An astronaut, a doctor, an artist… Ask your child what he wants to be when he grows up and he’ll probably have some big ideas. But the sad reality is that many children across the world will never grow up to realise their dreams. According to charity Save the Children, eight million children die every year before their fifth birthday from easily preventable diseases like diarrhoea and pneumonia. In the face of these statistics, the charity is launching its No Child Born To Die campaign, with support from high profile celebrities including Helena Bonham Carter, Alexandra Burke, Edith Bowman, Amanda Mealing and Natasha Kaplinsky.
Natasha, mother to Arlo, two, and Angelica, nine months, has recently returned from India where she visited the slums of Delhi and poor rural areas in Rajastan. “Seeing how little mothers and fathers have there is just so shocking,” she says. “There is one absolutely gorgeous little girl in particular who will stay with me forever. She was the same age as my daughter and half the weight. She had no nappies on and was bundled up in this random assortment of garments. When I looked into her beautiful, big eyes I thought, ‘What are you going to do? Are you going to be one of those children who dies under the age of five, or are you going to be lucky and survive?’”
As part of the campaign, Save the Children is calling for people to use their talents to help raise money that will go towards medicines, immunisations and trained healthcare workers. To raise awareness, an advert will be screened showing young children from Tanzania looking at projections of inspirational heroes, including David Beckham, Einstein and Usian Bolt.
“Whatever you are born to do you can do it and help save lives,” says Natasha. “Families can bake cakes, have street parties, dance, run. We all have it within our power to do something that makes a colossal difference.”
To find our more about the campaign, visit the Save the Children website.