Save the Children is pleased to announce a joint initiative with insurer QBE to support relief and recovery efforts in areas ravaged by bushfires.
QBE has donated $250,000 toward Save the Children programs aimed at helping communities affected by the fires. The funding will support both programs that are part of an immediate response as well as those focused on long-term recovery.
In addition, Save the Children has launched an appeal to support its child friendly spaces and longer-term recovery work.
Save the Children CEO Paul Ronalds said the funding from QBE was a critical boost to the aid organisation’s relief and recovery efforts.
“We’ve all witnessed so graphically the massive toll these bushfires have exacted on so many communities. In a crisis of this scale children and families have borne the brunt and are in desperate need of our collective support as they deal with the distress, disruption and uncertainty,” he said.
“Contributions like these are critical to the overall recovery efforts of communities devastated by this national disaster and QBE must be commended for this very tangible and practical commitment to help. It builds further on our disaster recovery partnership announced two months ago.
“This funding will enable Save the Children to extend its rollout of Child Friendly Spaces, embedded within evacuation centres in affected communities. It will also help us deliver programs aimed at longer-term community recovery and resilience.”
Save the Children has already established Child Friendly Spaces in Wagga Wagga and Bairnsdale to support communities affected by the bushfires. A third such space, in Albury, is set to open on Tuesday.
Child Friendly Spaces support children affected by disasters. Trained, qualified early childhood specialists provide opportunities for children, generally aged 0-12 years, to play and socialise in a safe and supported environment. Importantly they allow children to start to process their experiences – a critical part of the recovery and resilience building process. At the same time, they allow parents and caregivers the time they need to do things like speak to insurance providers, check on their property and organise longer-term accommodation, all while knowing their children are safe and supported.
Families are also linked in with other complimentary services through the CFS.
This summer Save the Children has already established Child Friendly Spaces at evacuation centres in Taree in New South Wales and the Adelaide Hills in South Australia. In 2019, Child Friendly Spaces were set up in the wake of Cyclone Trevor in the Northern Territory, following the Townsville floods in Far North Queensland and during the bushfires of the Huon Valley in Tasmania.
To donate to Save the Children’s bushfire appeal go to www.savethechildren.org.au/bushfires.
For interviews, call Jess Brennan on 0421 334 918.