Our History

“Change is within reach – if we have courage, determination, imagination and effective organisation” -Eglantyne Jebb-

The story of Save the Children is one of hope and deeply passionate and committed people, determined to make the world a better place for all our children.

It began with one woman who changed the world’s response to children in need.

19 May 1919: 

Eglantyne Jebb launched a worldwide movement - the Save the Children Fund. She was driven by the belief that all children have the right to a healthy, happy and fulfilling life.


Jebb drafted the first Declaration of the Rights of the Child - one of the central inspirations for the 1989 United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child which is also our foundation to continue Eglantyne Jebb’s work - long-term improvement of children’s lives and the realisation of their rights.


Save the Children started their work in South Africa with children and their families in some of the most marginalised communities.


A proudly South African entity was formed - Save the Children South Africa – to fight for local children’s rights. Save the Children South Africa became an official member of Save the Children International thanks to the merger of Save the Children Gauteng, Save the Children KwaZulu-Natal, Save the Children UK and Savethe Children Sweden.

Help Save the Children to do its work right here in South Africa by setting up a monthly donation today:

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Our core focus

Child Protection

Child Protection

South Africa is marked by high levels of violence and exploitation of children in places where they should be safe. All children should thrive in a safe environment.

Health & Nutrition

Health & Nutrition

No child under the age of 5 should die from preventable disease and all our children deserve long-term good health.

Children's Rights

Children's Rights

Insufficient resources prevent children from achieving their rights as enshrined in the South African Constitution. We are campaigning for a strengthened child-rights system.



The quality of education in the foundation years has a lasting impact and we are working hard to ensure that every child receives quality basic education.

News & events