Taking a Stand to Save Lives of Newborns and Children

Save The ChildrenI’m in the process of re-branding. That means I’m working on merging EvolvingStacey.com and InspiringSocialMedia.com. In a way, during this re-branding process I get to reinvent myself. Meaning I can choose what I want to leave behind and what I want to bring with me. I get to choose how I want to be seen. I get to intentionally declare who I am and what I stand for. It’s all very exciting and a bit complicated… because I stand for a lot of different things.

I stand for only love, for never settling for less than your heart and soul desires, for using your voice for social good, for finding your tribe and experiencing that beautiful sense of belonging, for creating a tribe for others and gifting that sense of belonging to other… oh and so much more.

As a Social Mom for Social Good (#SocialGoodMoms) I Stand For…

  • Ensuring every mother, newborn and children under five has access to high quality health care
  • Investing much more in women and girls and ensure their protection
  • Building stronger institutions and stronger health systems around the world that provide health care for the most vulnerable… and that promote early action, protection, and risk reduction.

I first took this stand when I joined Mom Bloggers for Social Good and the Global Team of 200 in 2012. My commitment grew even stronger when I went to Indonesia with Save The Children in 2013.

During my trip to Indonesia, I talked with mothers – scared mothers. I talked with pregnant women that were scared they would die during childbirth or that their babies would die as newborns. I met other mothers that were scared that their children would die before the age of five.

Here’s a picture of some of mothers I met (above is a picture of some of their children)…

Save The ChildrenIt was on the day that I met these mothers and children that I made a commitment to use my voice – to share their stories – to help the mothers and children of the world that truly need our help.

I’m honored to be working with Save the Children again to spread the word about Millennium Development Goal 4 (MDG4) which says child mortality should be reduced by 2/3 by the end of this year.

I’ll be helping Save The Children remind the world that the survival of children is worth fighting for no matter where they live or their lot in life!

Did You Know, In 2000…

World leaders adopted a series of ambitious goals – the United Nations Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) – including commitments to…

  • Cut poverty by half
  • Get every child into school
  • Dramatically reduce child and maternal deaths by 2015

Today…

  • Fewer people (millions of fewer people) live in extreme poverty than a generation ago
  • Most children complete a primary education
  • Hunger has been cut by over a third
  • There are 90 million people living today whose lives would have been cut short, had child mortality rates remained at 1990 levels, the baseline year for the goals.

However

  • 18,000 children die each day from preventable causes
  • One million newborns die on their first day of life.
  • Newborns now account for 4 out of 5 deaths of children under the age of five.

The Time is Now…

With less than 500 days to go before the target date, it is vital that the world acts to make sure more countries get on-track to achieve the reduction of preventable child deaths by two thirds by the end of 2015.

There is an urgent need for more trained and skilled health workers, which are critical to saving newborns and mothers. And there’s an urgent need to improve the tough living conditions many children face and the lack of access to quality care.

Newborn mortality rates can only be reduced through fairer distribution of essential health services and through universal healthcare access; this means making these more available to the poorest and most marginalized families, as well as to communities living in rural areas.

Each day an estimated 800 mothers and 18,000 young children die from largely preventable causes.

We can stop this. Many of these deaths are preventable if the mother-to-be had a trained midwife to help them give birth safely.

Will You Stand With Me?

Save The Children and Social Moms for Social Good have launched a 500 day campaign that began on August 18 to help reduce of number of preventable child deaths by two thirds by the end 2015.

Go here >> http://www.savethechildren.net/mdg500 learn more and join this campaign! Together we can use our voices for good – and can be the voices of mothers and children that have no voice (like the mothers and children I met in rural Indonesia).

Want to Use Your Voice for Social Good on Twitter?

Here are some suggested tweets to share…

Click to Tweet: Yes we can! It’s finally conceivable that we could end preventable child deaths & eradicate hunger & poverty #MDGmomentum #socialgoodmoms

Click to Tweet: Eradicating poverty is an investment in our future > http://www.savethechildren.net/mdg500 #MDGmomentum #socialgoodmoms

Click to Tweet: 150 countries are tackling some of the world’s biggest problems. Less than 500 days 2 go > http://savethechildren.net/mdg500 #socialgoodmoms

Still Evolving

Exclusive Interview with Jennifer Garner, Save The Children Ambassador

Jennifer Garner

“Early childhood development is about
setting up your brain to succeed later in life.”
~ Jennifer Garner, Artist Ambassador for Save The Children ~

Jennifer Garner Uses Her Voice For Social Good

When Jennifer Garner found herself in a place, professionally, where her voice could be used for good, she quieted her mind and asked herself…

“What is authentic to me? What is something that I can speak to and that I believe in, and what am I not seeing as much of?”

And in that quiet space, in that stillness, she found her answer. Jennifer Garner realized she wanted to use her voice to help children growing up in rural America.

As Artist Ambassador for Save The Children, Jennifer Garner is now advocating for early education programs across the country. In addition to Jennifer Garner using her voice for increasing awareness, fundraising, and advocating for kids… she also spends time with mothers and children in need with Save The Children’s home visitation program.

Actress Jennifer Garner visits with school children who are participants of a Save the Children reading program at LBJ Elementary School in Kentucky as part of the Idol Gives Back charity series. Photo by David Stephenson

Jennifer Garner and I were recently involved with Save The Children’s #FindTheWords campaign to help raise awareness about early childhood education for disadvantaged children living in poverty.

Did You Know…

– In the United States, 1 in 4 children lives in poverty and many of these children do not have a single book in the home. They are not read to and don’t have access to a pre-school education.

By age 3, children from low income homes hear an average of 30 million fewer words than their peers — putting them at a disadvantage before they even reach school.

Around the world, 1 in 2 children lives in poverty and 250 million children are either not in school or are in school and not learning — unable to read, write or count.

Disadvantaged children without high-quality early education programs are 70% more likely to be arrested for a violent crime, 40% more likely to become a teen parent and 25% more likely to drop out of school.

This reality is mind-boggling and heart breaking. And yet, there is HOPE thanks to the wonderful and inspiring people working for Save The Children.

Jennifer Garner
Part of my involvement in the #FindTheWords campaign included interviewing Jennifer Garner. I did this interview with Elizabeth Atalay – a powerful social good blogger who is on a mission to share global stories as a way to inspire action, insight, and cross-cultural understanding. You can read Elizabeth’s stories at WorldMomsBlog.com and Documama.org.

Here Are Insights From Our Interview with Jennifer Garner…

#1. TAKE THE PRESSURE OFF. With early education statistics for children living in poverty being so staggering, I asked Jennifer what advice she has for mothers that are struggling with how to best help their children engage with more words.

Her advice for mothers struggling with engaging their children with more words was “Take the pressure off yourself”.

#2. KEEP IT SIMPLE. During one of her first home visits, there was a young mom with an 11 month year old baby. The mom was trying to teach her baby to read and she was frustrated that he couldn’t make the sounds she wanted him to make. Jennifer Garner heard a Save The Children coordinator tell the mom “It is just great that you have a book out. You are doing a great job”. Jennifer talked about keeping things simple, like going back to Mother Goose and singing Twinkle, Twinkle.

She said… “It’s the simple stuff. It’s talking with your baby with connection, with touch, with your eyes, and with love.”

#3. ENCOURAGE MOMS. So many moms living in rural America are isolated, tired, and they don’t have mom friends to encourage them. So when Save the Children visits these moms once a week they not only bring books, they bring light, life, and encouragement for these moms and they show these moms how simple it is to talk to their babies. That encouragement, Jennifer Garner said, is priceless. When these moms are told “You’re doing a great job. Here’s what you can talk about with your baby. Here’s how you can narrate his day. You’re doing great! You’re doing great! You’re doing great!” Jennifer can see both the moms’ and the baby’s light turn on.

She told us… “Every time I leave one of those visits I think, Okay, they’re wrapped up in love right now and heading in the right direction.”

#4. BE PART OF MAKING THINGS BETTER. Jennifer Garner strongly believes the money we spend from birth to five goes so much farther than the money we would spend when a child is older and having trouble. Many children growing up in poverty are already a year and a half behind by the time they’re four.

Jennifer shared… “It’s so deeply unfair. The injustice of it hits me at my very core. I feel this drive to be a part of making it be better. We need to reach out to young moms and give them a leg up… so they can give their babies a leg up.”

#5. READ TO YOUR CHILDREN. For my final question, I asked Jennifer Garner what her favorite bedtime stories are to read to her three children. I loved her answer and her enthusiasm for children’s books.

“Oh my gosh, I love children’s books so much. For every age, it would be something different. Right now, for my oldest, we are reading James Herriot books aloud to each other. I read a page and then she reads a page. Right now we’re reading All Things Bright and Beautiful. It’s got some spicy language in there, but it’s British so it’s different enough that we can just laugh at it. It’s super fun to read about another place and time.

For my middle, we just read Charlotte’s Web. She’s really into Berenstain Bears. We go back and forth from a chapter book to smaller books every night. She likes to read a sentence at the top of every paragraph and that is fine with me. She just started kindergarten. She loves Cynthia Rylant, an author from West Virginia, so she’s one of my favorites too. We love the Cobble Street Cousins and Lighthouse Family. They’re really simple, little chapter books that are sweet and have a nice message. We also love anything in our house illustrated by Marla Frazee like Seven Silly Eaters, All the World, A Couple of Boys Have the Best Week Ever, and Rollercoaster. We just love her stuff.

My little guy really does love Mother Goose, so Mother Goose tends to stay out, ready to be read at any time. We also love The Complete Book of Farmyard Tales. They’re just 20 little stories… and they are so cute. We never go anywhere without it. He’s also super into Caps for Sale.”

I’m sending out big love to Save The Children for inviting me to join the #FindTheWords campaign. Jennifer Garner has inspired me beyond measure.

Click here to learn more about the #FindTheWords campaign.

Watch this video to learn more about Jennifer Garner’s involvement with Save The Children.

JOY

Jennifer Garner was My Muse Today

This morning I sat down with Jennifer Garner to discuss her involvement with Save The Children and her authentic passion for early childhood education (I’ll be sharing the details of the interview in my next blog post).

Jennifer Garner spoke directly to the heart and soul of who I am and what I stand for. For the first time, I finally UNDERSTOOD why Save The Children came into my life… and why I so passionately want to be more and more involved in this inspiring organization.

This morning’s interview with Jennifer Garner was yet another reminder from the Universe to stop playing small. Moms are moms… no matter if you’re married to Ben Affleck or if you are a single mother in rural West Virginia. As moms, we all need support, community, connection… a sense of belonging.

Otherwise we drown. Millions of moms are living in isolation. And as these moms continue to drown, their children are being impacted – body, mind, and spirit.

This morning’s interview with Jennifer Garner reminded me just how deeply I want to create circles of circles of circles so every mom on this planet knows… she is not alone.

Thank you Jennifer, for helping me see more clearly what it truly is that I want to do… what I want to accomplish during my time here on Earth.

Do you have a muse that inspires you to follow your passion?

In-Joy-Stacey-Signature

Moms Are Creating Healing Art Through Community Building

When Women Come Together, Shift Happens.

Green Star MovementWhile police commanders and policy makers debate how to quell violence in Chicago, some south side mothers are taking things in their own hands. On September 10th they will begin the creation of a “Peace Mural” on the rail viaduct at 63rd Street and Wallace Avenue – the ‘gateway’ between the Engelwood and Woodlawn neighborhoods from which the women come.

Earth Foundation MothersRanking 13th out of 77 communities, Chicago’s Woodlawn neighborhood had a calculated total of 1.7 violent crimes per 1,000 people in just the past 30 days. In neighboring 5th ranked Englewood, residents suffered 2.9 violent crimes per 1,000 people in the same period. Concerned by the violence occurring among youth in their neighborhoods, finding solutions to it became a focal point of the south side women’s group that has been meeting for the past two years.

“Over time it became clear that while we face lots of issues as women, the safety of our children was an overriding concern”, says Dede Koldyke, the founder and president of the EarthHeart Foundation which founded the Engelwood/Washington Park/Woodlawn women’s group. “We’ve done marches, meetings – the mural will give everyone in the community a chance to participate and will be a permanent reminder of the possibility and importance of peace.”

EarthHeart Foundation celebrates mothers as peacebuilders and compassionate changeleaders.

Construction on the peace mural begins on September 10, 2014 and will end on October 2, 2014.

Community Days, where members of the community are invited to participate in the construction of the mural, will be held on the following Saturdays: September 13, 20, and 27. Light snacks and refreshments will be provided by EarthHeart Foundation.

Design for the mural is being done by the Green Star Movement, while support has come from 20th Ward Alderman Willie B. Cochran and Metra, as well as from individual donors through Kickstarter, a web based crowd funding campaign.

  • EarthHeart Foundation was founded on the idea that women have a unique perspective on and ability to solve challenges on issues of their neighborhoods, cities and lives and brings together diverse groups of women to uncover their commonalities and address concerns together.
  • The Green Star Movement works in Chicago to inspire students and community members to design and realize public art by using the designs and sweat equity of the youth and adults living in the neighborhood where the projects are located. Projects start with workshops teaching design and the necessary creation of the mural’s micro elements. A non-profit organization, Green Star works closely with the community youth to install items such as the Bricolage, while also teaching them basic fundamentals of sculpture, mosaic, painting, and some construction techniques.

For more information, visit ART THAT HEALS PEACE MURAL.

The World’s Mothers: Celebrating All Mothers This Mother’s Day

This Mother’s Day, as I’m celebrated by my little ones, my heart goes out to moms around the world who risk their lives every day for their children.

Mothers Day Card
I am honored to have my letter to the editor, titled The World’s Mothers, published in the Chicago Tribune. You can read the online article here: The World’s Mother

Chicago Tribune Save The Children Article

Advocate for Children in Your Community

Be an Advocate for Children

Advocate for ChildrenHere are 12 social good advocacy actions that I learned about during Save The Children‘s 2014 Advocacy Summit…

  1. Be an advocate for children by sending a letter to Congress in support of early childhood education programs in the U.S. and newborn and child health around the world—www.savethechildren.org/advocacysummit
  2. Host an issue awareness event for your community. Find a local speaker or a documentary that speaks about the need to invest in kids. Let Save the Children know and they might be able to attend or support your efforts.
  3. Take your friends and family along as you meet with your state and congressional representatives in your district.
  4. See an article on a children issues? Be an advocate for children by writing a letter to the editor in your newspaper telling them what the issue means to you.
  5. Write a blog post about issues that you are passionate about. Let Save the Children know and they help share your blog post.
  6. Write an op-ed for your local paper on why you believe investing in kids is the right thing to do.
  7. Post a message on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, or Snapchat encouraging people to find out more about Save the Children’s work for kids in the U.S. and around the world.
  8. On your birthday, skip the presents. Be an advocate for children by asking friends and family to donate to Save the Children.
  9. Help your community protect children in emergencies by hosting a Prep Rally and sharing “Get Ready. Get Safe.” More information can be found here: www.savethechildren.org/GetReady.
  10. Organize an issue Rally Day. You and your friends design T-shirts around an issue you care about and then wear them on the same day.
  11. Volunteer for an early childhood education program in your community.
  12. Encourage parents and kids you know to join Bridgit Mendler in the Save the Children Babysit-In.

What will you do to advocate for children?

JOY

Save the Children’s #BabySitIn with Bridgit Mendler

Bridgit Mendler #BabySitinSave the Children’s newly inducted artist ambassador, Disney star and recording artist Bridgit Mendler, launches a volunteer project that will allow parents to have fun while doing something good for babies around the world

Save the Children’s one-of-a kind teen volunteer project, called #BabySitIn, treats parents to a guilt-free night (or day) on the town while helping the world’s babies get a healthy start. By teaming up with their favorite babysitter to hold a #BabySitIn, parents get to have some fun, teens get engaged in a good cause, and together they help make this world a better place for babies.

“As parents, we often feel a pang of guilt when leaving our kids at home to go out with our spouse or friends. That’s why Save the Children came up with the #BabySitIn idea,” said Carolyn Miles, president and CEO for Save the Children. “It gives parents a much deserved break so they can go to the movies or on a dinner date while at the same time supporting teens to help babies everywhere get a strong and healthy start. No guilt involved!”BABYSITIN Save The ChildrenEvery day, 18,000 children around the world don’t make it to their fifth birthday, losing their lives to mostly preventable and treatable diseases like diarrhea and pneumonia. Meanwhile, in the United States, kids living in poverty are developmentally 18 months behind their peers by age four. Yet, two out of five children in America are not enrolled in preschool.

To help more babies have a stronger start in life, Save the Children is calling on all babysitters to hold a #BabySitIn between Mother’s Day on May 11 and Father’s Day on June 15.

Here is how a #BabySitIn works:

A teen volunteers his/her babysitting time to a family; the family gives a donation to Save the Children in the babysitter’s name; and Save the Children uses that donation to help the world’s babies and toddlers. Then, everyone spreads the word through social media. To get involved, visit: www.savethechildren.org/BabySitIn

Bridgit Mendler Kicks Off #BabySitIn

Save the Children’s newest artist ambassador, actress, platinum-selling recording artist and youth advocate Bridgit Mendler, known for her star role on the Disney Channel’s Good Luck Charlie series, kicked off the #BabySitIn campaign in Washington, D.C. during Save The Children’s Advocacy Summit.

save the children advocacy summit“I am so excited to launch the #BabySitIn campaign with Save the Children, especially because it empowers kids to change the world by helping other kids,” said Mendler, who made the announcement last Tuesday at Save the Children’s Advocacy Summit. “It’s an easy way for kids to help little ones everywhere get a healthy start and an opportunity to learn just by doing something they do most weekends anyway.”

Other guest speakers that joined Mendler at the Advocacy Summit include Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, Senator John Boozman (R-AR), Senator Tim Kaine (D-VA), Congressman Richard Hanna (R-NY), Andrea Mitchell of MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell Reports, Cokie Roberts of ABC and NPR, and CNN’s Kevin Madden and Stephanie Cutter.

Designed to encourage youth across America to become advocates for children around the globe, Save the Children’s Advocacy Summit was broadcasted live online on April 8 and April 9. To view the live stream videos, visit: www.savethechildren.org/virtual-summit.

Save the Children is the leading independent organization for children in need, with programs in 120 countries, including the United States. We aim to inspire breakthroughs in the way the world treats children, and to achieve immediate and lasting change in their lives by improving their health, education and economic opportunities. In times of acute crisis, we mobilize rapid assistance to help children recover from the effects of war, conflict and natural disasters. Follow us on Twitter and Facebook.

JOY

 

 

Photo by Joshua Roberts for Save the Children.

 

Dear Soul Sisters of the World

Inspired by Shiloh Sophia McCloud, I wrote this letter to the soul sisters of the world on International Women’s Day…

Dear Soul Sisters of the World,

We are family, tied together through an international sisterhood. We are connected by a virtual – often invisible – red thread. Sometimes we forget to REMEMBER our common traits and our ancient wisdom. Sometimes we need to remember the bond we all have and the jewel of this connection.

We need to bring down the masks and share and show our ONENESS… our joys and our struggles, our courage and our fears. We have not forgotten the girls and women that are still suffering. We see you and witness you.

And we are UNITING in a virtual sisterhood of strength, grace, and LOVE. We will tell your stories and share your voices to the world… even when you cannot.

Always and forever.

JOY

Ending Newborn Deaths + Ensuring Every Baby Survives #FirstDay

ENDING NEWBORN DEATHS REPORT - SAVE THE CHILDRENAccording to new research published today by Save the Children, the first 24 hours of a child’s life are the most dangerous, with more than one million babies dying each year on their first and only day of life. This new report, “Ending Newborn Deaths” shows one half of first day deaths around the world could be prevented if the mother and baby had access to free health care and a skilled midwife.

Let me repeat that again…one half of first day deaths around the world could be prevented if the mother and baby had access to free health care and a skilled midwife.

I saw this reality when I traveled to Indonesia with Save the Children last December. I witnessed mothers and midwifes desperately wanting to save these little lives. I saw the lack of free health care and the need for highly skilled midwifes. I heard stories of mothers not going to hospitals to deliver…because it was simply too expensive. I spoke with brave midwives that dedicate their lives to saving babies. And talked with pregnant mothers who quietly shared their fears of having complications during labor and delivery…fears that their babies won’t survive.

Indonesia Save the Children

The Story in Numbers

Just in case you don’t click here to read the new Ending Newborn Deaths report, I wanted to share with you these telling numbers…

#FIRSTDAY

Save the Children’s Recommendations…

Save the Children is calling on world leaders, philanthropists and the private sector to implement – this year – a five-point Newborn Promise to end all preventable newborn deaths:

    • Governments and partners issue a defining and accountable declaration to end all preventable newborn mortality, saving 2 million newborn lives a year and stopping the 1.2 million stillbirths during labor

 

    • Governments, with partners, ensure that by 2025 every birth is attended by trained and equipped health workers who can deliver quality care including essential  newborn health interventions

 

    • Governments increase expenditure on health to at least the WHO minimum of US$60 per capita, to pay for the training, equipping and support of health workers

 

    • Governments remove user fees for all maternal, newborn and child health services, including emergency obstetric care

 

    • The private sector, especially pharmaceutical companies, should help address unmet needs by developing innovative solutions and increasing availability for the poorest to new and existing products for maternal, newborn and child health.

How You Can Help…

Other Resources

 

global team of 200I wrote this post as part of The Global Team of 200, a highly specialized group of members of Mom Bloggers for Social Good that concentrates on issues involving women and girls, children, world hunger and maternal health. Our Motto: Individually we are all powerful. Together we can change the world. We believe in the power of collective action to help others and believe in ourselves to make this world a better place for our children and the world’s children.

Follow the Global Team of 200 on Tumblr, on Twitter, Pinterest, and Facebook.

All For Schools

AllForSchoolsI was invited to go “behind the scenes” of a new online fundraising platform for schools called All For Schools. The site allows parents (and relatives, friends, alumni, faculty, and admin) to raise funds for their children’s school by purchasing Groupon deals, shopping with retail partners, and downloading coupons. When you purchase a Groupon deal using All For Schools, money is automatically donated to the school of your choice. It’s basically an online fundraising portal that allows people to give back to schools through selected online purchases.

How All For Schools Works…

AllForSchools

Fundraising dollars are so important to enrich the school experience for all children. Personally, my school works smart to raise money for reading programs, our outdoor learning space and garden, the scholastic book fair, the science fair, school sports teams, assemblies, community service projects, battle of the books, before and after school clubs, and more.

My Experience…

When I was given the opportunity to test out AllForSchools.com, I browsed through all the Groupon deals and finally purchased a $40 Groupon for two or more people for dine-in only at Sashimi Sashimi for $20.00. My boys love sushi…so this will be perfect for our next dinner out. There were plenty of other great deals too for local restaurants and spa services.

AllForSchoolsI think All For Schools has the potential to be a very useful fundraising tool for schools, especially if most parents use Groupon on a regular basis. I also like the idea that parents can support local merchants (like Sashimi Sashimi) by purchasing Groupons.

Other benefits All For Schools shared with me include..

  • It is something you can do from the comfort of your home.
  • It is easy to use and to get involved.
  • It offers year round fundraising.
  • It increases funds for your school ever time you purchase a Groupon or save with coupons and deals.

The Innovators Behind All For Schools…

All for Schools is led by Laurel Rundle, Chief Executive Officer, and Jesse Reif, Chief Operating Officer, who collectively have over 40 years of experience working with educational institutions and leading brands.

Prior to starting All for Schools, Laurel and Jesse founded Aha! Marketing, an innovative marketing services firm that works with top brands on educational initiatives, trial generation and drive-to-sales campaigns. Through this work, they discovered the need for a new way to fundraise and decided to take action.

Inspired by a shared passion to help schools meet their goals, Laurel and Jesse teamed up to create All for Schools as a solution to fundraising frustrations. They are both actively engaged in their communities and committed to helping schools achieve their educational missions.

REGISTER TODAY! All For Schools is active in Chicago and excited to meet parents, relatives, friends, alumni, faculty, or administrators.  Register today and start shopping, saving and raising funds for your child’s school at http://ow.ly/tp8BI. Can’t find your school? No problem, once you are registered we’ll let you know as soon as they get on board!

For more information, go to AllForSchools.com/beta. AllForSchools

 I was selected for this opportunity as a member of SoChic Blogger Society and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

 

 

SELARAS is a Health, Hygiene and Hand Washing Program For Newborn Survival in Indonesia

Save the Children

During my trip to Indonesia, I was able to meet with Bandung District’s First Lady, the Head of the District Health Office, and the District Health Office Deputy.

Save The Children’s SELARAS program is very complimentary to their mission to improve community health through improved environment sanitation at home, improve access to clean water, latrines or toilets for safe defecation, and waste management.

They treated us like family.

Save The Children’s SELARAS program is a health, hygiene and hand washing initiative for newborn survival in Bandung district in West Java, Indonesia. SELARAS aims to contribute to a reduction in newborn mortality in four sub districts in Bandung district and will contribute to Save the Children’s global EveryOne campaign which aims to reduce child mortality.

SHW and First Lady

SELARAS is implemented in the same areas as the USAID-funded Expanding Maternal and Newborn Survival (EMAS) program in Bandung district, which focuses on improving emergency obstetric and newborn care in first and second – level health facilities. By doing this, SELARAS will support the complete continuum of care from the household to the district hospital and will be able to leverage the EMAS project’s local and national relationship for even greater impact.

This five years project will achieve its objective by increasing the quality of hygiene and hand washing practices among health facility staff, village midwives and Traditional Birth Attendants to prevent infection during delivery and postnatal care, increasing knowledge and improving practices of household caregivers in newborn health, and improving the policy and resource allocation environment to support improved hygiene and hand washing practices for newborn survival.