The world in 2012 was not a safe place for children
In Syria hundreds of thousands refugees left their homes on the run from violence. The conflict-stricken country of Afghanistan remained a harsh place for children and young people. In Gaza, the 8-day Israeli offensive affected many children, youth and their families. In the forgotten war zone of the DR Congo, attacks, rapes and other atrocities were reported every day. In Colombia millions of children could not live in their hometowns.
As a consequence of war, children can lose their confidence and trust in others and also in their own future. They are often anxious, depressed and withdrawn, or rebellious and aggressive.
War Child programmes in 2012
War Child has been and will be present in these areas affected by war, where children are the most vulnerable to its devastating consequences. In 2012 we started more programmes closer to active conflict zones. Our experience taught us that our interventions are effective when children and young people are on the move to escape from the violence of war and conflict. That is why we started our emergency response programme in northern Lebanon, where tens of thousands of refugees from Syria crossed the border. In DR Congo we started new projects in the eastern part of the country where the security situation is very unstable. In Colombia we moved our programming to one of the departments where families are directly affected by the present conflict.
In 2012 approximately 483,000 people of whom 347,000 were children (15 and under) and young people (16-24) actively participated in War Child’s programmes in 11 conflict-affected areas. We protected them from violence, provided psychosocial support, and facilitated access to quality education. War Child improved the resilience of children and young people and enabled them to shape their own futures. Parents, teachers, social workers, volunteers, and local leaders engaged in activities enabling them to positively interact with children, fulfil their responsibility towards children, and give them the support they need to fully develop into healthy adults.
Besides these active participants, War Child programmes reached 5.6 million people, of which 3.5 million were children and young people, in other ways. People were reached indirectly through trained teachers, parents and caregivers (1.1 million people), and through theatre performances, lobby activities, events, and media programmes (4.5 million people). These activities are mainly advocacy and awareness raising activities. They aim, for example, at motivating decision makers to change policies that are harmful to children. And they aim at raising awareness in communities as a starting point for changing harmful practices like abuse. In this way they complement the results of the activities in which participants are actively involved.
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