A Rallying Cry for Children in Crisis: War Child’s Global Mission

Dr. Samantha Nutt © Dustin Rabin

Raye Mocioiu

Dr. Samantha Nutt has seen it all. The Founder and President of War Child has been on the frontlines of crises across the globe and knows how much war damages every aspect of a child’s life. Between stripping their families of vital means of support to taking away their access to education and legal protection, war makes it impossible for a child to enjoy their childhood.

The present reality is harsh for numerous communities as our world grapples with unprecedented turmoil. War, violent acts of terrorism, and the looming spectre of famine have thrust millions into devastating hardship, fear, and grief. The ongoing refugee and displacement crisis, the most severe since World War II, has forcibly uprooted 117 million people. Amidst these unparalleled challenges, the work of organizations like War Child becomes paramount, serving as a lifeline for communities in need.

“People are good at reacting to emergency situations,” said Dr. Nutt. “But there’s a tendency to move onto the ‘next big crisis’ when issues are less immediate.”

Humanitarian organizations, she explained, often focus on the short-term needs of communities in crisis. While these measures can be beneficial, they leave a gap in long-term support, dealing with the conditions that contribute to violence and instability. War Child exists to fill that gap and break the cycle of poverty, violence, and despair that so many face in war-torn communities. Even when the headlines disappear, War Child remains on the ground, knowing that the work is not over yet.

© Courtesy of War Child

The Impact of War on Children

War affects us all. As far away as it can feel, the impact of war touches all of our lives and hundreds of millions of lives worldwide—one-fifth of children globally live in conflict zones, equating to 426 million children who face the daily reality of growing up with tanks, guns, and armed groups.

For children living in war zones, every day is a struggle. The things that many of us take for granted can be life-threatening for them; conflict throws everyday life into chaos, and the uncertainty of what’s to come is a constant stressor. The impact of war is long-lasting and far-reaching. Dr. Nutt explained that even in the euphoria of regaining freedom, the trauma of war persists.

“They’re going to be wrestling with this for the rest of their lives,” she told CTV News’ Angie Seth.

With this knowledge in mind, War Child operates on the frontlines of these complex emergencies, providing access to education, employment and economic opportunities, psychosocial support, and food security. These crucial services protect children and their families in the most challenging humanitarian environments in the world.

“What we do isn’t safe, and it isn’t easy,” Dr. Nutt explained. “Our staff are bold, courageous, and determined. With over 99 per cent of War Child’s staff local to the countries in which we operate, their leadership, determination, and profound local insights fuel our approaches and decision-making.”

It’s a sustainable, community-driven model that focuses on long-term impact led at the local level. Lasting change starts at the local level—after all, there is no one more knowledgeable about what is needed for rebuilding communities than those who live within them. More importantly, it’s a method that has been proven to work: last year, War Child’s programs reached more than 1.2 million children and their families.

“Our results support the fact that we are an antidote to chaos,” Dr. Nutt continued. “Success is evident in the refugee children in Uganda who, thanks to our catch-up learning programs, are on the path to graduation after missing years of education; in the female farmers in South Sudan who, empowered by your contributions, can now withstand the threat of famine and provide consistent food for their children and communities; and in the women and girls in Afghanistan attending our programs despite the Taliban’s return to power, envisioning themselves as future leaders, determined to restore their rights currently denied by their government.”

With many more millions of children wrestling with the fallout from war around the world, War Child’s work is critical, and your support will help save the lives of children.

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