War Child has been supported by players of People's Postcode Lottery for five years. This has helped the charity provide vital help to children affected by the world's worst conflicts. Since 2014, players have provided an incredible £9 Million towards War Child's work, allowing them to double the number of children they support worldwide.
War Child exists to assist the most vulnerable children in some of the worst conflict-affected places in the world. Guided by the needs of children, they focus on:
- 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, as well as their parents and siblings, and
- Advocacy - understanding children's needs, respecting their rights, and working with them to change systems and practices that affect them.
In Central African Republic, after decades of fighting between militias, a third of the country's children are out of school and 1.1 million need humanitarian assistance.
Stephanie was just 12 when she had to flee from an armed group. She witnessed the terrifying sight of men chasing a local tribal leader and shooting him dead in the street in front of her. "They shot him in front of the house," she told War Child. "I had never seen anything like that before. I saw him killed with my own eyes."
Many young people in Bangui, where she lives, have seen similar things. In her words, the war has left many youths with "war in their mind and spirit".
But thanks to War Child's VoiceMore group, supported by our players, Stephanie and her peers can now dream of the future.
VoiceMore, War Child's flagship youth advocacy programme empowers children like Stephanie to address the important issues faced by children in her community. VoiceMore supports children and young people to join together and discuss solutions to their biggest challenges, taking them to local, national and international decision-makers with War Child's backing - changing the future for children around the world.
VoiceMore's project leader in the Central African Republic, Eric Mamboue, said, "Many children when they arrive here will not even speak. You see them standing alone."
"But they must not focus on what they lived through, but their hopes for a brighter future, so they can become the engineers, the doctors, that are needed. Let's now open their eyes to all that is possible for them to achieve."