Save the Children believes that children have the right to grow up healthy, educated and safe. Since its beginning in 1919, the organization has worked in more than 100 countries. In 2019 alone, the organization reached more than 144 million children globally. One of the organization’s campaigns, Every Last Child, has allowed Save the Children to increase its reach to especially vulnerable populations of children around the world.
Save the Children introduced the global campaign to the world on April 26, 2016. The campaign strives to reach children who do not have adequate access to health care, education and protection. It works to end preventable deaths among children. The specific goal is to avoid at least 600,000 preventable child deaths. Another facet of the campaign is aiding children in receiving a basic quality education. The quantified objective for this goal is to help 50 million more children gain access to education. A 15-year time frame, 2030, is the target date for these missions. So far, the campaign has helped 15 million of the world’s “excluded children” gain access to life-saving health care and quality education.
Every Last Child focuses on “excluded children,” defined as children “not benefiting from recent global progress in social well-being, particularly in health and learning because of a toxic mix of poverty and discrimination.” The campaign did research to establish the extent of exclusion associated with certain groups of children. It found that persecution and discrimination based on beliefs impacted 400 million children with ethnic and religious backgrounds. Further, children with disabilities are four times more likely to experience physical and sexual violence and neglect when compared to their peers.
The campaign calls on leaders across the world to make three guarantees for all children. The first guarantee is the establishment of fair finance. The Every Last Child campaign describes this as “sustainable financing of and free access to essential services.” This includes escalating public investment in high-quality health and educational services to increase access for all children.
The second guarantee is to establish equal treatment by putting an end to discriminatory policies and norms. This is to help eliminate bias that negatively impacts minority groups.
The third guarantee is to increase the accountability of decision-makers by amplifying the voices of excluded groups in policymaking. This will ensure the allocation of community budgets positively impact excluded groups of children. These three promises help contribute to the mission of the Every Last Child campaign.
The campaign customizes its efforts to fit each country’s needs. While many countries experience similar issues, not all of them are equal in the extent of assistance necessary. In order to reach these vulnerable populations of children, the issues the campaign addresses vary in each country.
For example, in Niger, the Every Last Child campaign advocates for the adoption of policies that outlaw early child marriage and support access to quality education. In Yemen, the campaign fights for the protection of children affected by conflict. In Kosovo, the campaign promotes access to quality services in the education and health industries for children, particularly those with disabilities.
The goal is to make these services and information about the services available to parents and families in the country to create greater access. Customizing its goals allows the Every Last Child campaign to focus on the most pressing issues affecting each country.
Since its beginning in 2016, Save the Children’s Every Last Child campaign has committed to put an end to the exclusion of vulnerable populations of children. Through its research and advocacy efforts, the organization has helped to address the need to increase access to life-saving health care and quality education for children worldwide to ensure that no child is left out of the advancements of the world.
– Sara Holm