I’m writing to ask for your urgent support for the children and their families whose lives have been torn apart by Cyclone Idai. Now that the true scale of the impact and the nature of the devastation caused by this powerful storm is becoming clear, we are launching an urgent appeal to raise £1 million to support our emergency response.
Hundreds of thousands of children and their families are in danger after the cyclone struck Mozambique, Malawi and Zimbabwe last Thursday, affecting the lives of 2.6 million people.
Cyclone Idai has brought torrential rain, flooding, landslides and fierce winds up to 170kmph. More than 1,000 people are feared dead in Mozambique, and dozens more in Malawi and Zimbabwe. As we receive more information across the three countries in the coming days, these numbers are only likely to increase.
The scale of the disaster is quickly emerging as 90% of Mozambique’s second biggest city, Beira, is underwater. Vital infrastructure like roads, bridges and communication lines have been battered and thousands of families have seen their homes and communities shattered. Families have resorted to clinging to rooftops and trees to stop them being swept away.
In emergencies like this, children are extremely vulnerable. Those who survive the risks of drowning, or being hit by flying debris, still face huge threats. They can easily become separated from their parents in the chaos. Damaged and contaminated water and sanitation systems can create the perfect breeding ground for an outbreak of water-borne diseases like cholera, which if left untreated, can be fatal. And the many children who have seen their friends and relatives seriously injured – or worse, killed – urgently need psychosocial support and protection to help them piece their lives back together.
What are we doing?
Thanks to our Emergency Fund, we were able to kick start our response before launching an appeal. We were already on the ground in Mozambique before the cyclone hit.
For instance, we deployed our specialist Emergency Health Unit – a network of doctors, nurses and logistics experts – so they could be by a child’s side as quickly as possible after the storm hit.
And now, despite the immense challenges, we’re well-placed to respond in Mozambique, Malawi and Zimbabwe. We’re working around the clock, assessing the impact of the damage and the critical needs of children and their families.
We’re already distributing emergency relief items to families who have lost their homes, including shelter supplies such as tarpaulins and ropes. We’ll also be providing buckets, jerry cans and water purification tablets so families can access clean, safe drinking water.
We’ll be helping to reunite children separated from their families and plan to set up Child Friendly Spaces – protected areas where children can recover and receive psychosocial support to help them overcome the traumatic experience.
We’ll also be setting up temporary learning spaces, so children’s education isn’t disrupted.
How you can help
If you or your company would like to donate toward the appeal, please get in touch for details of how to make a donation via bank transfer or cheque.
Organise a fundraiser
On our Cyclone Idai webpage you will find an emergency fundraising pack filled with ideas and downloadable materials such as posters and collection tin labels to help you in your fundraising.
If you would like to discuss any ideas or order additional materials, please get in touch and I will be happy to help.
We urgently need your help to reach the most vulnerable children caught up in this emergency. Right now, it is a race against the clock to save children’s lives.
By supporting our appeal, you can help children survive and protect their futures.
Faye Waters | Save the Children | Community Fundraising Manager - Surrey, Sussex and Kent
1 St John's Lane, London EC1M 4AR
Updated 11:20 - 24 Mar 2019 by Chris Pinn
Tel: + 44 7768 801 854