Natasha Kaplinsky OBE is one of the UK’s best-known broadcasters, having presented the news for Sky News, BBC News and Channel 5, and now appearing on ITV and ITV London Tonight. Since 2010, Natasha has been a hardworking and dedicated Ambassador for Save the Children, working both publicly and behind the scenes to help campaign and fundraise for the many different areas of their work. Natasha’s support has included visiting Save the Children projects all over the world, including India, South Africa, Mozambique and Sierra Leone, and in 2011, Natasha played a pivotal role in launching their biggest campaign yet, No Child Born to Die.
“We believe in a world where every girl has the power to determine her own future. The triple threat of conflict, climate change and the ongoing impact of COVID-19 is putting girls’ ability to survive, learn and be protected at risk. History shows in times of crisis, women and girls are so often hit the hardest and amongst the most vulnerable.”
From South Africa to Sussex
My father is a political refugee from South Africa, so I spent much of my upbringing in a highly politicised environment. We lived in Kenya until I was eight and then swapped weekend safaris for the grey, wet English countryside. I went to the village primary and then moved to the local comprehensive. From there I went to an A-Level college in Brighton and then landed a place at Oxford to read English at Hertford College.
Breaking into the media
After graduating, I taught myself to touch type and moved through the BBC, initially in the secretarial pool. It wasn’t long before my first break came and I applied to be a presenter on a new channel called Talk TV. Sasha Baron-Cohen was my first on-screen husband. Over the years I have had many more as I worked my way through the newsrooms anchoring the news for Sky, The BBC, Channel 5, and ITV.
Becoming a Save the Children ambassador
Since 2010, I have been a dedicated ambassador for Save the Children and have been passionate about connecting like-minded women to form a powerful and influential network. I enjoy working both publicly and behind the scenes to help campaign and fundraise for Save the Children’s work, from launching Save the Children’s biggest campaign yet, No Child Born to Die, aimed at making sure every child has access to lifesaving healthcare, to supporting our COVID-19 fundraising efforts and ensuring we remained connected to our incredible supporters throughout the crisis.
I am fortunate to have visited Save the Children programmes all over the world – from India to Sierra Leone, Mozambique to Lebanon, and Jordan to Uganda.
I am immensely proud to be a founding member of Save the Children UK’s Women’s Network, launched in 2020 and a chapter of our female philanthropic global movement One Hundred Strong. We came together to commit funds and advocate our gender equality and girls’ empowerment movement through the Girls’ Impact Fund and I am excited by what we have already achieved in such a short space of time.
Helping every child get the chance of a future they deserve
Save the Children exists to help every child get the chance of a future they deserve. In more than 100 countries, including the UK, we help children stay safe, healthy and learning – finding new ways to reach children who need us most. We lead the way on tackling big problems like child pneumonia, hunger and protecting children in war, while making sure each child’s unique needs are cared for.
For over a century, we’ve stood up for children and made sure their voices are heard. We wrote the treaty that sets out the rights of every child – and we’ve been upholding them every day since. With children, for children, we change the future for good.
Supporting Save the Children
As an ambassador for Save the Children, I have been fortunate enough to be involved in fantastic campaigns both publicly and behind the scenes, championing children’s rights and ensuring their voices are heard. I am proud to be regularly raising awareness on children’s rights, whether in Parliament, through the media or my personal networks.
This year I led a Climate Action Forum in Parliament, lobbying for the climate crisis to be seen through a gender lens. Earlier this year I also had the privilege of opening the world’s first research hub for treating child blast injuries launching Save the Children’s partnership with Imperial College London to establish a Centre for Paediatric Blast Injury Studies.
As a founding member of Save the Children UK’s Women’s Network, I support the team with an array of amazing online and in-person events every year, namely International Women’s Day and International Day of the Girl. These are fantastic moments to bring our Network and friends of Save the Children together to stand in solidarity with women and girls around the world and champion gender equality. The list goes on and on! Whenever anyone from Save asks if I am available to help, I always say: “Yes! What is the question?!”
A world where every girl has the power to determine her own future
We believe in a world where every girl has the power to determine her own future. The triple threat of conflict, climate change and the ongoing impact of COVID-19 is putting girls’ ability to survive, learn and be protected at risk. History shows in times of crisis, women and girls are so often hit the hardest and amongst the most vulnerable.
In our Global Girlhood Report, produced for the 10th anniversary of International Day of the Girl last year, we conducted a first-of-its-kind data analysis into a key issue facing girls – the effect of conflict on child marriage. Our research found that almost 1 in 5 adolescent girls live in conflict zones, at heightened risk of child marriage. Globally, girls affected by conflict are more than 20% more likely to marry as children than those living outside of conflict zones.
But there is hope for girls around the world. We are driving equality with and for girls, creating more locally-led and gender-transformative ways of working to address inequality. Women and girls’ empowerment is key to building a more just, peaceful and sustainable future, and Save the Children is working to promote the realisation of girls’ rights through programming and advocacy work for sustainable, systemic change.
Coming together to mark International Day of the Girl around the world each year is a monumental moment to bring champions of gender equality together in solidarity with women and girls around the world. It is a moment to reflect and celebrate our achievements to date, to listen to girls’ voices and champion their rights and to strive for progress for future generations.
Partnering with Warner Bros. Discovery, Mattel, and the movie ‘Barbie’
Save the Children was established by a remarkable woman, Eglantyne Jebb, who believed she could accomplish things others didn’t believe were possible. That legacy still guides us today as we work to see girls everywhere embrace their potential.
This is why we are so excited to partner with Warner Bros. Discovery, Mattel, and the movie ‘Barbie’ to provide girls around the world with access to education and resources, encouraging them to believe in their own potential and achieve their dreams.
The partnership focuses on girls’ empowerment, highlighting how Save the Children supports girls with access to the learning resources they need to build confidence and excel in school while ensuring all children have equal opportunities to achieve success.
There has been an incredibly positive response to the partnership. Internationally, our partnership with the ‘Barbie’ movie will support Save the Children’s girls’ empowerment programming by providing services across education, health, justice and child protection sectors. Save the Children is helping enable girls to expand their aspirations, strengthen their voices, exercise more choice and decision-making power, and ensure young women and girls have greater influence and control over all aspects of their lives.
How the Womanthology community can get involved
I believe in a world where every girl has the power to determine her own future – and every woman has the responsibility to help those less fortunate than themselves.
Save the Children UK’s Women’s Network unites a remarkable group of women who are passionate about gender equality. We come together to learn, connect, advocate and pledge funds towards creating lasting difference in the lives of women and girls around the world.
We pioneered the Girls’ Impact Fund, a new funding mechanism to transform how Save the Children supports girls, placing participation at the heart of our work. Through the fund, we’re dedicating money to programmes and activities that are designed for, and with, girls. After all, girls are the experts in their own lives. They are best positioned to speak on the challenges they face and suggest effective solutions. We’re listening to their voices and working to give them the power and resources they need to take control of their future.
Together with girls, our Save the Children colleagues across the globe, and our partners, we’re on a journey to promote the universal realisation of girls’ rights and gender equality. And we will celebrate and push for sustainable, systemic change every step of the way. Join us!
To find out more about how you can get involved in our Women’s Network or support our Girls’ Impact Fund, visit www.savethechildren.org.uk/about-us/who-we-work-with/womens-network or email us at: email@example.com.
Coming up next
I consider myself to be extremely fortunate as I hold a number of roles that I really enjoy and take great pride in. A recent addition to my diary has been to take on the position of president at the British Board of Film Classification. Basically, that means that I sign off on the age ratings for every film released in the country. It is a glamorous job with a very important purpose — to ensure that people (particularly children) make the right viewing choices.
I feel incredibly lucky to hold positions like this and still have the time and opportunity to focus on the work I have been involved with at Save the Children. I look forward to continuing to expand our Women’s Network and Girls’ Impact Fund, championing gender equality and children’s rights. There is always so much to be done and I feel fortunate to have an incredible team around me to support our ambitions.
Main image credit: Hanna Adcock / Save the Children
Natasha Kaplinsky image credit: Ian Derry