How you can give the gift of childhood this Christmas

How to join our campaign with Unicef to tackle the problem of child soldiers in the Central African Republic (CAR)

Share

As most of you spend today putting the final touches to your Christmas preparations, perhaps the last thing you want to do is contemplate the troubles of those living thousands of miles away in wartorn Africa.

But that is what we at i are going to ask, as we make a further push to raise money for our campaign to help Unicef free child soldiers in the Central African Republic.

You have been extremely generous already, but I would urge you to dig deeper as the brave Unicef workers in that misused country face an extremely nervewracking Christmas.

A big push by rebel militias forced them to evacuate their camp in the north of the country where I met them. They escaped in the nick of time, taking the children with them to the relative safety of the capital, Bangui.

Now they are sheltering in the city in relative safety, but the latest news from the country is not good. The rebels have advanced rapidly towards the capital and at the weekend seized another town, dashing Friday's hopes of peace talks.

The latest crisis tragically serves further to highlight the brave, good work Unicef's people are doing in the country. At their Bangui base, they are showing these brutalised children that love, learning and play - those birthrights of all children - are still alive in the world, despite everything their experiences in battle may have taught them.

This work costs money, so please give generously. You can either donate directly to the numbers listed on page 19 or enjoy bidding for the wonderful lots we have in our charity auction (page 5). Buy an original Tracey Emin artwork, chow on a curry cooked just for you by Yasmin Alibhai-Brown or hang out with the sports reporters behind the scenes at Manchester City.

Treat yourself this Christmas. And help give the youngsters of the Central African Republic that most precious present of all - the gift of childhood.

Evgeny Lebedev is the owner of the i, The Independent and the London Evening Standard. Follow him on Twitter @mrevgenylebedev

React Now

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Guru Careers: Software Developer / C# Developer

£40-50K: Guru Careers: We are seeking an experienced Software / C# Developer w...

Guru Careers: Software Developer

£35 - 40k + Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Software Developer (JavaS...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant / Resourcer

£18000 - £23000 per annum + Commission: SThree: As a Trainee Recruitment Consu...

Ashdown Group: UI Developer - (UI, HTML, CSS, JavaScript, AngularJS)

£25000 - £40000 per annum: Ashdown Group: UI Developer - (UI, JavaScript, HTML...

Day In a Page

Read Next
Theresa May was kept on as Home Secretary by David Cameron in his post-election Cabinet reshuffle (EPA)  

The Only Way is Ethics: Rights to privacy and free expression will always be at loggerheads

Will Gore
The handling of the tragic deaths of Bobby and Christi Shepherd in 2006 by Thomas Cook was appalling  

Thomas Cook case was a failure of heart

Danny Rogers
Abuse - and the hell that came afterwards

Abuse - and the hell that follows

James Rhodes on the extraordinary legal battle to publish his memoir
Why we need a 'tranquility map' of England, according to campaigners

It's oh so quiet!

The case for a 'tranquility map' of England
'Timeless fashion': It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it

'Timeless fashion'

It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it
If the West needs a bridge to the 'moderates' inside Isis, maybe we could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive after all

Could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive?

Robert Fisk on the Fountainheads of World Evil in 2011 - and 2015
New exhibition celebrates the evolution of swimwear

Evolution of swimwear

From bathing dresses in the twenties to modern bikinis
Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

Sun, sex and an anthropological study

One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf
From Shakespeare to Rising Damp... to Vicious

Frances de la Tour's 50-year triumph

'Rising Damp' brought De la Tour such recognition that she could be forgiven if she'd never been able to move on. But at 70, she continues to flourish - and to beguile
'That Whitsun, I was late getting away...'

Ian McMillan on the Whitsun Weddings

This weekend is Whitsun, and while the festival may no longer resonate, Larkin's best-loved poem, lives on - along with the train journey at the heart of it
Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath in a new light

Songs from the bell jar

Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
How one man's day in high heels showed him that Cannes must change its 'no flats' policy

One man's day in high heels

...showed him that Cannes must change its 'flats' policy
Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

End of the Aussie brain drain

More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

Can meditation be bad for you?

Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine