On Saturday 8th February I was one of around 20 bloggers to attend a conference hosted by Save the Children to help raise awareness for this very worthy cause. I have always been a big supporter of children’s charities as these are the human beings who are too small to have a voice of their own. I felt so privileged to be there and listen to the valuable work these people do.
Chris Mosler from the blog Thinly Spread – who now works for Save the Children – and Rosie Childs introduced the day to us and, to start the talks, we listened to an explanation of the Humanitarian support that is provided in areas such as Syria and Africa by the Syrian Team Leader, Kieran King.
As I listened to Kieran talk, I thought of Grace playing safely at my Mum’s house whilst there were children being recruited to become part of the military forces. It really does put things into perspective. The other statistic that really made me think was that people support natural disasters in a far bigger way than they do military ones. Whilst Typhoon Haiyan in the Phillipines attracted £48 million in just 24 hours, the support raised for Syria has been just £6 million since December 2012. Save The Children are doing all they can to help the children of Syria to provide them with vital aid and as much protection as possible. To find out more then please visit their Save Syria’s Children page to learn more and make donations. You can also tweet this page using #syriacrisis.
Following on from Kieran’s talk, we then heard from Joe Wade from the BAFTA award winning film production agency Don’t Panic. His explanations of how to make YouTube and video work for you were extremely informative and it was a session I found extremely useful.
Following a lovely lunch spread laid on for us by the people at Save the Children, it was time to hear from Kirsty McNeill. She delivered an engaging and detailed explanation of how to take campaigning to the next level. Kirsty, a former aid to Prime Minister, Gordon Brown, helped by advising us how to deal with Politicians (stroke their egos!) and using our voices (blogger power!).
The final talk of the day was to introduce the brand new campaign from Save the Children which launches on 25th February that aims to save new-born lives from around the world. Rosie Childs spoke to Gemma Raby, midwife from ‘One Born Every Minute’ about her trip to Liberia with the charity. It was fascinating to hear about Gemma’s trip and the real first-hand experience of how women give birth. It put so much into perspective for me. One woman walked for 9 hours to get to the midwife and, as there was no one there to help her when she arrived, had to give birth on the roadside – putting both her and the baby at risk.
Then, bloggers did what they do best. Brainstorm and came up with ideas.
I, for one, will be supporting the new-borns campaign. I was lucky to have my birth plan go completely to plan. Some women aren’t that lucky.
I will be writing more about the campaign when it is launched. Please join me and use #firstday – because who knows, somewhere it may also be their last.