I’m sitting in the gorgeous, spacious lounge of the Doha, Qatar airport. It was an interesting feeling as we flew over areas of the Middle East that have become so familiar on the evening news. The animated airplane that tracked our progress winged along silently past Kabul, Baghdad, and more…amazing to think how peaceful it was on board as Ryan Reynolds and Sandra Bullock cavorted on the movie screen…and what was likely going on below.
War Child International is a network of independent organizations working to help children directly affected by war (and important distinctions….for I contend that ALL children are affected by war). Currently there are three main hubs of their activities, based in Holland, the UK, and Canada. There are currently at least 30 wars and armed conflicts raging in the world…over 80% of the casualties of war are civilians…disproportionately women and children.
From the site:
Children are amongst the first casualties of any armed conflict, always the most vulnerable and innocent of victims. In the last decade alone 1.5 million children have died in wars. Four million have been disabled and a further 10 million traumatized.
The severe psychological wounds that war inflicts on children can scar them for life, crippling the very generations that must one day rebuild their devastated countries. For the future peace of the world we must do everything in our power to help these war children.
There are rehab and counselling services, emergency services and ongoing assistance for kids who are brutalized, physically, emotionally, spiritually, and all of the above. The programs go out to the confict zones from Afghanistan to the Sudan, Iraq to the DR Congo.
There are ways to be involved from home, by donating and by spreading the word, possible even holding an event to get the conversation going. By exploring the dark, difficult stuff, we can begin to trudge through it and look for the other side.
One of the main taglines for WarChild is:
You can take a child out of war…
…but how do you take the war out of a child?