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War Child’s Mission, Ambition, Approach, and Identity

Statutory details

Name: Stichting War Child

Address: Van Ostadestraat 149, 1073 TK Amsterdam

Legal status: foundation

Mission statement

We believe no child should be part of war. Ever.

Children have the right to grow up in peace, free from fear and violence. To develop their full potential and become the person they want to be.

War Child makes a lasting impact. By protecting children from violence and offering psychosocial support and education.

We unleash children’s inner strength with our creative and involving approach. And inspire as many people as we can to participate in our cause.

Together we can change the future.


It is 1992. The war in Bosnia is raging fiercely. Continuous bombardment and fighting creates a flood of refugees. Children are forced to leave the safety of their homes, are separated from their fathers and brothers, and end up living in tremendous fear and insecurity. Atrocities committed in Sarajevo, Pristina and Srebrenica are world news.

History of War Child in three visualsIt is 1993. In darkened shelters, music professor Nigel Osborne runs workshops for children. Instead of bombs, they hear the sound of drums, guitars and trumpets. Willemijn Verloop, 23 at the time, witnesses the happiness and relief music brings to children who have known nothing but violence, misery and hatred. Music helps children leave the war behind despite everything that has happened to them. There’s only one thing Willemijn can do: give structural support to the children.

War Child as a concept begins in 1993. On October 9, 1995, Willemijn officially founds War Child Holland. By demonstrating the impact of war on children, and how valuable creative activities can be, many individuals as well as companies decide to join the War Child cause. From a small voluntary initiative, War Child grows into an international organisation. Every day, children are hit hard by war and conflict. For these children, War Child continues its work with undiminished resolve.


War Child’s ambition is to reach beyond its own limitations by actively cooperating and sharing its approach with as many other organisations working with and for children in conflict areas as possible. Through cooperation, War Child will not only be able to reach more children, but will also be able to reach children who would be otherwise ‘unreachable’. By 2015 War Child will actively reach one million children and young people.


War Child is an independent and impartial international non-governmental organisation. We invest in a peaceful future for children and young people affected by armed conflict. War Child supports children regardless of their religion, ethnicity, social background, or gender.

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