Where childhood thrives, war does not.

Guest post by James Topham of War Child Canada:

There is always one moment in childhood when the door opens and lets the future in.

– Graham Greene – The Power And The Glory

Graham Greene’s door to the future is a wonderful image. It is recognizable to most of us in the developed world. For each of us it will be different – the day you first saw the beauty in numbers, your first choir practice, or the moment you first realized you could draw. It is during childhood that the foundations of your life are laid down.

So imagine what happens when war takes your childhood away.

For many children in countries reeling from conflict, the door to the future may never open. With no school to go to, a home life defined by poverty and a social infrastructure that is barely functioning, childhood is little more than a struggle for survival.

War Child is committed to restoring childhood in the wake of violent conflict. We believe that children have a right to a stable and supportive upbringing.  We recognize that if their childhoods are to be rescued from the impacts of war, there needs to be a long-term investment in every aspect of their lives. It means ensuring that they have access to an education, the security of knowing that their rights will be respected, and opportunities to escape the cycle of poverty. It requires investment in families to provide a safe home environment. It means finding employment opportunities for young men in the community, so they are not tempted by the lure of the gun. And it involves working with local authorities to ensure that those who abuse women and children can no longer do so with impunity.

To turn a country round – to see its recovery from conflict – can take decades. But if we are to break the cycle of war, it is imperative that the next generation is given the best possible start. It means doing all we can to give children a childhood.

To pledge your support for childhood: warchild.ca

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Gordon Katic (@gordonkatic) has been student coordinator for the Terry Project for over two years, and in that time started BARtalk, and the Terry Project on CiTR 101.9FM. A former Ubyssey columnist, and now a student at the UBC Graduate School of Journalism, Gordon is trying to use journalism to tell important stories about global issues.