Feb 28, 2014
07:26 AMConnecticut Today
Save the Children Moving From Westport to Fairfield; Jordan, Lebanon Are Current Focuses
The international relief agency Save the Children, whose headquarters have been in Westport for about 40 years, is in the final stages of a planned relocation to Fairfield, expected to be completed by June.
But its mission remains the same, said Carolyn Miles, the agency’s president and chief executive officer, in an interview with the Minuteman this week.
As described in its mission statement, “Save the Children gives children in the United States and around the world what every child deserves — a healthy start, the opportunity to learn and protection from harm, especially when disaster strikes. We advocate and achieve lasting change for millions of children. We save children’s lives.”
The latest program in Save the Childen’s mission is based on its newly released report, “Ending Newborn Deaths — Ensuring every baby survives.”
“Our goal is to reduce the number of children who die before the age of 5,” Miles said. An estimated 6.6 million newborns died around the world last year, with 1 million dying on their first day of life.
A large part of Save the Children’s efforts go toward emergency response to natural disasters around the world. Three years after a typhoon caused immense destruction in the Philippines, Save the Children is still there, helping to get life back to normal, by establishing temporary schools, for example.
Save the Children responded to 26 disasters around the world during 2013. Some of those made big headlines, Miles noted; many did not.
And Save the Children is on the scene in Jordan and Lebanon, helping the estimated 2.2 million refugees, half of them children, who have fled to those countries from neighboring Syria during the continuing political crisis there. Save the Children feeds 85,000 of those refugees a day, Miles said.
Save the Chidren, a non-profit agency, had a budget of $650 million last year, 70 percent of which was raised in donations and 30 percent in funding by the federal government. Miles said the budget was about $100 million when she started at Save the Children 16 years ago.
Save the Children announced last year it had sold its Westport headquarters building at 54 Wilton Road to a group headed by Westport developer David Waldman for $11.9 million.