‘As a father of young children, your articles struck a chord’

The total raised to date by The Independent’s Christmas Appeal for Unicef’s work rescuing child soldiers is an amazing £173,894
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Please donate to our appeal for child soldiers here.

Readers who donated to our Christmas Appeal via successful bids in our charity auction explain what motivated them. For those who are still planning to give phone lines, postal donations, gifts by text and the donation website will all remain open until the end of the month.

Lot: Signed David Beckham shirt

Winner: Adam Haroutunian

"My favourite footballer of all time is David Beckham and I’ve watched him play heaps of times. I’ve got sport memorabilia all over my house but there is a huge gap for his autograph.

So I was really excited when I saw there was to be a signed Beckham shirt on the Independent auction. I stayed up until 6am here in the US to make sure I won, no matter what. And I did. As soon as it arrives I’ll be framing it and giving it pride of place in my office.

I can’t put into words how much this means to me. Not only do I get a David Beckham signed jersey, but helping such a great cause is the icing on the cake. Reading about Unicef’s great work helping these vulnerable children, I can see why David is a committed Unicef supporter who gives so much time to the charity."

Lot: Eddie Izzard tickets

Winner: Sufyan Al-Jeadah

I’m an Eddie Izzard fan and follow both him and The Independent on Twitter. So when the auction kept popping up I made a quick decision on taking part. Helping save children caught up in conflict and securing the “Eddie Izzard on tour” lot was win/win for me.

Lot: Four easyJet flights

Winner: Jeb Beresford

I have been reading  the articles about the Unicef appeal for child soldiers, and as a father of young children it really struck a chord.  Bidding on the easyJet flights seemed like a great way to buy something for my own family and help a fantastic cause.  I made sure that I bid that little bit more, knowing that Unicef will spend the money helping the children that need it most.

Lot: Signed Andy Murray T-shirt

Winner: Richard Edwards

My wife, Jen, is a massive Andy Murray fan. We head to Wimbledon as often as we can. I read The Independent every day and when I saw there was a signed Andy Murray T-shirt in the auction, I knew it would be the perfect present for her birthday. It’s much more than I’d normally spend on a present but it’s for a good cause so every penny is worth it.

Lot: Ewan McGregor script

Winner: Rachel Ng

Reading The Independent my eye was caught by the article by Ewan McGregor about his experiences meeting child soldiers. I’m a huge fan of his so when I realised there was a chance to bid on a signed copy of the script from the film The Men Who Stare at Goats, starring Ewan, I knew I had to do my best to win it. What a perfect way to both donate to Unicef and treat yourself to a wonderful present.


We’d like to thank everyone who has supported the appeal by either donating an auction prize, making a donation or contributing in some other key way: Tracey Emin, Twiggy, David Beckham, Sir Alex Ferguson and Manchester United FC, the producers of The Book of Mormon, James Fanshawe, Sir Roger Moore, Eddie Izzard, Martin Bell, Ewan McGregor, Andy Murray, Sir Stuart Rose, Andrea Risebrough, Angus Fraser, Roberto Mancini and Manchester City FC, Michael Sherwood, Sabrina Guinness, Hugh Grant, Stephen Fry, Lewis Hamilton, Matt Dawson, Neil Warnock and Leeds United FC, Lord Puttnam,  Mia Farrow, James Nesbitt, Robbie Williams, Ralph Fiennes, Jemima Khan, Ryan Giggs, Rio Ferdinand, Patrice Evra, Javier Hernandez, Yasmin Alibhai-Brown, Mark Steel, eBay, Sainsbury’s, Prudential, ICAP, Marks & Spencer, Grange Hotels,  Le Méridien Piccadilly, easyJet,  20th Century Fox, Wentworth and Middlesex CCC, Alexander Lebedev and the Lebedev Foundation. Above all we would like to thank you, our readers, for your extraordinary generosity.




All Unicef's work with child soldiers in the CAR is funded by donations. Please be as generous as you can. Click here to donate. Text CHILD to 70030 to donate five pounds.

• £6 provides life-saving treatment for one child from fatal diarrhoea, pneumonia, or malaria, all diseases that the children are vulnerable to in the Central African Republic

• £15 pays for schooling for a child who has been rescued from an armed group – including providing all the books and stationary they need.

• £25 provides a child with all the essentials they need when they are first rescued. This ‘welcome kit’ includes clothes, underwear, toothbrush and toothpaste, soap, a blanket, mattress, and mosquito net.

• £62 provides vocational training to a child released from armed groups, providing them with a sustainable future

• £103 trains a teacher to help former child soldiers continue their education

• £150 pays for psychological support for one child who has been rescued

• £300 can buy enough toys for a centre for 50 rescued children to play with, to help them regain their childhood by having fun again

• £516 can support one child for a whole month. This covers the cost of everything they need at the rehabilitation centre, including care from dedicated and experienced staff, food, counselling, education, vocational training, and the costs for family reunification