Breaking News! War Child closes the loop
What is the loop? The loop has one purpose, one goal: to help any child affected by war.
War Child wants to help the children with every aspect of their life. They do this in a non-isolated way by working with groups of different generations—the children themselves, teenagers, mothers, fathers, and community members. From hand-painting, to photography, to being able to openly talk to peers, War Child has created a safe space to meet the needs of each generation.
At the first location in the host community we were met with young, inquisitive faces at a variety of work stations throughout the space. There were puzzles, drawing, planting, eating and many more activities, each with a different valuable life skill to teach the children. Immediately, you could see how affected by war some of the children were. All of them were chatting and playing but only some were able to show how happy they were, with others having blank expressions on their faces. After a quick juggling show from Simon, we waved goodbye to the children and went upstairs to meet a group of women.
To be able to stand and openly talk in front of a room is hard for anyone. But imagine being able to do it in front of a room full of foreign strangers, a translator, and emotionally connect through eye contact and facial expressions. It’s no wonder we were all feeling inspired as we walked out of this group session. The woman we met, all dealing with their own traumatic experiences, whether it be from war or violence in marriages, felt comfortable, safe and confident enough to talk and listen, all thanks to this safe space War Child has created for them.
The third and final location we got to visit was the youth project. In this part of the programme, War Child inspires teenagers aged 14-18 to make their own decisions and to do their own projects by giving them the knowledge and tools to do so. I cannot describe how it felt to see these young people all so proud of themselves for what they have achieved. They chose to have a course in photography and all their pictures were plastered over the walls. We could see how much they had learned when Aileen showed them her photos of Scotland and was straight away given advice on how to take better ones in the future!
Children can be impacted from every area of their life, so War Child makes sure that everyone who has a part to play knows how to do it in a positive way. They are ensuring that they can pass on the knowledge they’ve gained onto the younger generation, therefore closing the loop and allowing continuous development for years to come.
Each generation’s empowerment, confidence and happiness comes across straight away and you can’t help but let it warm your heart. Who would have thought with expectations of leaving the host community distraught, empty and upset, we would all leave with a full heart and sore cheeks from too many laughs and smiles.