The International Step by Step Association, “ISSA is a membership association which serves as a learning community and champion for quality and equity for all children and their families” (n.d.). This organization also wants to be sure each child reaches his/her, “unique, full potential and welcomes all organizations and individuals who have the same ambition” (n.d.). There are members in over 40 countries with over 70 groups with memberships. “While ISSA offers membership and information-sharing to all interested individuals and organizations, ISSA’s full members are non-governmental organizations, located primarily in Europe and Central Asia (n.d.). The members work to be sure children have the best quality care and education, especially for the most needy. “ISSA’s Goals are to: Advocate for and support competent Early Childhood systems for all children, especially the most vulnerable. Increase awareness of the importance of Early Childhood Development and of a qualified workforce. Be a leading Early Childhood network and learning community that promotes quality, equitable and integrated services for children, families and practitioners” (n.d.). “Upon request, ISSA offers online courses or in-person trainings for early childhood education and care professionals, administrators, parents, staff of international organizations and other stakeholders. The training courses can be offered in several languages and will be tailored to the needs of participants” (n.d.). Courses offered are: Early Childhood Development, Quality in Early Childhood Education, Quality in Home Visiting Services, Embracing Diversity, and Second Language Learning. This appears to be a wonderful organization which provides a great deal of support. However, I was unable to find any job posting on this site.
According to their website, “Save the Children invests in childhood – every day, in times of crisis and for our future. In the United States and around the world, we give children a healthy start, the opportunity to learn and protection from harm. By transforming children’s lives now, we change the course of their future and ours” (n.d.). It is their goal to change the world one child at a time and also by putting, “children first – giving them what they need to grow up happy and healthy” (n.d.). They reach out to children in 120 countries (including the United States) around the world and have touched the lives of 185 million children. There are several ways in which a person can become involved with Save the Children. One way is to Take Action through Run a Race…Save a Child’s Life, Support At-Risk Kids, or simply by Spreading the Word. Another way is to become involved in their Campaigns such as Be a Champion for Child Refugees, Investing in Childhood, or Save the Children Action Network. Finally, one can become a Strategic Partner in the following ways: Corporate Partners, Foundations, and/or Individual Philanthropists. This organization began in the 1930’s when, “Initial programs provide clothing, school supplies and hot lunches to school children in Harlan County, Kentucky” (n.d.). In 1938, “The International Save the Children Fund of America becomes Save the Children Federation and Expansion to Europe: Clothing, food, blankets and medicine go to children displaced by World War II in Austria, England, Finland, France, Germany and Italy” (n.d.).
Save the Children does have job listing on their website. The list is somewhat long, but I did come across one particular job which gained my attention. It was the position of Education Manager in Greece for 6 months. “The Education Manager will lead education interventions at a field level, as part of the Greece response. S/he will lead on programme design and implementation, budget holding, coordination, and support recruitment and procurement and link with other sectors as appropriate. S/he will be expected to mentor and build the capacity of the education team in the assigned field location. The Education Manager will be responsible for the overall quality and effective implementation of the programme” (n.d.). It is desired one possess, “Greek or Arabic or Farsi language skills. Experience working with children on the move or with refugees in middle or high income countries. Previous first phase emergency response experience. In order to be qualified for the position though, one must:
- Minimum of 3 years’ experience working in the field of Education in Emergencies, or significant experience managing large-scale educational programmes for non-profit or development organisations
- Experience of project management
- Good team leader, including the ability to manage, support and develop a small team
- Experience of preparing funding proposals and reports for donors
- Budget development and financial management skills.
- Experience of delivering training, and mentoring staff
- Experience of applying relevant interagency humanitarian frameworks and standards in education in emergencies (for example INEE Minimum Standards)
- Experience of representation, including on coordination mechanisms (e.g. Education Cluster or working group)
- Ability to achieve results, including when working alone
- A high level of written and spoken English
- Excellent communication skills
- Politically and culturally sensitive with qualities of patience, tact and diplomacy
- Strong influencing skills and experience in advocacy
- Able to manage stress, be flexible and accommodating in difficult and frustrating working circumstances
- Commitment to the aims and principles of SC. In particular, a good understanding of the SC mandate and child focus and an ability to ensure this continues to underpin our support
- EU Residents or holders of valid EU work permit preferred (evidence will be requested) (n.d.)
While looking over their lists of what Save the Children wants and requires of one looking at this position, I do not feel I would be qualified in several areas. I also do not have a desire to work outside of the country.
The final organization I came across was UNICEF-United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund, but later shortened to United Nations Children’s Fund. UNICEF works to protect the rights of every child in 190 countries and territories for over the past 70 years. The programs, “They currently offer are: Child Protection and Inclusion, Child Survival, Education, UNICEF in Emergencies, Gender, Innovation for Children, Supply and Logistics, and Research and Analysis. UNICEF’s mission is, “The world has changed, but children’s needs have not. See how UNICEF’s commitment to children remains as strong as ever despite the complexities of our world” (n.d.). UNICEF has an “Executive Board helps make certain that the best path is followed, as efficiently as possible” (n.d.). They also partner with certain organizations and committees on behalf of the world’s children, especially the United Nations. UNICEF has a variety of jobs open all over the world. One job which caught my attention is Child Protection Specialist. “The Child Protection Specialist is responsible for support of the development and preparation of the Child Protection (or a sector of) programs/projects and for managing, implementing, monitoring, evaluating and reporting of progress of child protection programs/projects within the country program” (n.d.). The qualifications UNICEF is looking for is: “An advanced university degree (Master’s degree or equivalent) in international development, human rights, psychology, sociology, international law and other social science related field is required. A minimum of five (5) years of professional experience in social development planning and management in the field of child protection and other related areas is required. Relevant experience in child protection and related areas (i.e. urban violence context), program/project development is considered desirable. Previous relevant work experience in UN system and/or agency is considered an asset. Experience in both development and humanitarian contexts is considered an asset.
Fluency in Portuguese and English is required. Knowledge of an additional UN Language (Arabic, Chinese, Russian, Spanish) is considered an asset” (n.d.). While this sounds like an exciting job is is again not one I am interested in having. For starters, I am only fluent in English and another is I do not have experience in child protection and related areas, nor with the UN system.
I found each of these organizations to be fascinating, as well as, quality programs looking out for the best interest for the children of the world. Who knows where the children of the world might be if these great organizations were not fighting for them. While people think things are awful for children around the world these days, imagine what it would be like without these organizations fighting for them daily.
International Step By Step Association. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.issa.nl/index.html
Save the Children. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.savethechildren.org/site/c.8rKLIXMGIpI4E/b.6115947/k.8D6E/Official_Site.htm
United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF). (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.unicef.org/.