When I asked Mary's Living & Giving shop in Stoke Newington if they would collaborate with me on a blog feature I didn't know the history of the charity - Save The Children. Now, having read more, I am blown away by the story of how it came to be and it seems so fitting that I write about it on my blog, because it was started by a most incredible woman. Her name was Eglantyne Jebb.
Born in 1876, Eglantyne was an educator, economist, philanthropist and social activist, a political campaigner for womens', childrens' and refugees' rights in the era of Queen Victoria. After the first world war ended, Britain still had blockades in place which left children in Europe starving. Eglantyne joined the Fight The Famine Movement and was arrested in 1919 for distributing leaflets in Trafalgar Square which had an image of a child affected by famine which she had taken herself. She was tried for her protest and found guilty but apparently the prosecuting counsel was so impressed with her that he offered to pay the £5 fine himself.
I was recently working with a client who now in later life and after a successful career in design has decided to concentrate on activism. We came across a little slip of paper in her office which had instructions for what to do if arrested - I had never thought about what one does in that event and I wonder if Eglantyne had thought it through. The fact that the prosecuting counsel was so impressed he paid her fine, tells me what a strong articulate woman she must have been, and that her passion was both compelling and persuading.
Eglantyne and her sister, Dorothy Buxton decided that campaigning alone would not be enough and in May 1919 they started the Save the Children Fund, persuading many to donate money to the plight of starving children despite the doubters who said no one would give money to 'enemy children'. A lesson to us all, to never listen to those would dissuade us from our visions and dreams and to listen only to our own gut feeling.
She was a remarkable and inspiring woman with a fascinating story who has left an ongoing legacy of humanitarian works which continues to help millions of children worldwide. You can read more on the Save The Children website
T-Shirt - Top Shop / Mary's Living & Giving, Stoke Newington
Trousers - Jaegar / Mary's Living & Giving, Stoke Newington
Jacket - Under The Cloth (Liz wears M/L size)
Shoes, earrings & ring - models own