War Child helps rebuild war-affected communities to provide the support necessary for children to experience a stable childhood.
When war itself ends, the consequences endure. A lack of employment opportunities, the absence of effective economic or social structures, a destroyed infrastructure, an under-educated population and a culture of impunity around rights violations combine to create conditions that make a return to conflict all too possible.
But by making a long-term investment to help the children develop into healthy, educated and productive adults, the cycle of violence can be broken.
That’s why we are dedicated to protecting childhood by bringing education, opportunity and justice to where they are needed most.
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Education is every child’s right. It can also be a matter of life and death. The children of uneducated mothers are more likely to die in infancy than those whose mothers can read. An uneducated population is less able to participate in the governance process and has fewer opportunities to have a say in decision making about their community’s development.
War Child’s educational programming provides children and youth with opportunities for learning in a protected space, free from exploitation and abuse. In areas where formal education is not available, War Child works to re-build schools, run catch-up education programs and provide training in basic life skills.
In conflict and post-conflict areas, families often end up destitute and unable to provide the basics of life for their children. Young people are particularly vulnerable, because without a means of earning a living, the range of positive options narrows considerably. This is why the second cornerstone of War Child’s programming is vocational training. The program’s livelihoods component aims to create opportunities for young people to gain the skills that they need to secure dignified economic employment and income for themselves and their families. War Child also operates microfinance programs to help set up small businesses.
A stable family income improves children’s prospects, by providing them with easier access to basic needs and the building blocks for a secure future.
When a country is at war, legal structures break down quickly and it can be a prolonged process to rebuild them. Women and children are frequently the victims of severe human rights violations – especially sexual violence – in conflict and post-conflict communities. The atrocities and abuses of war can become ingrained, creating a culture of impunity in which sexual violence goes unpunished.
War Child is dedicated to overcoming this and ensuring that women’s and children’s rights are both understood and respected by communities and the law enforcement officials who oversee them.
War Child’s programming provides direct legal representation to children and women in need of protection as well as comprehensive community sensitization and training of legal and justice officials.