The Impact of War on Children

 

Rt Hon William Hague MP delivers the keynote address

Rt Hon William Hague MP delivers the keynote address

An estimated 28 million children of primary school age in conflict-affected countries who are not currently in education – that was one of the figures quoted by Rob Williams, CEO of War Child UK, at the high level Policy Forum organised by War Child on 23rd October.  The Forum explored the trends likely to characterise conflicts over the next two decades.

BFSS Director, Imogen Wilde, was pleased to have been invited to attend the Forum.   BFSS would welcome grant applications for projects to help such children, particularly projects to give Syrian refugee children access to education and also children in the DRC.

Other figures which Rob Williams highlighted were as follows:

  • There are 10,000 children in IDP camps (for internally displaced persons) in North Kivu, DRC, who haven’t been to school for 7 years.
  • In Za’atari camp for Syrian refugees in Jordan, there are 36,000 children of whom only 6,000 are being educated (though new figures suggest that, thanks to efforts to improve safety inside the camp, this has now risen to around 11,000 children across 3 schools inside the camp).
Messeh Leone addresses the Forum

Messeh Leone addresses the Forum

 

The Policy Forum, which started with a keynote address from Rt Hon William Hague MP, was a critical first step in considering how best to protect children from the changing nature and tactics of war.   Speakers included Messeh Leone, who was formerly affected by conflict in Sierra Leone and is now CEO of Rightsway International.

 

Here at BFSS our Grants Committee recently considered an application from Children in Crisis for the rehabilitation of a school in the DRC, which will go to the main Council on 9th December and would be our first grant for a project in the DRC.   Dilapidated Ngobi Primary School is representative of the condition of many schools in the region.  In 2012 the school was rebuilt by Children in Crisis and their partners EMI, serving surrounding communities and providing safe and suitable surroundings for learning.

Dilapidated Ngobi Primary School, on the high plateau of South Kivu,

Dilapidated Ngobi Primary School, on the high plateau of South Kivu