Children don't start wars
It’s shocking that so many children are innocent victims of war. Today, one in six children worldwide are living in conflict-affected areas, says Louise James from War Child.
During war, children lose their homes, their family, their friends and their childhood. Abduction, violence and recruitment into armed groups are just some of the challenges these children face.
War Child exists to support vulnerable children in conflict-affected places in the world. From providing access to juvenile justice for children in Afghanistan, to facilitating education for displaced families in northern Iraq or helping children who’ve been in armed groups in the Central African Republic reintegrate into communities, War Child is on the front line of some of the world’s most dangerous places.
Guided by the needs of children, we provide support in three ways:
- protection – providing safe environments for children to live, play and learn, and psychological first aid to help them overcome the trauma of conflict
- education – removing barriers to education and providing literacy and numeracy skills
- livelihoods – delivering life skills and business development training to vulnerable young people and their parents and siblings.
These interventions ensure that children not only survive the shock and devastation of conflict, but can begin a sustainable recovery, so that they can support the peaceful rebuilding of their communities.
More children are displaced and affected by war than ever before, so War Child’s work has never been more urgently needed.
Which is why we’re so pleased that Prospect has chosen to work with us. Last year, we reached more than 120,000 children affected by conflict. With support from Prospect and its members, we hope to reach and transform the lives of thousands more.
Together, we can change the lives of children like Ruqiya. Ruqiya lives in a displacement camp in northern Iraq and attends a War Child children’s centre with her sister where they take part in creative activities with games and group discussions to improve their resilience and coping skills.
Ruqiya told the charity that she feels better since she started attending the War Child sessions and before she started them she “had no hope”.
She told a member of staff: “I love War Child because I made friends there. And I love the facilitators because they are so nice. We love it so much.” Ruqiya feels excited about her future now and wants to be a lawyer or a footballer when she grows up.
How to get involved
We are very excited to work with Prospect members to support children affected by war. To kick off your fundraising, why not take part in our ‘Wear it for War Child’ campaign – the dress-down day with a difference?
To mark War Child’s rich musical history, wear your favourite band T shirt to work in exchange for donations, take a picture and run a competition for the most original snap! Or, get your hands on our T-shirts designed by the biggest names in fashion at www.wearitforwarchild.com.
Help make hunger and poverty in the UK a thing of the past
The partnership between the Trussell Trust and Prospect provides opportunities to join together to fight poverty in the UK, says Emma Revie, chief executive of the Trussell Trust.
In the UK, more than 14 million people are living in poverty. As a nation, we don’t expect anyone to be left hungry or destitute. Illness, disability, a family breakdown or the loss of a job can happen to any of us.
The Trussell Trust supports more than 1,200 food bank centres in the UK to provide a minimum of three days’ nutritionally-balanced emergency food to people who have been referred in crisis, as well as support to help people resolve the crises they face.
Since the Trussell Trust was founded 21 years ago, the demand for emergency food has risen at an alarming rate.
In the past year, our food bank network distributed 1.6 million three-day emergency food parcels to people in crisis, a 19% increase on the previous year. More than half a million of these went to children. This is unacceptable.
Shirley, who had to use a food bank herself and now volunteers for Southwark Foodbank in the Trussell Trust, said: “No one should need to ever use a food bank but sometimes things happen to people that are completely out of their control.
“I was thrown into an unknown world. I didn’t have any money for three months while waiting for Universal Credit. I couldn’t pay my rent and I had to work out whether to eat in the morning or the afternoon because I didn’t have enough money for the basics.
“The food bank got me back on my feet and offered me hope that things would get better. That’s why I volunteer my time at Southwark Foodbank. People shouldn’t feel embarrassed if they’re forced to use a food bank – they are there to help you.”
We know it takes more than food to end hunger. That’s why we bring together the experiences of food banks in our network to challenge the structural economic issues that lock people into poverty, and campaign to end the need for food banks in the UK.
On a local level, food banks in our network have had to expand the level of support they provide in order to keep up with the growing need from people facing poverty.
From running holiday clubs to budgeting courses, many of the food banks in our network are already providing more than food projects and building local connections to address the causes of poverty in their community.
The Trussell Trust’s chief executive Emma Revie said: “Ultimately, it’s unacceptable that anyone should have to use a food bank in the first place. No charity can replace the dignity of having financial security.
“That’s why in the long-term, we’re urging the Government to ensure benefit payments reflect the true cost of living and work is secure, paying the real Living Wage, to help ensure we are all anchored from poverty.
“Only together can we enact lasting change, and that’s why we are so grateful for your support."
You can find out more at www.trusselltrust.org/ or contact the fundraising team at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Download a calendar which has lots of ideas on how you can get involved.