With its roots in the International Save the Children Alliance, in 1921 a committee calling themselves the Save the Children Fund was formed in Canada.
Inspired by the Friends Service Committee (a Quaker group) the Canadian committee gave a voice to concerned citizens working to improve the welfare of children. The Canadian Committee's first objective was to help provide relief for six million Russian children suffering the effects of malnutrition and famine. Hundreds of Canadians generously embraced the Russian famine relief campaign.
In the 1930's despite the depression, the Canadian Committee continued to expand sending aid to the children of China, Czechoslovakia and Spain and children affected by the Spanish Civil War.
By the early 1940's the Canadian Committee of Save the Children Fund was becoming well known across the country and was responding to the needs of children in Britain affected by the WW2 bombings. After the war, the Canadian Save the Children Fund undertook a massive program to help children in France, Greece and Italy with relief in the form of food, clothing, medical supplies and cash.
On Sept. 13, 1946 a Charter was granted incorporating, "The Canadian Save the Children Fund." It was the first Commonwealth branch to become a completely independent Save the Children Fund. Her Majesty the Queen and the Viscountess Alexander of Tunis were among the Fund's early patrons. In the late 1940's and early 1950's organizing committees were formed in Ottawa, Hamilton, Edmonton, Cornwall, Aylmer, Guelph and in Regina. By the 1970's there were 67 Save the Children branches across Canada.
In 1945, the Canadian Save the Children Fund introduced an imaginative sponsorship plan whereby refugee children from Yugoslavia who were sheltered in Sweden could be sponsored by a Canadian for $96 per year.
In the 1950's the energies of the Fund were directed toward the countries of the Middle and Far East, in particular, Korea. In the 1960's and 1970's, the Canadian Save the Children Fund, helped finance a Clinic and Convalescent Center for children burned and crippled by the war in Vietnam. In addition money was sent to programs in Jamaica and Hong Kong designed to improve the quality of education for children, and in Canada to improve the lives of Native Canadians in northern Ontario. Furthermore, in the 1970's in cooperation with the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA), the Canadian Save the Children Fund took part in an important pilot project providing one million vaccinations for polio to the Government of Thailand's immunization program in the Bangkok area.
In the 1980's and 1990's, the Canadian Save the Children Fund expanded programs to areas in Canada, Asia, Africa, the Middle East and South America to reach children in need and continued to provide emergency relief. In 1988, we changed our name to Save the Children Canada and in 1998 the Save the Children Fund of British Columbia legally merged with Save the Children Canada.
Today, Save the Children Canada works in Canada and 120 countries overseas to bring immediate and lasting improvements to children's lives through the realization of their rights. Save the Children Canada focuses on the issues of Health and Nutrition, Education, HIV and AIDS, Child Protection, Emergency Relief and Child Rights Governance.
Find out more about what we do.