Belfast Telegraph

Sam Smith appeals for help for children in war

He is a global ambassador for War Child UK.

Sam Smith said he was heartbroken to see children whose lives had been torn apart by conflict, as he urged people to support War Child UK’s latest campaign.

The singer-songwriter, who has a new role as a global ambassador for War Child UK, is backing a new report and campaign from the charity which aims to raise awareness and funds to support the mental health and wellbeing of children affected by war – from those who have fled the violence of so-called Islamic State in Iraq, to former child soldiers in the Central African Republic.

Smith is launching the campaign following visits to the charity’s programmes in Northern Iraq and on the Jordanian border with Syria.

He said: “When we think of the damage war inflicts, we often think of the physical impact – the buildings destroyed and the people killed.

“However, while this is devastating, what we too often forget is the equally devastating impact war can have on the minds of the children who live through it – impacts that many will carry through into adulthood and that can end up blighting their whole lives.

“During my visits to War Child’s programmes this year, it was heartbreaking to see the number of children who have had their lives ripped apart by war, knowing that what I was seeing was just the tip of the iceberg.

“However, it was also inspiring to see the drive these children have to try and carry on, and the positive changes that War Child’s work can have on their lives.

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“We can stop these kids from hurting, and we can help them grow up to be kind, to be peaceful, to have dreams, hopes, a purpose. But we need to give them the support they urgently need to make that happen.”

War Child UK CEO Rob Williams said: “Since joining War Child as Global Ambassador, Sam has inspired us all with his passion, intelligence and sensitivity. With 250 million children in the world today affected by war, the need is as great as ever to stand up for their rights.”

War Child’s report, Reclaiming dreams – prioritising the mental health and psychosocial wellbeing of children in conflict, shows the scale of mental health psychosocial support (MHPSS) needed to help children affected by conflict recover from the mental impact of their experiences and the destruction of their families and support networks.

The report was made possible by funding provided by players of the People’s Postcode Lottery.

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