Monday, April 25, 2005

Child charity work, fundraising & volunteering UK with Save the Children

BBC NEWS | UK | World armed groups 'abduct girls'

A truely horrific and disturbing remindering of the nature of war. The BBC article (2nd link) refers to the report which can be found at Save the Children (1st link)

Please do take the time and opportunity to read the report which is one of the better ones that I have come across. The guilt-trip is there but there make very sensible recommendations that does not descend into platitutes of stopping war in general.

Instead the focus of their recommendations is on the reintergration of these girl soldiers back into their community once the war is over. As it eventually will be...even the Ethopia-Eritrean war was eventually over in 30 years. Intra-state wars are fortunately shorter but more destructive because the International Community is generally more wary of getting involved in a struggle where it's all too evident that the morality and moral culpability of the groups are in shades of grey. Often the problem isn't the war in and of itself but what happens afterwards. Stopping the war is one thing but rebuilding the nation and praying something does not flare up again is quite another. no sooner was the noth-south divide in Sudan settled by Bush when the East-West one occured.

The problems that these girls face are 'special' and on top of the general ones that child soldiers face. Alienation, stigmatisation and an absolute lack of a future due to deverstation and a lack of education. In addition to those, most families blame these girls for being kidnapped and worse still, most are used as sex slaves, further 'disgracing' the girls, especially if they come back pregnant.

In particular, see page 25 (32 of 38) of the report for their assesment of the need for community support no simply to reintegrate the girls but also with regards to disarmament and demobilisation of the soldiers in addition to breaking the conflict trap by reducing poverty. The focus ought not to be simply on the girls but also their community, a sort of virtuous cycle will then be created.

Also, their castigation of the International Community and their efforts is not simply that there is insufficient help and money but also that their formal procedures hinder such efforts because not all girls sign up formally. And also that they haven't funnelled their money in the appropriate direction of BOTH the girls and their community.

At any rate, it's a very good read and a quick way to gain an understanding of the situation. Peace.


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