The story of the courageous humanitarian, human rights activist, social reformer – and founder of Save the Children – is going to be celebrated on stage in Melbourne this August.
In May 1919, Eglantyne Jebb stood in front of a packed house at the Albert Hall in London, England, holding up a tin of dried milk. “Surely,” she asked, “it is impossible for us as normal human beings to watch children starve to death without making an effort to save them … we have only one object, to save as many as possible.”
The whole of Europe was reeling in the aftermath of the First World War, but little was being made public about the extent of suffering. When Eglantyne’s sister, Dorothy, began importing newspapers from across Europe, the two became aware of the plight of those languishing across enemy lines, particularly the children of Hungary, Germany and Austria. Eglantyne’s unbridled compassion drove her to campaign for those children and led her to speak in front of that packed house at the Albert Hall.
Sometimes, it takes an individual who swims against the tide to create a new wave of change. It takes someone brave enough to commit to their beliefs, even in the face of fierce adversity.
At a time when women could not vote, Eglantyne launched an international aid organisation called Save the Children, fed millions of children, redefined how charities should work, pioneered fundraising and wrote a piece of social policy so significant it was adopted by the United Nations.
Eglantyne envisaged a world in which every child, regardless of their circumstances, is loved, cherished and cared for. Everything Eglantyne fought for, we still fight for today.
This August, Save the Children is delighted to present Eglantyne - The Play. Returning from a successful tour in the UK, this one-woman play – written, produced and performed by the actress Anne Chamberlain – will celebrate the extraordinary lfe of Eglantyne Jebb at the Rippon Lea House, Elsternwick on Thursday 24 and Friday 25 August.
Eglantyne devoted her life to making the world a better place. She never stopped fighting for children’s rights. Today, the legacy of her passion and belief lives on. It lives through the programs, policies and people who work tirelessly in her name every day. It lives through each one of our supporters, who carry her belief and share her vision to create a better world and a brighter future for the children who need us most.
About the play:
The 75-minute solo performance Eglantyne will run without interval in the historic Rippon Lea House venue, kindly offered free of charge by the National Trust to Save the Children for this unique event.
Refreshments and canapés will be served after the play and all proceeds will go towards Save the Children programs.