How you've helped millions of children
At times the world can feel like an ever more dangerous and unjust place for children.
That’s why your unwavering support is more important than ever.
As we release our latest Annual Report, here are the stories of just three of the millions of children we were able to help in 2015 - thanks to you.
Today Joshua is healthy, top of his economics class and, he says, the “Messi” of his football team. But in 2015 his was a very different story. After his father, brother and 11 other family members died from Ebola, Joshua also fell ill.
Thankfully, doctors at our Ebola treatment centre managed to keep him alive. After that, he was left partially sighted and unable to walk – but we made sure he got the treatment he needed.
We also made sure that a child protection worker made regular visits to him to help him move on emotionally, and we gave him bags, pens, books and lunch money so he could get back into school.
Joshua’s spirit and determination have helped him move on from Ebola. But your support was vital too.
In total, we helped 5 million people – including 2.6 million children – through our emergency responses in 2015.
Amelia and her family were going through a tough time when we met them. Amelia and her mum Annie had been in a horrific hit-and-run car crash. Annie was in hospital for eight weeks and Amelia’s dad, Adam, lost his job because he had to look after his daughter.
The following year Annie and Adam had a second daughter, Ava, who was born with severe epilepsy, and Adam had to have knee surgery.
When money worries mounted up for the family we gave them essentials that they couldn’t afford - like a table, chairs and highchair for Ava.
The girls and their mum also attended our Families and Schools Together sessions, which get children learning and help parents to support their kids’ learning at home.
“It was nice to be able to explain to Amelia about emotions,” says Annie. “And they’ve both made a big group of friends from it.”
In 2015, we helped 20,000 children living in poverty in the UK.
In August last year, one of our aid workers, Kate O’Sullivan, went to Greece to help coordinate our refugee response. She recalls arriving to scenes of chaos.
One of the first calls she received was about a 13-year-old Syrian boy who had arrived completely alone on the island of Kos. He was terrified and uncontrollably crying because he wanted to go back to his family in Syria.
By the end of the year, she was meeting unaccompanied children all the time, but by then we had people working across the country who could help them.
Later in the year, Kate faced the first devastating storm.
“I dreaded going into tents in case we came across a family who hadn’t made it,” she says.
She recalls, one evening, wrapping up a 3-year-old in a coat, scarf and gloves before the girl crossed the border through barbed wire fences in the middle of the night.
By the end of the year we were working across Greece – and countries all over Europe – providing food, warm clothes, shelter and legal and psycho-social help.
We also successfully campaigned for the government to restart rescue operations in the Mediterranean, and to give a home in the UK to child refugees alone in Europe.
Millions of lives transformed
Thanks to you, we reached 17.5 million children directly through our work on the ground last year.
Find out more about how we helped children around the world in 2015, and the promises we’ve made for 2016 and beyond, in our new Annual Report.
You can also read our annual Accountability and Transparency Report to learn about how we uphold our values.