“Little children don’t have a voice, or any control over their own lives, which makes them vulnerable. The message that should resonate around the world is that we are all responsible for all of the children all of the time.”
– Anne Geddes
Anne Geddes and her husband and business partner, Kel, are committed to “giving back” and honoring the preciousness of children. Anne works with a select group of charities and campaigns that she feels passionate about.
Anne and her husband Kel started The Geddes Philanthropic trust in 1992, after the release of Anne’s first calendar. Since then, designated funds from a range of Anne Geddes products have been donated to organizations around the world to help prevent child abuse and neglect and other select causes. To date, the non-profit Geddes Philanthropic Trust has donated more than US$5.7 million around the World including Australia, New Zealand, Asia, Europe, and the United States.
The mission of the Geddes Philanthropic Trust is threefold. To raise worldwide awareness regarding issues of vulnerability of Children. To provide funds to selected institutions or groups that can make a direct difference. To establish Fellowships around the world, as incentives for doctors and other medical professionals to train and continue to work in this very important area.
Over the years in which the Geddes Philanthropic Trust has supported various organizations, it has become apparent that one of the most important benefits in the fight against child abuse has come from providing financial assistance for doctors to devote a year’s study in the field of child abuse. The doctors then take the knowledge they have gained out into the greater community and also pass it on to others, thereby building up a network of skilled people.
This Fellowship was set up in 1998 and ran for some twelve years and has been a resounding success. In 2005, Professor Kim Oates, the former CEO of The Children’s Hospital at Westmead, wrote in a letter to the Trust that most of the child protection specialists in New South Wales, Australia, have had their opportunity for training as a direct result of having been a Geddes Fellow.
This Fellowship was set up in 2006 and ran for five years providing funding for training and development of staff for the Suspected Child Abuse and Neglect Unit of the Hospital and the greater community. The team at CHOC conducts the initial consultations, follows cases, reviews charts and attends court appearances.
This three-year Fellowship commenced later in 2007 for training and development of medical staff for Te Puaruruhau, the multi-agency child abuse centre established to make abuse investigations and resulting treatment processes easier for families and children. The Geddes Philanthropic Trust also provided funding for travel expenses for the Fellows of the various Fellowships to enable them to visit each other’s health facilities and to attend conferences on child abuse and neglect.
Children’s Hospital of Orange County
The Kempe Foundation for the Prevention and Treatment of Child Abuse and Neglect
National Association for the Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect
National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children
Starship Children’s Hospital
The Children’s Hospital at Westmead
Doctors for Sexual Abuse Care
Anne Geddes has made a commitment to join United Nations Secretary-General’s Every Woman Every Child initiative to help raise awareness about the need to improve the health of women and children in developing countries. After meeting with the United Nation’s Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon during his trip to Australia in 2012, Anne was proud to announce her partnership with the United Nation’s Every Woman Every Child initiative, which she hopes will continue to help make the health and welfare of pregnant women, and newborn children, a global priority.
Anne’s contributions and outreach in support of Every Woman Every Child thus far have included:
“Every ninety seconds around the world, a woman dies either in pregnancy or in childbirth,” said Anne Geddes. “And in ninety percent of these cases, the causes are preventable.”
Every Woman Every Child is an unprecedented global movement to save the lives of millions of women and children. Anne has joined Every Woman Every Child partners — individuals, philanthropists, governments, the business community, civil society and nongovernmental organizations (CSOs and NGOs), health care professionals, and academic and research institutions — in a pledge to advocate for action to reduce the preventable deaths of women and children. The movement’s goals include training more midwives, providing better family planning services, improving access to emergency obstetric care, extending access to life-saving vaccines, and preventing mother-to-child transmission of HIV/AIDS.
To learn more about Every Woman Every Child: http://www.everywomaneverychild.org/
One child dies every 20 seconds from a disease that could be prevented from with a vaccine. Why? Because one in five children lack access to the life-saving immunizations that keep children healthy.
Anne is proud to be a Global Advocate for Shot@Life, a United Nation’s Foundation campaign which aims to provide access to basic life-saving immunizations to children in the developing world. In April 2012, Anne attended and spoke at the launch of Shot@Life in Atlanta, USA which was also attended by Kathy Calvin, Chief Executive Officer, United Nations Foundation; and former First Lady Rosalynn Carter.
Through her photographic work, sharing of images, social media and press engagements Anne advocates for the importance of raising money and awareness to provide vaccines that prevent four key diseases in the third world; pneumonia, diarrhoea, measles and polio. Every year 1.5 million children die every year from these vaccine preventable diseases. In fact, pneumonia and diarrhea are the two biggest killers of children under five, and account for more than one-third of childhood deaths worldwide.
To learn more: http://shotatlife.org/
In September 2013 Anne began a photographic series featuring survivors of Meningococcal disease. The campaign will see Anne partner with meningococcal disease support groups from around the world, photographing 10–15 families across three continents who have experienced the impact of meningococcal disease. Through a series of emotive and inspirational photographs, the campaign aims to educate parents about the threat of meningococcal disease and the importance of prevention and vaccinations, whilst celebrating survivors and honoring those who have lost their lives to the disease Anne hopes the campaign will inspire parents to do what they can to protect their children against this terrible disease. “You just need to look at one of these children and you’ll understand the impact of this devastating disease. I’ve never met a parent who doesn’t want to protect their child, and as a mother it really would be your worst nightmare to see your child go through such an ordeal. We need to empower parents to understand meningococcal disease, to and know their options to help protect their children.It is my goal that these images will capture the inspiration and strength of these survivors, and at the same time I want their own parents to look at the images and think their children have never looked so beautiful.”
These images will be showcased in an eBook on World Meningitis Day on April 24th 2014
For the first time in 2013, Anne will be lending her voice and images to the March of Dimes World Prematurity Day campaign. March of Dimes helps mothers around the world to have full-term pregnancies and healthy newborn babies.
This is a cause that is very close to Anne’s heart. In fact, one of Anne’s most iconic images; Jack Holding Maneesha (1993), features a tiny premature baby cradled in strong hands.
Anne tells the story;
“Maneesha is pretty much a shining example of how a little baby can start off in such a fragile state and grow into a beautiful young woman. I have an even deeper sense of the fragility and preciousness of life now, than when I photographed Maneesha so many years ago, weighing less than 2.2 pounds. (one kilo) Maneesha was the smallest baby I had ever photographed. She was born prematurely at 28 weeks’ gestation, and was just about to leave the hospital after a long stay. Naturally, I was concerned that there be absolutely no risk involved. I must have kept repeating this to the specialist pediatrician at the hospital without realizing it. He finally said I should stop worrying; he understood what I was trying to achieve, and he would put me in touch with the parents of a baby at the hospital whom he thought would be perfect. I can’t imagine how emotional it must have been for Jack to hold to hold such a tiny and precious human being; watching them both was certainly one of my most moving experiences. That day was the first time Maneesha had been completely disconnected from all of her machinery, and I remember, when I settled her into Jack’s huge hands and was photographing her, the look of amazement and wonder on her mother’s face.”
Maneesha is now a beautiful, strong, smart and healthy young woman and remains in close contact with Anne.
In July 2013 Maneesha spent a week at Anne’s studio as an intern. Anne says of this time, “It was so special to see Maneesha assisting in the studio, it felt a little unreal to see this lovely young lady who I have photographed nearly 19 years ago working beside me.”
On World Prematurity Day, observed each November, the March of Dimes joins with parent groups and organizations in countries around the world to raise awareness about premature birth and how it can be prevented. Premature births tragically cause a 1 baby to die every 30 seconds, and every year 15 million babies are born too early. A large focus of World Prematurity Day is raising awareness of the devastating survival gap between the first and third world. When a premature baby is born in a high-income country 10% pass away. In a low income country a devastating figure of 90% of premature babies will not survive.
To learn more; http://www.marchofdimes.com/