War Child (charity): Wikis


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War Child
Type Charity
Founded 1993
Headquarters Canada / Netherlands / UK
Website www.warchild.org
For other uses, see War Child (disambiguation).

War Child is a non-governmental organization founded by British filmmakers Bill Leeson and David Wilson in 1993, which focuses on providing assistance to children in areas of conflict and post-conflict. Shocked by the plight of children, they decided to use their film and entertainment background to raise money for aid agencies operating in former Yugoslavia.


History of War Child

War Child was founded in 1993 by British filmmakers Bill Leeson and David Wilson, when they returned from filming in the war in former Yugoslavia. In 1993 the first War Child convoy with equipment, and food to run a mobile bakery travelled to former Yugoslavia. War Child Netherlands was founded shortly after in 1994 by Willemijn Verloop, when she met Music Therapy professor Nigel Osborne during the war in Bosnia. War Child Canada was founded in 1998 by Samantha Nutt and Eric Hoskins.

Since that time War Child has expanded their field of operations to include some of the other thirty wars and conflicts that are currently affecting millions of children around our planet.

War Child still continues to use the enormous support it receives from the media, music and entertainment industries to raise, not only much needed funds, but also public awareness of the daily struggle for survival facing children in war zones. With famous artists like Brian Eno, David Bowie, Our Lady Peace, Luciano Pavarotti and Tom Stoppard backing the War Child cause at the start-up of the organization. Events like Little Pieces from Big Stars and Pagan Fun Wear and in 1995 the record-breaking release of The Help Album made it possible for War Child to start projects in the former Yugoslavia.

Since 1993 many other famous artists like Paul McCartney, Paul Weller, Oasis, Radiohead, David Bowie, U2, Anton Corbijn, Tegan and Sara, Eric Clapton, Marco Borsato, Bob Geldof, Iggy Pop, Avril Lavigne, Sum 41, and many others have joined the War Child cause.

In 2005, to mark the 10th anniversary of The Help Album, War Child UK launched Help!: A Day in the Life. In addition to Radiohead and Manic Street Preachers, the new album features artists such as Coldplay, Bloc Party, Gorillaz, Elbow, Feeder and Kaiser Chiefs, along with Keane who are current patrons of War Child UK. Another compilation album, Heroes, will be released in February 2009.[1]

In 2008 War Child helped realize the film The Silent Army which was an initiative of War Child ambassador Marco Borsato. Despite bad reviews the film attracted a lot of attention in the Netherlands and was selected for the 'Un Certain Regard' section of the Cannes film festival in 2009.


  • In 2008 War Child Netherlands was awarded the prestigious Franklin D.Roosevelt - 'Four Freedoms Award'. The Freedom from Fear Award was awarded to War Child Netherlands "for its indispensable assistance to children in war zones to help them create a peaceful future, and as a recognition of the important work carried out by the many volunteers who invest their time and resources for this noble cause"[2].

National branches

There are three implementing offices of War Child: War Child Canada, War Child Netherlands, and War Child UK. The implementing offices share the same aims and goals, but work autonomously, with independent trustees and financial coordination.


War Child Netherlands

War Child Netherlands,(or 'War Child Holland' in the field) is the largest War Child Office with a yearly budget of around 10 million Euro, which has specialised in helping the psychosocial needs of children who have suffered from war and/or conflict situations, by means of a special methodology by using creative arts. The organisation grew from a one-man office in 1994, to 40 employees in the Netherlands and 600 abroad in 2007[3] . Together they reach a total of 850.000 children and 135.000 adults a year in 13 countries affected by armed conflict.

War Child Netherlands invests in the peaceful future of children affected by war. War Child’s goal is the empowerment of children in war-affected areas, through:

  • The establishment and implementation of psychosocial programmes in which creative and sports activities are used to reinforce the psychological and social development and the welfare of the children;
  • The establishment and implementation of creative and sports programmes that are aimed at uniting children who have been driven apart because of war, in order to contribute to a peaceful society;
  • The creation of public awareness of the problems of children in (former) war zones and the generation of support for these children.

Through music- creative- and sports activities children learn to express their emotions. This helps them to deal with war experiences and stimulates their personal development and respect for one another. By learning to play again children are able to escape the difficulties of their daily lives for a while. In 2005 War Child Holland introduced a new measurement system for the programmes in 14 countries. In the first results it was shown that the projects reach more than 650,000 children worldwide.

War Child Netherlands currently works in Afghanistan; Chechnya/Ingushetia; Colombia; Democratic Republic of Congo; Israel/the Palestinian territories; Georgia; Kosovo; Sierra Leone; Sudan; and Uganda. It also has special projects for refugees in The Netherlands.

War Child Canada

War Child Canada founded in 1998 by Samantha Nutt and Eric Hoskins provides humanitarian assistance in emergency situations and implements long term programs to provide children and youth with the opportunity to grow to their full potential through education, skills training, trauma healing and by taking an active role in the reconstruction of their communities. War Child Canada currently works in Afghanistan; Democratic Republic of Congo; Ethiopia; Iraq; Ghana; Sri Lanka; Sudan; Sierra Leone; and Uganda[4].

War Child UK

War Child UK exists to:

  • support and rehabilitate child victims of war.
  • address the on-going consequences of conflict on children.

War Child UK does this by:

  • working with local communities, their organisations and local authorities in both conflict and post-conflict areas to support children and the people they depend upon.
  • ensuring sustainable security for children.
  • promoting child supportive livelihood opportunities.
  • addressing the developmental needs of the most vulnerable and marginalised children.

War Child UK currently works in Democratic Republic of Congo, Afghanistan, Iraq and Uganda

War Child UK also operates a music download site called War Child Music as an awareness raising and fundraising tool.

External links

In alphabetical order, the national War Child websites are:



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