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9 September 2014
Today, 90% of victims of conflicts are civilians. Half of them are children.
In fact, of the approximately 75 million children who are out of school worldwide, half live in conflict areas and are especially vulnerable to the fallout of war.
A 13 year-boy from the Democratic Republic of Congo where the EU Children of Peace project provides schooling through Accelerated Learning Programmes and safe spaces explains, 'With education I think I will have a future that won’t have to involve guns and fighting. Without school you have no choices in life, you are just trying to survive.'
Every girl and boy in the world should have the opportunity to grow up and learn in peace and not have their childhood stolen by conflict. One of the priorities in helping and protecting children affected by conflict is to invest in access to schools, safe learning environments and psycho-social support to address their traumatic war experiences.
The EU Children of Peace initiative, a legacy programme created from the EU's 2012 Nobel Peace prize, funds humanitarian projects supporting children's needs in conflict regions and draws an effort to render their often forgotten plight visible. These projects particularly seek to address a severely underfunded sector: education in emergencies.
As part of the initiative, children from a number of regions affected by conflict – from Iraq, to South Sudan, Chad, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Colombia and Ecuador have participated in an original music video on peace. This video collage joining together each of the projects aims to draw attention to the children – the most innocent of victims and often the hardest hit by conflict. It will be released on the International Day of Peace, 21 September.
With continued funding and commitment from the European Commission and its Member States, particularly Austria and Luxembourg, the initiative has so far and through its partner organisations, reached and benefitted to more than 108 000 boys and girls in 12 countries around the world. In 2014, the EU has dedicated €6 712 500 million in funding to continue increasing the reach to more children affected by conflict.
Find out more about the EU Children of Peace initiative and its ongoing projects.
For updates on the projects follow #childrenofpeace on social media.
Photo Credit: ECHO/Martin Karimi
Photo Caption: The EU Children of Peace initiative is boosting protection and the quality of education in four locations in the DRC's South Kivu through training of teachers, providing teaching and learning material, giving children safe recreational and learning spaces, offering basic education and vocational training, and facilitating ‘catch-up’ education for children who missed school.