Jon Snow: why I support the 'IoS' appeal

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The Independent Online

In my sporadic travels around the world, it is the homeless kids on the streets of cities like Calcutta, Delhi and Nairobi that leave a lasting impression.

Sometimes it is the begging hand or the call from a side street that draws attention. The dilemma is always whether to pay up or to look for a more lasting alternative.

Of course, finding real alternatives is a much better solution. I believe the Railway Children, the charity chosen for this year's Independent on Sunday appeal, is the one group that most closely meets the needs of these children in every place that it operates.

It is a brilliant idea that has already made an impact in many of the cities where the problem of child homelessness is most acute.

By trying to reach out to the children before they get into trouble or fall into drug misuse, prostitution or theft, the Railway Children plays a vital and urgently needed role.

That is why I am so happy to support this year's Independent on Sunday charity appeal.