Exclusive Interview | "Save the Children" : Insights from Geeta Lama
We at are honored to have had the opportunity to interview Geeta Lama, National Media Manager, Save the Children. She shares insights of the NGO with "The Philox".
Save the Children is a non-governmental organization that works for the betterment of children and their rights. The organization has been operational in India since 2008. Save the Children's main focus areas in India are education, health and nutrition, child protection, and humanitarian response. They work towards ensuring that every child in India attains the right to survival, protection, development, and participation. In this interview, Geeta Lama, the National Media Manager at Save the Children, will shed light on the workings of the organization, the challenges they face, and the impact they have created so far.
Q1. Can you tell us about the history and mission of "Save the Children India"?
100 years ago, Save the Children's founder, Eglantyne Jebb, had a vision: to achieve and protect the rights of children worldwide. She was driven by the belief that all children – whoever they are, wherever they are – have the right to a healthy, happy, fulfilling life. Save the Children in India is a leading independent child rights NGO working across 16 states. While we run several programmes across India, we also work in tandem with numerous government agencies, civil society organizations, and communities across five core themes: Health & Nutrition, Education, Child Protection, Humanitarian Response, as well as Disaster Risk Reduction and Child Poverty. Our approach is to plan and implement sustainable programmes revolving around these themes, in close coordination with the government and community so that children stand to benefit the most.
Build a world in which every child has the right to survival, protection, development, and participation
Our Mission Statement
To inspire breakthroughs in the way the world treats children, and to achieve immediate, and lasting change in their lives
Q2. What are the main areas of focus for the organization in improving the lives of marginalized children in India?
While we run several programmes across India, we also work in tandem with numerous government agencies, civil society organizations, and communities across five core themes: Health & Nutrition, Education, Child Protection, Humanitarian Response, as well as Disaster Risk Reduction and Child Poverty.
Q3. How has the organization impacted the communities it serves since its establishment in 2008?
Beginning its journey in April 2008, we have changed the lives of more than 14 million children till March 2022.
Q4. Can you tell us about the programs and initiatives that the organization has implemented to achieve its goals?
Through the support of our donors, Save the Children has been implementing projects to cater to children’s various needs, making their childhood happier and more fulfilling. We are working relentlessly to give children a chance at building a brighter future. And in this quest, every bit of support counts.
Every child, no matter who they are or where they come from, deserves access to quality learning opportunities – from the age of three years when they begin to acquire early learning skills to the end of their school education at age 18. Through several state-level programmes and national policy advocacy, Save the Children has supported the education of millions of children since 2008! We address children’s learning needs through an inclusive, equitable, safe learning environment for children between 3-18 years for an active, purposeful adult life.
We echo the thought of the Government of India wherein in we are collectively looking at nurturing an education system rooted in Indian ethos that contributes directly to transforming India, that is Bharat, sustainably into an equitable and vibrant knowledge society, by providing high-quality education to all, and thereby making India a global knowledge superpower. Over the years we have created several innovative sustainable and scalable solutions in concurrence with the policies of the government of India that help us continue sharing the gift of education with underprivileged children.
Every child, no matter who they are or where they come from, deserves a safe and protected upbringing. So many children live and survive on the unsafe streets of India. Save the Children, through several state-level child protection programmes has helped protect 66,563 children in 2021.
Over the years, we have faced a multitude of issues but undeterred, we have devised several solutions that help us continue sharing the gift of security and safety with underprivileged children by offering child protection services in the villages and community across 15 states.
Over the years, we have faced a multitude of issues but undeterred, we have devised several solutions that help us continue sharing the gift of security and safety with underprivileged children.
(C) Our Health & Nutrition work -
Every child, no matter who they are or where they come from, deserve to be healthy and nourished. Save the Children, through its Health & Nutrition Programmes, has benefitted 7.5 lakh children in 2021. Since our establishment in India, we are supporting the government programs and schemes to ensure the last mile delivery. Save the Children (Also known as Bal Raksha Bharat) has strategic engagement with Ministry of Women and Child Development, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, NITI Aayog, State Governments, and Research and Academic Institutions such as Indian Council for Medical Research – National Institute of Nutrition (ICMR NIN) and International Institute for Population Sciences (IIPS) to strengthen health & nutrition programmes in hard-to-reach areas.
The “Poverty and Inclusion” Theme is an enabling theme which complements the three breakthroughs—Child Protection, Education, and Health and Nutrition to achieve their respective goals. Through its programmes and interventions, the Theme seeks to build resilience, socially and economically, of marginalized children and youth, girls and boys, families, and communities (in different contexts* ) leading to their better survival, development, protection and participation.
(E) Our Emergency Response work -
Save the Children, through several relief programmes and initiatives, has reached out to 62, 000 children in the last year. We continually work on our humanitarian action, which includes preparedness, mitigation, risk reduction, resilience building and are not just limited to immediate action, supporting 40+ emergencies across India since 2008.
Resilience and Climate Change Adaptation is a priority area for Save the Children and through its programmes strives to address the impact of frequent and protracted climate and disaster risks by building resilience among marginalized children, families and communities, particularly women and girls.
The approach is to strengthen knowledge and capacity of communities by meaningfully engaging with children, families and community members, particularly women and girls, towards climate and disaster hazard, risk awareness and building resilience skills. Adopt children and community led interventions in building and conserving community assets such as watershed, local biodiversity, local forests, through Nature-Based Solutions. Engage and collaborate with urban and rural local governance bodies on climate adaptation plans and practices which are child-centered and gender inclusive through meaningful participation and engagement of children. Partner with schools in urban geographies to demonstrate participatory environment conservation action by children.
Q5 How does "Save the Children India" collaborate with local partners and government agencies to maximize its impact?
As India celebrates ‘Azaadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav’ and enters into ‘Amritkaal’, we deeply appreciate the consistent and successful efforts of the Government of India to uphold the rights of the children. Save the Children, also known as Bal Raksha Bharat, engages with the government at different levels. We strive to develop and strengthen policy and programme-based solutions to create sustainable change in the lives of marginalized and vulnerable children. We achieve this by working closely and engaging in meaningful dialogue and action with the government at national, state and local levels across the thematic areas of Education, Child Protection, Health & Nutrition, Humanitarian Response, Poverty & Inclusion, and Resilience. Engagement with the government is integral to our approach and ‘Theory of Change’ elements of “Being the Voice”; “Building Partnership”; “Being the Innovator” and “Achieving Results at Scale”. We strive to be a partner of choice for the Government and other stakeholders on issues affecting the most deprived children and their holistic development. We drive strong evidence-based and child-led engagement with government to support and complement key policies and programmes related to children.
Save the Children has a positive, collaborative and well-sustained relationship with the Government of India and other Civil Society Organisations .
Q6 Can you talk about the organization's future plans and goals for improving the lives of marginalized children in India? Also do mention the achievements of the organisation?
Our strategic period vision is to catalyse inclusive and equitable development for atleast 4 million of the most deprived children by 2024, and influence policies to positively impact the lives of many more. We continue to commit ourselves to make all efforts to reach out to the most marginalized and vulnerable children by ensuring that all our programmes take into account the challenges and barriers they face, and find need-based local solutions which have lasting impact on their lives. For this, we, together with the Government, partners, children themselves, their community, civil society organization and donors will co-create innovative solutions to make their lives better. We will be mentors for children while they create and lead on issues that matter to them, bring innovation that are closer to the field and owned by the community, build equal partnership with stakeholders for scaling-up and sustainability Internally we will be an organization that is future ready through a focus on quality, automation towards effective delivery.
Q7 How can people or any corporation get involved and support the efforts of "Save the Children India"?
An individual can enroll in our volunteering programme, support a campaign, individual donations or choose us as CSR partners and for employee engagement programmes.
Geeta Lama can be reached at email@example.com
Our team at 'The Philox' express heartfelt gratitude to 'Save the Children' for accepting the invitation for this interview.
For any suggestions and inputs mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Check our Social Media handles and YouTube Channel.