Save The Children - Our History
Creating the Foundation
1919: In the aftermath of World War I, the Save the Children Fund is established in England. Founded by activist Eglantyne Jebb, the organization provides aid to young survivors in war ravaged Vienna.
1920s - Creating the Foundation
1923: Eglantyne Jebb writes the Children's Charter, which is subsequently adopted by the League of Nations as The Declaration of the Rights of the Child. This historic document lays the foundation for the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, an international treaty that by 1998 had been ratified by all but three countries.
1930s - Beginning in the United States
1932: Save the Children (U.S.) is founded in New York by John Voris and other concerned citizens to help needy Appalachian children through programs that help families better provide for their children. Within a year, Save the Children is working with families and communities in five states.
1938: Save the Children implements its first sponsorship program. This program offers individuals the opportunity to sponsor one room schoolhouses in Appalachia, help communities repair school buildings, and provide students with meals, books and school supplies. Save the Children's ''Hot School Lunch'' program (later adopted by the U.S. government nationwide) is launched in nine states. In addition, a comprehensive initiative to upgrade educational services in poor areas is implemented, which reaches 200 schools by 1940. Save the Children expands overseas when it comes to the aid of children in England, France, Germany, Italy, Austria and Finland during World War II.
1940s - Responding to Disasters at Home and Abroad
1940: Save the Children initiates individual child sponsorship programs to help war affected children in Europe.
1948: When a blizzard hits the southwestern United States, Save the Children offers relief, self help programs, and school sponsorships to Native American children and families on Navajo reservations.
1950s - Expanding Self help Initiatives
1952: Community development programs are begun in Lebanon. These programs use a child family community approach, which helps children by involving their families and communities in program design and implementation. This same approach remains fundamental to our work today.
1954: Community development programs are launched in Malakassa, Greece.
1960s - Reaching More Children and Communities Through Sponsorship
1962: Save the Children moves its international headquarters from New York to Connecticut.
1963: Child sponsorships to support community development programs are established in Colombia. Within three years, similar programs are introduced in Mexico, the Dominican Republic, Lebanon and Vietnam.
1969: Save the Children expands into Africa with sponsorship programs in Tanzania.
1970s - Increasing Women's Participation
1972: A new sponsorship and development approach is launched in the Dominican Republic that provides community programs in targeted regions called impact areas. Concentrating program activities in targeted areas helps maximize benefits to children and communities.
1975: Save the Children's ''Community based Integrated Rural Development Model'' is embraced by United States Agency for International Development (USAID) as a leading community development tool.
1977: The International Save the Children Alliance is formed to link and coordinate efforts of Save the Children organizations in Canada, Denmark, Great Britain, Norway and the United States.
1978: Save the Children adopts policies designed to increase participation of women in all development projects. This same year, a Family Day Care Network is launched in the United States that provides training for women to start in home child care centers and offers referrals to parents seeking safe, affordable child care in their communities.
1979: The United Nations declares the International Year of the Child, which significantly raises public awareness about children's needs.
1980s - Continuing Rapid Expansion and Innovation
1984: Comprehensive child survival programs begin in Bangladesh, Ecuador, Indonesia, Zimbabwe, and Bolivia. When a devastating famine strikes Ethiopia and Sudan, Save the Children joins concerned citizens along with the international relief and development community in providing assistance to those affected by the famine.
1988: A Children and War program is initiated in southern Africa to reunify Mozambican families and provide psychosocial support to refugee children affected by this country's brutal civil war.
1989: The United Nations General Assembly unanimously adopts the Convention on the Rights of the Child, a comprehensive treaty, based on Eglantyne Jebb’s 1923 declaration of rights and protections for children.
1990s - Building For The Future
1991: Woman/Child Impact (WCI) is established as the uniting program framework for Save the Children's International Programs. WCI emphasizes that empowering women is key to improving the well being of children. ''Strong Beginnings,'' a global effort to promote family and community based early childhood education is launched.
1992: The Eyes of the Future program begins. This program provides eye care services and glasses to children in the southwestern United States. It has reached more than 6,000 Navajo and Hopi children in New Mexico and Arizona. The program and its creator, Barbara Wilk received the 1993 National Volunteer Action Award, which was presented by President Bill Clinton.
1993: Save the Children's current President, Charles MacCormack takes office and initiates the organizations first 10 year strategic plan. The goal of this plan is to successfully link community based approaches with national and global programs for children in need. In addition, the organization launches relief and community development programs to assist countries in transition, including former Yugoslavia, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Tajikistan (1994) and Russia (1995).
1995: Save the Children's Program Principles establish quality guidelines for all international Save the Children programs.
1997: Save the Children launches a $23 million initiative to provide a web of support for children in the United States during their out of school time. The web of support includes caring adults, safe places and constructive activities.
1998: Save the Children is named lead agency of PVO/NGO Networks for Health Project. This entails a five year, $51 million USAID funded international partnership supporting comprehensive health programs for women and children. Save the Children also brings better health, education and financial security to 8 million children, women and men in 43 developing countries. Save the Children Helps 100,000 children and teens in 100 communities across the United States build a brighter future by bringing together caring adults, safe places and constructive activities during critical after-school hours. Save the Children helps 660,000 children and families rebuild their lives after war in the Balkans, an earthquake in Turkey, and hurricanes in Nicaragua and Honduras. Save the Children USA marks its 75th year of service to children in 2007