Rescue at sea
Our life-saving ship, the Vos Hestia, set sail in 2016 and scoured the waters between Italy and North Africa, rescuing families adrift in the Mediterranean.
We have saved the lives of 9,840 people, including 1,507 children, 90% of whom were travelling alone. This wouldn’t have been possible without your support.
Over the past two years we have:
- Rescued 1,507 children, 1,355 of whom were travelling alone
- Safely delivered a baby girl on board the Vos Hestia. The new mother was one of over 1,000 people who were saved from unstable, overcrowded boats in a single day
- We were there at the busiest time. In June alone, a staggering 23,000 people made the journey
- Rescued 125 people from a burning vessel. Tragically, 4 people lost their lives, including the mother of a 15-month-old baby, Blessing*. Blessing was immediately placed in the care of our child protection team who worked with other teams and authorities to ensure her safety once on land
The needs of the children we saved extend beyond being rescued at sea. That's why our specialist child protection staff were always onboard, working hard to gain children’s trust and make them feel safe after their distressing experiences.
While the Vos Hestia has concluded its final mission, we will continue to work in the countries people are fleeing and countries en-route, including Turkey, Serbia, Greece and Italy. We will continue to support local authorities in assessing children’s needs and vulnerabilities and ensure that children know their rights.
South Asia floods
At the end of May, Sri Lanka was hit with torrential rain, causing extreme floods and dangerous mudslides throughout the country. It was the worst flooding the country had seen in over a decade.
Tens of thousands of homes were damaged, and more than 138,000 children were affected by the emergency. Families also faced the threat of dengue disease caused by stagnant water.
Despite adverse weather conditions and the challenge of reaching isolated communities, our teams were on the ground delivering essential supplies to help families recover.
Thanks to a grant of over £115,000 from the Emergency Fund, we distributed hygiene and sanitation kits and essential household items including pots, pans and jerry cans. We also set up child-friendly spaces in safe locations to help protect children.
On 7 September 2017, a powerful earthquake measuring 8.2 on the Richter scale struck the city of Oaxaca in southern Mexico. 12 days later, a second earthquake shook Mexico City, and a third hit on 21 September.
Our Emergency Fund enabled us to set up Child-Friendly Spaces. These spaces are safe areas which provide psycho-emotional support to children caught up in emergencies. We also distributed vital household kits containing essential supplies for families whose homes had been destroyed.
Sierra Leone Mudslides
Heavy rains pounded a hillside in the mountainous town of Regent, 15 miles east of Freetown. This caused it to collapse as families slept. 500 people lost their lives, including 122 children. Many other children were orphaned and family homes were destroyed.
Thanks to your support, we were able to immediately allocate over £200,000 from our Emergency Fund. We distributed vital household kits and carried out hygiene promotion sessions to help protect children and their families from the deadly spread of disease. We also set up safe spaces for children to play and recover.