If you’ve turned on a television anytime in the last two decades or so, you’re probably aware of non-profit Save the Children. While the organization took some heat in the mid-90s for the percentage of donations that went to programs aimed at poverty and health issues in the developing world, it’s turned itself around significantly in the past fifteen years or so: Charity Navigator, for instance, gives them high marks, and notes that almost 92% of their revenue goes to program expenses.
But what specifically happens with the money donated? Apparently, many feel like they’re still not sure… but would be willing to support efforts for kids in the developing world if they had more details. In response, Save the Children and the Ad Council launched their “Good Goes” campaign to show potential supporters individual stories of health care work underwritten by the organization… or, in their words, “See where the good goes.”
What’s Save the Children doing to address health issues in the developing world?
Quite a bit, it turns out. Much of the campaign focuses on the support and training of local health workers who deal with some of the most pressing threats to child welfare. Among the efforts supported:
- Antibiotics for Pneumonia
- Bed Nets and Medication for Malaria
- Diarrhea Medicine
- and other efforts
Next steps: environmental health initiatives?
Obviously, there’s a desperate need for immediate action on many of these health issues, and the steps Save the Children outlines on the Good Goes site show they’re working to address those needs. As I looked through the site, though, I also thought about environmental health initiatives that should play a role in addressing these threats… and didn’t see much on that front.
I’m not being critical… I know one organization can’t do everything, and the immediate need is great. A child with a water-borne disease today needs medical attention. I’d love to see efforts that address some of the causes of these health issues, such as
- Sanitation: I’d guess that problems such a diarrhea often stem from water-borne illnesses… and it doesn’t cost much to invest in effective water filtration. In the last year, I’ve come across two low-tech approaches that seem to be really effective.
- Biological Mosquito Control: Malaria comes from mosquitoes, so I’d love to see efforts using integrated pest management to control these populations. It’s not a cure-all — I don’t think there is such a thing when it comes to pest management. But supporting natural predators, along with tactics such as bed nets (and, yes, judicious use of insecticides) can be very effective when combined with treatment of existing malaria cases.
Of course, Save the Children may well be engaged in these activities, and I just missed it… if so, let me know.
Immediate health care is critical, of course… and I’m glad to see the success stories present on the new site. If you’d like to find out more, you can visit the “Good Goes” site itself, check in on its Facebook page, or follow the campaign on Twitter.
Protect yourself from water and insect-borne health threats, also. We’ve got water purifying equipment (including replacement filters and distillers), and natural insect repellents in the Green Choices store.