Save the Children’s Food and Livelihood project is funded by the Australian Government through Australian Humanitarian Partnership (AHP).
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Adapting to the impacts of climate change
Developing projects for the Green Climate Fund
In 2019, Save the Children Australia became the first development NGO in the world to be accredited by the Green Climate Fund (GCF). The GCF will allow us to partner with countries hardest hit by climate change and apply for funding from the US$10 billion fund to help generate transformational change in the way developing countries address climate change challenges.
In 2021 we worked with interested governments developing project ideas to scale-up community-based climate adaptation projects. During the year, six project concepts and one full proposal were formally submitted to the GCF. A number of these projects will address the intersection of climate change and health, which is an underrepresented sector for the GCF. We expect the first GCF-funded project — supporting community-based climate adaptation in Vanuatu — to begin in mid-2022. This will be followed by projects in Solomon Islands, Sierra Leone, and Lao PDR.
Futures under threat: helping children adapt to a changing climate in the Solomon Islands
In 2021 Save the Children consulted with community members throughout Solomon Islands to better understand local perspectives on the effects of climate change. 23 enumerators travelled to 66 villages to learn how communities are impacted by and adapt to rising sea levels and more variable rainfall.
Photo L: Mary paddling her dug out canoe.
Photo R: When it rains, children in Mary’s village can’t go to school because the rivers flood.
Collin Leafasia/Save the Children Solomon Islands
Mary Adam, a mother of five from a remote island in the country’s Western province told us: “My children and the other children in the village walk to the next village to attend primary school. They must cross two rivers to get to school. When it rains, they don’t go to school because the rivers are flooded and make it impossible to cross.”
Climate change projections tell us that flood in the Solomon Islands will get worse in time making everyday activities such as children going to school more difficult and dangerous.
With the support of QBE and the IKEA Foundation, Save the Children is developing a large-scale project for the Green Climate Fund in the Solomon Islands. The project will work directly with over 190,000 people like Mary and her children right across the country to help them build their knowledge about climate change and act to protect themselves and future generations from the impacts of climate change.
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Keeping Pacific kids safe online
How we’re helping children navigate their online world
After two years of rolling lockdowns, the internet is more important than ever in helping us stay connected with the people we love.
It’s no different in the Pacific, where scores of new subscribers are logging onto social media daily to message friends and family. However, access to the internet came late for these remote island nations. Many people don’t know how to protect their privacy and stay out of harm’s way online, and children are at greatest risk.
Children learn how to protect their privacy and avoid bullying and harassment online at a school in PNG.
Photo: Lillian Keneqa/Save the Children PNG
In response, Save the Children has partnered with Meta to deliver a digital literacy and safety initiative in the Pacific. The ‘I am Digital’ campaign, first launched in February 2021, has now expanded to PNG, Tonga, Fiji, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Kiribati and Vanuatu.
Empowering children with e-safety skills
With the help of a group of PNG young people, the campaign has developed learning materials to help Pasifika people stay safe on the internet. The tip sheets, jingles and videos are shared online, in-person and via the radio. They empower children and parents to have safer, more positive experiences online and safeguard themselves from abuse and exploitation.
Our Child Protection Coordinator in PNG, Owen Suanga, has been visiting local schools to make sure the materials get into the hands of every last child. He says the feedback has been overwhelmingly positive and students are excited to learn about how to protect themselves online.
So much done, so much more to do
Mia Garlick, Meta’s Regional Director for Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific Islands, says the progress has been impressive. ‘It’s excellent to see the campaign’s impact. Our partnership with Save the Children is so important to building the skills of young people, parents and educators in the Pacific, across the areas of digital literacy, online safety and critical thinking,’ she says.
Based on the feedback and suggestions of young people, Save the Children is working with Meta to expand on the e-safety materials already developed and reach more young people across the Pacific, both offline and online.
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Education couldn’t wait for children in Iraq
Save the Children’s Educational Response to COVID-19 in Iraq
The COVID-19 pandemic closed schools and interrupted learning for children around the world. In Iraq where children's education already faced massive challenges, it was critical to keep children engaged in learning in some way. To help adapt to the pandemic, Save the Children supported 6,237 children (2,964 girls and 3,273 boys) with educational materials, early childhood development classes, remedial education, teachers training, Mental Health and Psychosocial Support (MHPSS) and improvements to the wash facilities in schools for refugees, returnees and host community children.
As a result, these children remained engaged with the education despite school closures, and all 107 pre-primary children are now eligible for primary education. Out of the children who were at risk of dropping out of school and had completed our remedial courses, literacy skills had improved incredibly in the provinces of Dohuk (88%) and Kirkuk (78%). Numeracy skills also rose significantly in Dohuk (86%) and Kirkuk (53%).
Mohammed, a six-year-old boy from Syria, lives with his three sisters and parents in a refugee camp in the Kurdish Region of Iraq (KRI). When Save the Children started implementing an online education project as part of the COVID-19 humanitarian response in 2020, Mohammed had the opportunity to access the online activities.
Mohammed received a table and was able to access online education where he learnt how to read and write.
Photos: Duhok Education Team / Save the Children
His mother told us that “Mohammed received a tablet and enjoyed his time e-learning...He learned how to read and write letters, his name, and to count numbers. In addition, he made new friends of his age, actively engaged with his teachers and peers.”