Hundred years of heroism Hundred years of heroism

Hundred years of heroism

Everyone has a chance to build a better future for children

For one hundred years, Save the Children Finland has been improving the lives of children both in Finland and all over the world. Our mission is to continue until our work is no longer needed. We are a strong Finnish non-governmental organization improving children’s lives everywhere. Save the Children Finland is part of the Save the Children movement and organization, which operates in over 120 countries.

This year we are celebrating children’s heroes.

These heroes can be volunteers, supporters, sponsors, members, partners or role models. One single and safe adult can have a lasting impact on a child’s entire life.

Join us in creating new heroic stories.


Ester Ståhlberg was Save the Children Finland’s first children’s hero, who through her actions changed the way in which children are cared for in Finland right to this day. Following in her footsteps, Save the Children Finland is committed to uncompromisingly continuing the work until we are no longer needed.

The work of Save the Children Finland is made possible by those people – children’s heroes – who through their own actions improve the lives of children both in Finland and around the world. These heroes include our volunteers, supporters, sponsors, members, partners, and employees as well as average people and organisations that promote children’s rights in several different ways.

These heroes make it possible for us to help the children in the most vulnerable conditions and when the need is greatest.

As it is our centenary year, we wish to thank all the children’s heroes who have supported us during the past century and invite new heroes to join us in building a better future for children.

 Save the Children Finland – shaping heroic stories for a hundred years

A hundred years ago, on the 4th of February 1922, the organisation Homes for Homeless Children was founded under the leadership of Ester Ståhlberg, the spouse of the President of the Republic of Finland, to help children affected by the Finnish Civil War. In 1945 the organisation was renamed Pelastakaa Lapset ry – Rädda Barnen rf (Save the Children Finland), and in 1997 it joined the international Save the Children organization.

In its first year of operation, the organisation helped 150 children in Finland. Now, a hundred years later, Save the Children’s work in Finland has expanded and diversified, involving as many as 45,000 children a year.

Save the Children Finland is today one of the thirty members of Save the Children International. Together, these members form the world’s leading organisation for children’s rights, spanning to over 120 countries and helping tens of millions of children every year.

For children’s rights in Finland and around the world

Save the Children Finland operates as a politically and religiously independent non-governmental organisation that promotes the rights of the child and helps children living in difficult conditions. Our vision is a world in which every child attains the right to survival, protection, development and participation.

Save the Children’s mission is to inspire breakthroughs in the way the world treats children and to achieve immediate and lasting change in their lives. Our aim is to bring about immediate and lasting improvements in children’s lives both in Finland and around the world. We achieve this goal through high-quality professional work, child policy advocacy work and assistance to children and families with children, giving attention in all to the child’s own participation.

At present, the organisation’s work in Finland involves provision of high-quality child welfare services which include foster care, non-institutional social care, and support to family services as part of social welfare.

Another key part of our domestic activities is preventive work with children and families, including support persons, support families, sports mentors and holiday homes.

Save the Children’s work in Finland also includes expert and development work, as well as advocacy work. Promotion of children’s rights in digital world, for example, is one of the organisation’s rapidly developing areas of expertise. Through the national network of local associations, Save the Children Finland supports low-income families with children through its ‘Eväitä Elämälle’ (Fuel for life) programme.

Save the Children Finland’s international work is based on long-term development cooperation projects and humanitarian aid. We currently have projects in 14 countries across three continents. These projects focus on child poverty reduction, strengthening child protection and securing education, health services and nutrition for every child.

As part of Save the Children International, our humanitarian work helps children and their families affected by conflicts, natural hazards and other crises around the world.

Read more about our history