Return to News 2020

Eglantyne’s sweet success grows into global life-saver

Josephine Burgess talking about the centenary of the Save The Children Fund
Josephine Burgess talking about the centenary of the Save The Children Fund

Save The Children is known globally as a charity which has saved the liuves of millions of children and improved the lives of millions more.

How it grew into that from its start in the year 1919 was expertly explained to Novus Rotary by former teacher Josephine Burgess.

She spoke about the founder Eglantyne Jebb (1876-1928) who was so appalled by the famine in Germany and Austria-Hungary at the end of World War I that she organised a huge relief effort, taking food by train and ship there and to Russia. Having done so, she was prosecuted under the Defence of the Realm Act.

Eglantyne drafted the Geneva Declaration of the Rights of the Child which was adopted by the League of Nations in 1924 and which was adapted and incorporated into the United Nations General Assembly in 1948 as a reaction to World War II.

Geneva Declaration of the Rights of the Child
Geneva Declaration of the Rights of the Child

Novus members noted the similarities between the aims of the modern United Nations High Commission on Refugees (UNHCR) and Rotary, whose six areas of focus

  • Peace and conflict prevention/resolution.
  • Disease prevention and treatment.
  • Water and sanitation.
  • Maternal and child health.
  • Basic education and literacy.
  • Economic and community development.

Josephine recommended Claire Mulley’s biography of Eglantyne (the name of the briar rose) The Woman Who Saved The Children. She said that Eglantyne’s name was entirely appropriate; she was a beautiful woman, but one with a determined, spiky aspect, too.

Several of the grandparents in Josephine’s audience nodded knowingly when she referred to an upcoming fundraising event, Peppa’s Muddy Puddle Walk to be held at Ruddington Country Park on May 16. Come shine or rain, it sounds like fun. You can learn more, and register, here https://www.savethechildren.org.uk/how-you-can-help/events-and-fundraising/muddy-puddle-walk

Last edited: 1415 on Friday 14.02.2020