What We Are Doing

Norwegian children demand for all children to grow up healthy! 1 Sep 2015

"We want all children to grow up healthy!" - the sound of 200 children drifted with the wind towards the city centre of Arendal, where politicians discussed health issues on the last day of the political festival “Arendalsuka” in Norway.

The Norwegian minister of health, Mr. Bent Høie, heard the children, and promised to keep up the work for child survival, as he received the red baton at the finishing line.

Teachers and pupils from the seven participating schools were well prepared and equipped before the event of Race for Survival Norway. As a run-up to the race they had been conducting activities and discussions learning about various health challenges faced by children around the world. They also painted their own t-shirts for running, by choosing one topic to run for - vaccines, health workers, medicines, water or food. After days of political discussions among adults, the children took over the city and painted it in Race for Survival colors.

Since June we have been building up momentum for the race, using the online challenge - “Donate your kilometers to Race for Survival”. By the race day we had collected 13 000 kilometers virally, from Norwegians running in support for the children on their way to New York. People posted a picture of their trainers and challenged their friends. During the political festival we invited politicians and the public to run on a treadmill in support for the race. The Minister of Children, Ms. Solveig Horne, was one of the many politicians who contributed.

We were lucky to get one of Norway’s biggest children’s TV celebrities, Margrethe Røed, to host the race. Together with chemists from the Children’s Science Centre in Arendal, she pulled a show that served to warm up the children’s brains as well as their bodies.

Four Action/2015 ambassadors lead one group each, as the children lined up at the starting line. “Remember, this race is not about crossing the finishing line first, but to help each other bring the baton safely across it”, was the last message before the starting shot sent the kids towards the city center. A few minutes later, Magnus (8) could hand the baton to the Minister of Health, who said in his speech: “Running for survival is not just about running away from what is dangerous, it is just as much about running towards safety.” Magnus told Bent Høie to bring the  baton to UN in New York in September. 

On behalf of Save the Children Norway, Mr Høie received a framed check list for his work with global health. Intensified effort to educate more health workers were among the key messages. "I’ll put it on my desk to remind myself", he said.