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Following Miles' trip with Warchild

My forthcoming trip – an introduction to WarChild

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As you may, or may not, know, for every copy of Football Manager that is bought on PC, Mac and PSP, a donation is given to the brilliant charity War Child UK.

War Child are a charity that I’ve known about since their first project, an album called Help, which came out over 15 years ago. They have a very simple, and non-political, premise which is that no child should be affected by war. Unfortunately, this is still not the case.

Through the partnership, and through people like you reading this blog who buy our games, Football Manager has raised over £600,000 for the charity. I’ve also personally got involved with War Child in various ways as part of their entertainments committee, and others at SI and our extended family have done things to help out too.

A few months ago I was asked to go on a trip with War Child to go and see some of the work that those donations have helped fund, and this blog will hopefully be an insight into the work, and the trip which will be happening in the coming weeks. I’m both excited and pretty damn scared about what I’m about to see, and hope to be able to share some of that with those of you who take the time to read this blog.

This first blog though is an introduction to War Child and the work that they do. Hopefully from this, you’ll see why we got involved with them.

War Child works with children and youths up to the age of 24 who have been marginalised by conflict.

War Child looks forward to a world in which the lives of children are no longer torn apart by war. Progress toward achieving this vision that can only be made through collective action.

War Child’s mission is to support and strengthen the protective environment for children who, as a result of conflict, live with a combination of insecurity, poverty and exclusion.

This is done via education, sustainable livelihoods and protection, and as varied projects as the separation of children from adults in prison, the reintegration of child soldiers with their family, training of teachers, vocational training, and attempting to change negative attitudes towards marginalised children.

You can find out a lot more about their work, and case studies, at www.War Child.org.uk

I can’t say too much about my trip at the moment, but what I will say is that I’m going to be visiting the Democratic Republic of Congo, a country that is still ravaged by what is known as “post-conflict conflict”.

It’s a country that was officially at war between 1996-97 and 1998-2003 until an international peace deal was brokered, but there is still fighting going on in many areas of the country, and the effect of conflict on civilians there is, well, I’ll let you decide that for yourself by reading the following facts.

  • More than 2.7 million children under five have died as a result of the effects of conflict since 1998
  • 1.7 million people are currently displaced
  • More than a quarter of a million people (including children and men) have been raped in North and South Kivu alone since 1998
  • 35,000 children have been recruited into armed groups of which 40% of them are girls – and recruitment continues
  • Life expectancy is 48
  • Youth (15 to 24) literacy rates among females is 62% – a child is twice as likely to die before the age of five if its mother is illiterate

What I’ll be seeing out there is some of the projects that War Child have in the country such as schools that they’ve set up, a community based child protection system, a project to improve the care and protection for children and women who are victims of sexual and gender based violence and forced labour, a night ambulance project and many more.

I would tell you about all the health issues and crime risks out there too, but that would only make me more scared and nervous about the trip that I already am! I’ve had my jabs, I’ve got various medicines that I’ll need, so I should be OK.

Hopefully you’ll be able to follow my trip on this blog, although it’s not going to be one of those regular things where I’ll be posting once a day or anything. Mainly because I don’t even know if there’ll be electricity at all times, let alone a net connection! I’m also going to need to get the blogs signed off by War Child as there are security risks that could arise from it, particularly with photo’s.

If you do want to know when the blog has been updated, I’ll be attempting to tweet when it’s live, and my twitter is @milessi or you can probably subscribe to it too. I’m new to this blogging malarkey.

Oh, and a direct link to find out more about War Child’s work in DRC, is at http://www.War Child.org.uk/our_projects/democratic_republic_of_congo

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Written by milesjacobson

June 14, 2011 at 4:56 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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