothers in health and hygiene practices; and help parents become better farmers through planting and irrigation techniques.



Since 1995, Ade has been the person whom mothers turn to when they are pregnant, when they are giving birth and when their children become sick. From house calls to training exercises, Ade cares for the women in her Indonesian community with hands-on help when they need it most. Ade says:

“When the women in my village seek out medical attention for their families, sometimes they come to the “posyandu”, our community health clinic. Other times, I must go to them, visiting their children at home. But I couldn’t do either without Save the Children, which gave me the resources that I desperately need to help the children of my village survive past their fifth birthday. As a local health worker, I participate in weekly training exercises and make “house calls” that allow me to track and address the health needs of the children in my community. I also help women space their births apart at healthy intervals using modern contraception. Children’s health needs grow larger each and every day. The medical issues that I witnessed as a child continue to plague my community and have worsened as the village has become too crowded, with more families struggling to survive. However, health workers like me are making a real difference throughout Indonesia. My dream is that I will be able to change the perceptions of the people in my community who assume – wrongly – that visiting a health worker is expensive. My hope is that all mothers in my area will understand the importance of the “posyandu” and bring their children for regular visits to keep them safe and healthy.”


First grader Kuma, age 10, sits with several of his friends on a log in a shady corner of the yard. This is one of his favorite weekly activities. His bright eyes follow Desa, age 20, as she holds up letters of the alphabet made from straw, twisted wire and paper for today’s session focused on letters. Hand-made alphabet charts hang from branches of nearby trees and on the wooden fence. A rough-hewn wooden table holds stacks of books containing local stories, fables and poems. Desa leads Save the Children’s Literacy Boost Reading Camp for an hour each week.

Nearly 60 children, like Kuma, in grades 1 to 3 come to the Literacy Boost Reading Camp each week from nearby neighborhoods. And many bring their friends and younger siblings. Kuma’s little sister, Embet, age 8 and currently attending Save the Children’s Early Childhood Development program, often comes with him. But perhaps the best part of the day for Kuma is when he and Embet get to select books to borrow and take home from the Literacy Boost Book Bank, a treasure trove of reading materials that are stored in their family’s home. Thanks to Literacy Boost’s community-based Reading Camps and Book Banks, Kuma and Embet have discovered that you don’t have to go far from home to find a good book to read.

We are deeply appreciative of your commitment to our shared cause and we look forward to the continued change for children that we can achieve together in 2013!