20 Nov 2015

Championing children every day

Because every child deserves to survive and thrive, today and in the future.

We are celebrating #ChildrensDay by reminding ourselves what we were like as children. We’ve had fun sharing photos of CIFF staff as babies, toddlers and infants. We believe passionately that every child deserves to survive and thrive, today and in the future. That is not currently the case for far too many children around the around. It is humbling to recognise how extraordinarily lucky we were as kids.

CIFF staff as children

Working with partners to champion children every day

We work with a wide range of partners to transform the lives of children. From developing strong brains and bodies with good care and nutrition; seeking high returns by investing in early learning; to securing a healthy and sustainable future for children by supporting the urgent transition to a low carbon economy.

Our approach is to test ourselves to see the world differently. We try and view the complex world for children from different perspectives. This sometimes involves not accepting the status quo, trying different approaches to seemingly intractable challenges for children, analysing data and evidence of what does and does not work and taking on neglected issues.

One of CIFF’s early investments in children’s health was to increase treatment and care for paediatric AIDS. Working with partners, the programme played a catalytic role in increasing the number of children who were properly treated for HIV. By underwriting the cost of children’s antiretroviral medications, CIFF and other funders helped shape a market for a long-neglected area in children’s health. The result has helped reduce the wide disparity between adults and children for AIDS diagnosis and treatment.

Work in this area continues with a global partnership to enable 300,000 more African children living with HIV to receive life-saving treatment. We have seen extraordinary results from Zimbabwe in reducing mother-to-child transmission of HIV. The transmission rate has plummeted and the programme has prevented more than 38,000 babies from being infected with HIV.

Strong brains and bodies…

Another neglected area is malnourished children. Investing in children’s nutrition has the power to trigger big economic and social changes. Children with well-developed brains and bodies have better life chances. They live longer and healthier lives, they do better in school and grow into healthy and productive adults. We have an ambitious grant portfolio and are seeing some promising results.

In Nigeria, thousands of children’s lives have been saved by a transformative approach to treating severe acute malnutrition at local health facilities and at home. We are also seeing exciting results from investments to bring down the costs of Ready-to-Use-Therapeutic Food – crucial for treating severely malnourished children.

Over the past year, we have begun funding large scale nutrition programmes in EthiopiaTanzania and Bangladesh.

For children to survive and thrive, we are investing for the here and now as well as the future. By sharing past photos of each other as kids, we recognise the extraordinary luck and opportunities we have had growing up in terms of health, education and job prospects.

…and a healthy planet

We are acutely aware that climate change poses an unprecedented global risk to the children we know and love, and to future generations. It requires urgent action but we are optimistic that pledges to cut emissions and phase out greenhouse gases have triggered an unstoppable momentum towards a low carbon economy.

With a healthy and sustainable future, our children’s children can also share photos of youth, innocence and unimaginable potential.