W RLD'S CHILDREN SUPPORTER MAGAZINE â€“ AUTUMN 2018
INTO YOUR ARMS How your support helped reunite a family in South Sudan
HOW TO TALK WITH KIDS ABOUT THE NEWS Our tips on sharing the reality with children without talking down to them
TACKLING POVERTY IN THE DIGITAL AGE A mobile app with the power to change lives
Your support is keeping kids safe in Vanuatu In September 2017, when the volcano on Vanuatu’s Ambae Island was erupting, the entire island – about 11,000 people – had to move to evacuation centres on neighbouring islands. On the island of Santo, Save the Children set up Child Friendly Spaces so children had somewhere to play, spend time with other children and cope with the potentially traumatic experience of being evacuated from their homes. In every emergency, your support means Save the Children can look out for the wellbeing, safety and education of children and give them a place to feel safe when everything around them is changing. Thank you! Cover/inside cover photo: Robert McKechnie/Save the Children
Welcome to the Autumn 2018 edition of the World’s Children! I love the picture on the front of this edition of the magazine – it’s Jim and his mum Elsie. In Vanuatu, you’re helping us work with communities to improve the health of children like Jim. We’re running workshops and demonstrations so parents and caregivers can develop their knowledge and understanding of nutrition, and providing recipe books, seedlings and chooks so they have what they need to prepare balanced meals. With your support, mums like Elsie can make sure their kids grow up strong and healthy. At the end of last year, we were working in Vanuatu for another reason too. We were there for children and families when they were evacuated from Ambae Island, where an active volcano threatened their lives and livelihoods. We set up Child Friendly Spaces in evacuation centres, and distributed
hygiene kits full of essentials to keep families healthy. One country, two very different types of work. All around the world, we’re there for children – every day and in times of crisis. Thank you for everything you do to support kids in Australia and overseas. Enjoy reading the stories your support makes possible. Paul Ronalds Chief Executive Officer Save the Children Australia
Thank you to everyone who supports our work. Our corporate partners, trusts, foundations, the Australian government – and people like you!
CONTENTS T HE ROHINGYA CRISIS: A CONVERSATION . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4 How bad must an emergency be for people to help? How bad does it have to be for people to turn away?
I NTO YOUR ARMS. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6 Your support is helping reunite families who have been separated in the chaos of conflict in South Sudan. OW TO TALK WITH KIDS ABOUT THE NEWS. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8 H With the flow of of tragic news stories seemingly never-ending, it’s important to share the reality with children without causing harm and without ‘talking down’ or telling untruths. ACKLING POVERTY IN THE DIGITAL AGE. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10 T Mobile apps are taking over the world – and in Bangladesh, we’re using the technology to give young people better opportunities.
THE ROHINGYA CRISIS: A CONVERSATI N How bad must an emergency be for people to help? How bad does it have to be for people to turn away?
When actor and Save the Children ambassador, Luke Arnold, came into into our office recently, he sat down for a conversation with Tim Muir from our Humanitarian Team. Tim had just returned from Bangladesh, where he was part of the response to the Rohingya Crisis. They discussed why the worst crises are the hardest to talk about. Luke: What is the most difficult part of your job and what you’ve experienced in Bangladesh? Tim: There is so much going on around the world in terms of conflict and emergencies and every time I’m deployed I think the whole world is watching that particular tragedy unfold. But then I’ll come home to realise that is not necessarily the case. I think the world has sat up to pay attention to the Rohingya crisis, but I wonder if the atrocities and horrific
violence children have faced in Myanmar are just too much, just too harrowing, for people in countries like Australia to properly digest. We released a report called ‘Horrors I Will Never Forget’ that’s based on a series of in-depth interviews Save the Children staff conducted with Rohingya children and women. I had to proofread that when I was in Bangladesh and it took me over an hour to get through it. Luke: I’ve read it in pieces. When people have asked me about specific stories from it, I can’t quite piece it all together … It is just so shocking, that our initial instinct is to push it away from us. Even when you’re just reading it in a report. It’s tough to personally engage with these stories and then relay them to other people. Serving this information up to anyone, it almost feels like you’re inflicting something upon them.
Actor and Save the Children ambassador, Luke Arnold.
If we feel like this is a story that we don’t even want to read about, it’s even more important that we open up our empathy to the people who have experienced it. Photo: Robert McKechnie/Save the Children
Tim: Yeah definitely. I interviewed a number of children, and also hosted journalists and listened to their interviews, and I heard some absolutely horrific stories. I spoke to a 12-year-old girl who had seen her sister gang raped five days after she had given birth to her first child. It’s horrific for her to even understand a term like ‘gang rape’ but to know what the implications of it are after childbirth suggests to me that she has been robbed of her childhood. And while the children I spoke to showed an incredible amount of resilience, you could see as they told their stories that they couldn’t reconcile why they were the victims of such hateful violence. And they’ll never know really. It’s heartbreaking. Luke: These stories are so hard to digest, but it’s our responsibility to share them with people who can help. The people reading this at home are the people who can make a difference.
HOW YOU’RE HELPING IN BANGLADESH When Rohingya children and families fled unimaginable violence in Myanmar, your support helped us move fast: • You helped us provide food to 60,000 people through distributions set up in partnership with the World Food Program. • You helped us set up 86 Child Friendly Spaces, like the one pictured here, to give 40,000 children a safe place to play, recover and be children again. • You helped us set up 9 health posts to healthcare to 40,000 people, and feeding programs to malnourished children.
In November, we released Horrors I Will Never Forget, a report filled with testimonies about the violence inflicted on Rohingya children. Here is just one of the shocking stories at the centre of Luke and Tim’s conversation: “They have killed so many people and done such terrible things. I saw a soldier pour gasoline over a heavily pregnant woman. Then he set her on fire. Another soldier ripped a baby from his mother’s arms and threw him into the fire … he was not even one year old. I will never forget their screams.” Rehema*, female, 24 years old You can read the full report at savethechildren.org.au/horrors.
Photo: Turjoy Chowdhury, Save the Children.
• You helped us provide shelter to families arriving with nothing, set up latrines and distribute hygiene kits.
CHILDREN AND FAMILIES STILL DESPERATELY NEED YOUR SUPPORT: • Everyone who has fled needs continued support simply to get enough food and water for their families. • 36,000 children have been separated from their families and need protection and care. • 60,000 children under five are malnourished and need urgent treatment. • 120,000 pregnant women and new mothers urgently need nutrition support.
INTO Y UR ARMS
How your support helped reunite a family in South Sudan. In 2013, a young mother was bitten by a snake in her home near Malakal in South Sudan. In pain and unable to walk, 24-year-old Amou* travelled to the capital, Juba, for treatment, leaving her children in the care of a relative. Amou thought she’d be back a few days later. But, it would be three years before she would see her daughters again. They were just five, seven and nine years old. South Sudan was teetering on the brink of civil war, and while Amou was seeking treatment for her snakebite, her village was subjected to a terrifying and deadly raid by an opposition group. One of her daughters, nine-year-old Awel* remembers gathering her younger siblings in panic, holding their hands as they raced to the bush, gunshots firing behind them. When they returned to their village, Amou and her husband found a ghost town, their home reduced to ashes. They feared their daughters had been killed. This story is a parent’s worst nightmare – but it’s just one of thousands in South Sudan, where conflict has torn the country and its people apart.
Save the Children is working to bring separated families back together. Late last year, we reached the significant milestone of having helped reunite 5,000 children with their families since the conflict broke out. Amou shared photos of her daughters with Save the Children, and after comparing them with those on our database, we established that her three daughters were alive and living with their uncle. We set up a phone call between Amou and her daughters. Amou remembers dancing and crying with joy when she heard her long-lost daughters’ voices. She was so excited and happy she couldn’t sleep until she saw them again. Now, the girls all go to primary school and enjoy singing and dancing together. Awel has dreams of working for a charity when she is older, so she can help children like herself be reunited with their families.
Since conflict broke out in South Sudan at the end of 2013, you’ve helped us reunite 5,000 children with their families.
Photo: Martin Kharumwa/Save the Children
Amou* with her three daughters, and their friends, after they were reunited by Save the Children. Conflict tore the family apart for three years.
HOW TO TALK WITH K DS ABOUT THE NEWS With the flow of tragic news stories seemingly never-ending, it’s important to share the reality with children without causing harm, ‘talking down’ and telling untruths.
“The question is not about ‘protecting’ your children from these news stories,” says Karen Flanagan, Save the Children’s Child Protection Advocate and Senior Advisor. “It’s about how you frame it. If you can set up the right environment and talk about the traumatic images and content in the news, then ideally you can build on the strengths of your child.”
CONSIDER YOUR OWN REACTIONS TO CURRENT EVENTS “Your children will look to the way you handle the news to determine their own approach. If you stay calm and rational, they will too. Children are very resilient. But that resilience is greatly influenced by the pragmatism and response of the parent. If the adults are OK, the children are OK.”
LET YOUR CHILD BE THE GUIDE “For anxious children, just a small amount of information about the news can go a long way. You may have a naturally positive, cheerful child – or a naturally anxious one.
So carefully consider your child’s temperament ... Sometimes they won’t ask you anything at all. If you’ve picked up that they’re abnormally quiet then you need to generate the conversation. Use your own instincts to test the waters. It’s important you’re as honest as possible.”
EXPLORE THE ISSUE TOGETHER “Acknowledging your child’s questions and exploring issues together is really important. If there’s a big storm, for example, you could say: ‘yes there are a lot of hurricanes about. Why are there so many, and where do they happen in the world?’ A lot of parents don’t know the answers either! It’s a great opportunity to sit down together and find out more answers. Children love information. It’s how you present it that makes a difference to their reaction.”
MAKE SURE THEY KNOW THEY’RE SAFE “When children know their parents love them and can protect them, it’s called ‘psychological safety’. A safe household is secure, honest, and knowledgeable. During a big world event, children may be most concerned about your safety or being separated from you. You need to reassure them that your family is safe. You can usually ensure your child’s physical safety, for example by ensuring they wear a bike helmet, but it’s when they feel safe – truly, psychologically safe – that they can get on with life.”
Remember, if you’re an honest and reliable source of information for your child, they’ll feel able come to you when they have questions and want to understand more about what’s happening in the world.
Children love information. It’s how you present it that makes a difference to their reaction.
Image: Takayo Akiyama/Save the Children
TACKLING POVERTY IN THE DIGIT L AGE
Mobile apps are taking over the world – and in Bangladesh, we’re using the technology to give young people better opportunities. Love or hate them, our jobs are a significant part of our lives. They can have a big impact on who we are and give us a sense of purpose, a sense of belonging. In Australia, our first job can have a big impact on the rest of our career. In Dhaka, Bangladesh, it can be the difference between a life of poverty and a life of opportunity. Imagine your son or daughter is trying to get their first job, but there are no job sites, no career counsellors. Imagine they live in a sprawling urban slum, the twists and turns of which don’t even appear on most maps. Imagine there are 1 million other young people in the same situation, searching for opportunities to work or study. Where do they even begin? In Bangladesh, a staggering 25% of young people are not in employment, education or training. When they can find work, it’s often in hazardous jobs where they work long hours for less than $2.35 a day. Opportunities are limited, and for the majority of young people living in dense urban slums within the mega city of Dhaka, their future is one of poverty. Your support is helping us find a new way forward. In Dhaka, Save the Children is creating
In 2017, Kolorob Jobs won the ‘Youth, Skills and the Workforce of the Future’ category in the Massachusetts’s Institute of Technology (MIT) Solve Challenge, which looks for innovative solutions to address the world’s most pressing challenges. Congratulations team!
an online job marketplace to connect young people with job opportunities and training. A few years ago, we developed Kolorob, a mobile app and website that helped connect people with essential services, such as healthcare, within Dhaka’s slums – which often go uncaptured in city plans. Now, in response to suggestions from young people in Bangladesh, we’re adding a jobs portal. Kolorob Jobs will be free to use and will link young men and women in the slums of Dhaka with jobs that are safe, non-exploitative and properly paid. Jobs that will give them a future.
It’s increasingly common, in even the lowest-income communities, for people to have access to digital devices like mobile phones – and they’re a great way to help young people break down the barriers that are holding them back. Kolorob Jobs will list ethical employers and let people apply for jobs using their own search criteria. Your support means we can keep finding new ways to support children and young people when they need us most. With Kolorob Jobs, they’ll be able to find opportunities that will lead to a more positive future, in which they are able to help themselves, their families and their communities.
Photo: Save the Children
“I think raising children is the most important job in the world.” For the last 20 years, Jan has generously volunteered her time, expertise and warm heart with the Volunteer Family Connect program in Tasmania. Volunteer Family Connect is Save the Children’s volunteer home-visiting program for parents with small children. Volunteers listen, provide moral support, and offer friendship at a time when families need an extra pair of helping hands and compassionate ears. As a retired teacher and counsellor, Jan supports families with more complex needs and has seen some amazing changes in children and parents she’s worked with. Here are a some of Jan’s words of wisdom: “Often parents are really looking for a mother figure; someone who can fill some of the gaps they feel they experienced growing up. For the older volunteers – and there are quite a few of us – we often step into a surrogate mother role. We’re someone they can talk to and share things with. “Families really appreciate that volunteers haven’t been told to be with them and they’re not being paid to be with them — they’re choosing to be with them. That can be incredibly beneficial for a family who’s perhaps never felt terribly valued before. “I love seeing happy families. Nothing distresses me more than to see a family that is not happy. Even if I can only make a tiny difference, if I can just change one little behaviour or one way of looking at things within a family, I feel I’ve done something really useful. I think raising children is the most important job in the world.” Thank you for supporting thousands of volunteers around Australia – and around the world – as they reach out to the children who need them most.
Photo: Robert McKechnie/Save the Children
“It’s beautiful out here…
and to see the kids begin to understand that this country is theirs, it brings a real sense of pride. “I could see that when I was telling them … they were like ‘oh yeah, I can feel this, this is where our ancestors grew up and roamed the land’. And to know we can come out here now, years after those fellas, and experience the same thing – that joy and pride in our country is a very big thing for us mob.” Craig Logan, a Youth Justice worker and Community Mentor at the Dumaji Child and Family Centre, on helping to connect children with country during a camp in Far North Queensland. The camp also helps prepare kids for a successful start to school.
Photo: Robert McKechnie/Save the Children
1800 76 00 11 savethechildren.org.au
Published on Mar 7, 2018