The numbers speak for themselves: Since the beginning of the war in Ukraine, 7.5 million children have been exposed to displacement, physical harm and severe emotional distress. In Switzerland alone, about 57,000 people have been registered as refugees thus far, 50% of which are children in need of a new home and emotional support. In light of this challenging situation, the employees of IWC Schaffhausen have decided not to sit idly by, but to offer active support to Save the Children - one of the leading children’s rights organizations worldwide.
In the past three months, IWC employees in Switzerland have volunteered to give up 4 hours on average of their working time to assist. Employees supported the domestic work of Save the Children by printing and sending learn- and play booklets together with coloring pens to support refugee children. Furthermore, IWC has raised money to support the most deprived children and, for example, provide three months of shelter and food for more than 100 families.
The IWC Journal spoke with Lea Bachmann, Director of Fundraising and Philanthropy at Save the Children.
MAKING CHILDREN’S VOICES HEARD
What is Save the Children all about?
For over 100 years, Save the Children has been committed to helping the world’s most deprived children. We ensure that children’s unique needs are met and that their voices are heard. Through our programming, emergency responses and advocacy, we put the most vulnerable children first, tackling the barriers to survival, education and safety.
Tell us a little bit about yourself. What’s your background and what made you join Save the Children?
After completing my master’s degree in marketing and communication, I worked in the fast-moving consumer goods industry as a marketing professional for several years. However, I always felt that I would like to contribute to a positive cause in this world. Joining Save the Children over 8 years ago was the perfect opportunity to do that and I am very grateful to work for such an impactful organization.
IWC employees helped distribute coloring books…
…and coloring pens to refugee children.
RAISING AWARENESS ABOUT EVERY CHILD IN NEED
What were the toughest challenges you had to face during these past several months?
Of course, the war outbreak in Ukraine has shocked us all – and the solidarity of our partners and donors was overwhelming. However, dealing with families and children affected by war and conflict is unfortunately not unusual when working for one of the leading humanitarian organizations. One of our challenges is making sure that we not only focus on the emergencies that are present in the media, but also raise awareness about every child in need – wherever they may be.
What exactly is the money that people donate used for?
We use our funds where they are needed most. Whether in long-term development projects or short-term emergency aid, we use donations to help where children are suffering the most. To be fully transparent towards the children, our donors, and supporters, we are committed to complying with the standards of the ZEWO quality label. The ZEWO seal of approval is granted to trusted aid organizations and guarantees the targeted, efficient, and effective use of donations.
Our long-term goal is children’s survival, namely that no child under five years old dies from a curable disease.
CHANCE OF A DIGNIFIED LIFE
Tell us about one of your most heartwarming and motivating experiences with Save the Children.
There have been so many! In Jordan, I recently met a Syrian mother who had fled Syria a few years ago. She lives in severe poverty and has a son with disabilities who was not able to go to school. Save the Children gave him the opportunity to go to a learning center where we cater to children with special needs and disabilities. The mother told me how much this access to education changed her son’s life – not only can he now read and write, but he also made friends and his mental well-being has greatly improved. It is beautiful to see what a positive impact we make on the lives of so many children and their families!
What are your organization’s short- and long-term goals?
Right now, we want to be there for the children suffering from natural disasters, occurring wars or other catastrophes. As part of our emergency responses we benefit from a global network and local anchoring in over 120 countries, allowing for a fast and local response. Our long-term goal is children’s survival, namely that no child under five years old dies from a curable disease. We want children to learn and benefit from quality education, even in the most remote areas of the world. We also want children to be protected from violence, abuse, mistreatment, and exploitation.
If you had three wishes, what would they be?
My wish is that the place of birth of a child did not determine their chances of a dignified life as much as it does today. In other words, I wish for every child to have a fair start to life, including equal access to education and job opportunities, safe living conditions and a safe environment so that every child has a chance to grow up healthy, educated and protected.
To find out more about Save the Children and donate, click here.
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