In 1919 after the First World War, children in Austria and Eastern Europe were dying of hunger. In 1919 their plight inspired Eglantyne Jebb to start the Save the Children Fund. Ignoring the many angry views in Britain the she was helping “children of the enemy”, Eglantyne began Save the Children’s first relief scheme in Austria, supplying food to starving children there.
Eglantyne had a vision and clarity of thought that fits better into the second half of the 20th century than the first. She began Save the Children as a compassionate but highly professional international aid organisation with high ambitions and strict standards: “The new Charity… must have some clear conception of its job, and seek to compass them with the same care, the same intelligence as is to be found in the best enterprises.”
And she was the founder of children’s rights that are now part of the laws of nearly every country in the world, protecting millions of children long after her death.
Eglantyne Jebb was driven by the belief that all children – whoever they are, wherever they are – have the right to a healthy, happy, fulfilling life. And the belief that change is within reach – if we have courage, determination, imagination and good organisation.
Out of disasters and difficulty, we know change is possible. Save the Children’s experience, changing children’s lives for the better during these decades, is the foundation for what we do today and tomorrow to build a better future for children.
Save the Children is an International child rights organisation that operates on the basis of a programme and a strategy that emphasises a rights-based approach to bring dramatic change for children. Save the Children is a non religious, non political, rights based organization working for the protection, promotion and the full realization of children’s rights. Save the Children has over 35 years of experience in Sri Lanka working with and for children. We work through our offices located in Batticaloa, Jaffna, Mannar, Matara, Trincomalee Vavuniya and Colombo. We work in partnership with organizations which include ministries, departments and institutions of the Government of Sri Lanka, local non governmental organizations, community based organizations and children. We support programmes that improve the day to day lives of children and their families, advocating for change that will benefit all children including future generations.
First to Claim Rights for Children Save The Children was founded on the 19th of May 1919 in England by Ms. Eglantyne Jebb who saw the suffering of children in the First World War. She said “.. all wars just or unjust disastrous or victorious are waged against children” and urged the public to join with her to work towards protection of children from the cruelties of war. In 1923 she claimed rights for children which are now enshrined in the 1989 UN Convention on the Rights of the Child and globally accepted. Today, Save the Children bases all its work on the rights of children.
Save the Children in Sri Lanka is part of Save the Children International (SCI). The SCI has 29 member organizations and work in 110 countries.