Photo by Joseph Marzullo/WENN.com
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.
Known for their roles in films like Wild and Mamma Mia, actors Amanda Seyfried and Thomas Sadoski met while co-starring in the off-broadway play,
The Way We Get By. Five years later, the couple now co-parent two children, all the while using their platforms to promote positive change and raise awareness for charities striving to improve the lives of adults and children all over the world.
Their passion for the safety of children is what led them to War Child in 2018. Inspired by War Child’s mission to protect children from the brutal impact of war—by providing them with education, the resources they need to escape poverty, and access to legal protection—the couple has since organized fundraisers in Los Angeles and used their influence to spread awareness for children in war-affected communities all over the world.
For over 20 years, War Child has worked with children and their families at the frontline of the world’s major crises, from Iraq to Afghanistan, to Sudan, and beyond. War Child uses a bold, community-driven approach to deliver programs that give children the best chance to overcome the challenges of war and grow up to see a brighter future.
This year, Amanda and Thomas introduced a new co-star to their family. The couple announced the birth of their second child on Instagram, giving a shout-out to War Child.
“Since the birth of our daughter 3 years ago, our commitment to the innocent children that are so brutally affected by conflict and war has been a driving force in our lives,” Seyfried and Sadoski said in a statement. “With the birth of our son, the work of INARA and War Child has become our North Star.”
Their children have reinforced their passion for helping children worldwide find safety, peace, and justice. We sat down with Amanda and Thomas to discuss the importance of War Child in their lives and how they’re continuing to make a difference from home.
How did you learn about War Child? What drew you to work with this organization?
Thomas: I had worked on the Board of Directors at Refugees International, and War Child’s work was put on my radar by my friend and colleague at RI, Dara McLeod, who is now War Child’s Executive Director. After looking into the organization and its philosophy, we asked to meet with Dr. Samantha Nutt and Barbara Harmer to see if we would be a good fit, and by the time we had put in our drink order, we were family.
This year, especially, the practice of being mindful and helping others has become so much more popular. How can everyday heroes help achieve War Child’s mission from afar?
Thomas: Spread the word! Get to know the organization and talk about it with your family, friends, and colleagues. When people hear about the work we do, how we do it, and most importantly, who we help, they jump on board. These days, the heartbreaking reality is that there are so many causes worthy of time and support, but providing opportunity, comfort, and salvation to women and children whose lives have been devastated by war is especially important and essential for the future of our global community. If you can donate, set up a monthly recurring donation. Instead of giving $100 once, you can have $10 each month given, and it helps us plan our budget better!
What can people at home do to become better allies for refugees and children living in conflict zones?
Thomas: Understand that we are all connected. The decisions made here have incredible consequences for people in other parts of the world. You may not be aware of the arms deals or military cooperation that your elected representatives are putting into motion or supporting, but I assure you there are implications that at the least would give you pause. We belong to each other.
“The opposite of war isn’t peace, it’s creation,” This is War Child’s empowering mantra for those who want to be involved in their mission to help children affected by war reclaim their childhood. What does this quote mean to you?
AMANDA: I think it explains part of what makes War Child’s mission so important. Not only does war destroy civilizations, but it also destroys any path for children to overcome the side-effects left by war. It’s essential to understand the complexities in these circumstances and how important it is to help create a space for them to triumph and overcome, despite the devastation surrounding them.
While fundraising events can be immeasurably helpful to the cause, COVID-19 has made them less accessible. You recently praised social media as a way to raise awareness—can you tell us more about how you use your platforms to make an impact?
AMANDA: I believe there is an unsaid human rule: if you have a platform, use it for good. Information spreads rapidly, and we can connect directly to each other and to good causes with ease. The more I advocate for War Child, the more people will learn about the organization. This is a cause that I think everyone can get on board with once they’re aware.
Has becoming parents of two young children impacted or added to your passion for War Child’s work/initiatives?
AMANDA: ABSOLUTELY. Children are innocent and need to be protected. They should never have to experience the devastation and trauma of war. Anyone who has ever cared about a child is devastated when they see what’s happening and hear these stories.
What is one thing you wish more people knew about War Child?
AMANDA: 99 per cent of the people at War Child are locals who know their communities and what is necessary to help rebuild the infrastructures that have been destroyed. It creates both purpose and hope. And it takes so little to do so much.
To learn more about War Child and how you can help, please visit: WarChild.ca