In the aftermath of the series of devastating tornadoes that tore through central Oklahoma in May, families continue to piece together their shattered lives. More than 93,000 people, including over 25,000 children, have been affected. Children are always the most vulnerable in an emergency, and they have experienced a loss far outside their comprehension. Many families are now homeless. Children’s daily lives and all that is familiar to them have changed dramatically.
As the national leader in child-focused disaster response and recovery programs, Save the Children was on the ground in Oklahoma assessing and addressing the needs of children within 20 hours after the first tornado struck. To date, we have reached over 5,201 people, including 2,073 children, with relief and recovery services – including setting up new Child Friendly Spaces and supporting existing child care centers; partnering with four YMCAs, a Girl Scout Camp and a theatre camp to make it possible for children impacted by the tornado to attend free of charge; and partnering with more than 30 local organizations, including the Potowatome and Absentee Shawnee Tribes to help ensure that children’s needs are prioritized and addressed.
We are committed to serving the families in the affected communities in Oklahoma for one year. Over the next year our goal is to reach 21,400 children through access to educational programs; back to school support; and key child protection activities, including our signature program, Journey of Hope, which will be introduced into the Moore Public Schools. This program helps children learn coping strategies and promotes resilience.
Save the Children creates lasting change in the lives of children in need in the United States and around the world. Their mission is to inspire breakthroughs in the way the world treats children and to achieve immediate and lasting change in their lives.