Child War is a group of independent humanitarian organizationswhich work together to help children and young people affected by armed conflict. Their goal is the protection, development and survival rights forchildren who are living with or recovering from the effects of armed conflict.
War Child International has been working inAfghanistan, Burundi, Chechnya, Colombia, DRCongo, Ethiopia, Iraq, Israel, Kosovo, Lebanon, Liberia, Sierra Leone, SriLanka, Sudan, Uganda, West Bank and Gaza.
War Child International implements projectsaccording to the following themes•Child protection: to protect children and youngpeople against the consequences of armed conflict.•Education: to enable children and young peoplesaccess to education.•Justice: to ensure children and young peoplesaccess to justice when their rights are violated.•Livelihoods: to build sustainable local livelihoodsthat address children and young peoplesfundamental needs.•Psychosocial: to stimulate children and youngpeoples own psychological and social development.
HISTORYThe organization was founded in the UK in 1993. by British filmmakers Bill Leeson and David Wilson when theyreturned from covering the war in former Yugoslavia. Shocked by what they had seen, they raised enoughmoney to return later that year with a convoy and mobile bakery to help provide for the children affected bythe conflict.
The War Child family soon grew as War Child Holland was formed in 1994 and WarChild Canada started in 1998. Followed by War child US, Ireland and Australia.Since its founding, War Child has achieved many successes. Hundreds ofthousands of children have been reached with War Child programs in a largenumber of warzones around the world
MUSIC- War Child created a firstalbum Help’ that waslaunched in 1995 in order toraise money and awarenessfor the children affected bythe bloody conflicts in theBalkans.- Since then they have beenusing music as a way toraise funds and awarenessas well as a tool for therapy.Indeed the organizationuses music to reinforce thepsychological and socialdevelopment and thewelfare of the children.-Through music the childrenlearn to express theiremotions, escape their dailylives and learn respect forone another.
Professor Nigel Osborne delivering one of his pioneering music therapy sessions fortraumatized children in Sarajevo.
Their main goal:- Providing medical care, counselingto girls who have been the victims ofsexual violence.- Creating safe heaven for children toescape the danger of life on thestreets.- Rebuilding schools destroyed by thewar and getting kids out of the armyand to school.- Helping children get their voicesheard and their rights met.
THEIR APROACH- The organization’s approach isdifferent than the traditional need-based approach, it is a right-basedapproach. They help meet theimmediate needs, but it is part of abigger program where they are alsohelping the children to campaignand lobby to make sure that thelocal, national and internationalgovernment are held responsiblelong after the camera have goneaway.-Try and get the communityinvolved in protecting the children.-Base their projects on thechildren’s wishes.- Will not portray the children ashelpless victims.
-War child international is divided between Australia, Canada Holland Ireland, UK and US.- All of the organizations are independent, autonomous and anonymous. But they work according tothe same values.- Each country specializing in some particular aspect of the aid. Thus the different branches of theorganization can work in different countries.
Examples of country specificities.HOLLAND CANADA:• Specialized in helping the • focuses on the protection ofpsychosocial needs of children who children’s rightshave suffered from war and/or • Improving access to education,conflict situations by using creative strengthening livelihoods and building capacity throughout war-arts such as crafts, music or even affected communities around thesports. world. •• The idea is to unit children who • A vital component of War Childhave been driven apart because of Canada is the development ofwar, in order to contribute to a strong partnerships with local communities and organizations.peaceful society. They believe it can deliver effective development projects through support to local community-based initiatives, to foster self-sufficiency.
Children in Sudan grow up in very unstable conditions. Malnutrition, disease, poor education and permanentinsecurity have a grave effect on great numbers of children.Any children have lost one or both parents to the war or have been separated while the family fled from theviolence. Families have great difficulties to make a living, and more often than not children have to join in hardlabor for the family to be able to survive.War Child has developed an extensive and easily accessible program. In close cooperation with local communitiesand organizations.War Child organizes a wide array of activities: large-scale play days for children, informative events for thecommunity, education of youth groups, discussion groups for parents, youngsters and children, and training ofteachers.Community groups are also taught to take upon them the responsibility of addressing protection issues ofchildren. Such as child labor, violence among the family, youth unemployment…
BUILDING THE RESILIENCE OF YOUTHYoung people, living without meaningful adult guidance and desperate to meet their basic needs, encounter many risks:substance abuse, involvement in criminal and military activities, abuse by community members, exploitation byemployers, and ill health.To mitigate the dangers faced by young people, and to bring a level of normalcy to their lives, War Child has establishedeight youth centres in Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) camps on the outskirts of El Geneina and two in El Geneinatown, West Darfur. The centres offer a protective environment in which both young men and women can engage inmeaningful activities.Many youth in the camp had their education interrupted, often for years. The centres provide accelerated learningcourses in numeracy and literacy. Alongside these courses, the centres provide life skills workshops in conflict resolution,self-protection, health, civic engagement and gender-based violence awareness and prevention. To help youth avoiddangerous and exploitative work, War Child offers vocational training opportunities for young people. The courses teachmarketable skills such as masonry and construction, or skills that will enhance household economies such as foodpreservation. The young people themselves are given leadership roles at the centre and are encouraged to organizerecreational activities such as team sports and music. These activities were requested by the youth to help them forgetthe harsh day-to-day activities in the camp and the horrific violence that forced them there.
War child is an organization concerned with the durability of their programs.This is why War Child educates youth groups and community leaders. This in order to stimulate thedurability and effectiveness of their programs. The groups consist of ten to twenty youngsters of aboutsixteen years old.Thus, should War Child leave Sudan, the groups will be able to continue and follow up on its work.The youth groups are educated in management and organization, budgeting, organizing events and theuse of creative activities during events. As well as the education, War Child supports communities todevelop safe locations for children, where these events can be held.