There are an estimated 2,500 child soldiers in the Central African Republic. The country’s various rebel groups abduct boys and girls as young as nine and force them into servitude, killing and sexual slavery. Unicef, relying entirely on donations from the public, is trying to rescue these children. By negotiating their release, housing them in rehabilitation centres, providing schooling and reuniting them with their families, Unicef is trying to help former child soldiers regain their childhood and look forward to a brighter future.
This Christmas, the Independent is campaigning to raise funds to give former child soldiers access to a life after war. Any amount of money is useful, and every penny will go to providing these children with the help they need. Please donate now, and be as generous as you can.
• £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
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