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

Recruitment Genius: Doctors - Dubai - High "Tax Free" Earnings

£96000 - £200000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Looking for a better earning p...

Recruitment Genius: PHP Developer

£32000 - £36000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A rapidly expanding company in ...

Recruitment Genius: PA

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: A PA is required to join a leading provider of...

Recruitment Genius: Car Sales Executive - Franchised Main Dealer

£30000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a great opportunity for...

Day In a Page

Read Next
 

Any chance the other parties will run their election campaigns without any deceit or nastiness?

Nigel Farage
 

The digital world is incredible – but it’s human bonds that make us who we are

Joanna Shields
Isis hostage crisis: Militant group stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

Isis stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

The jihadis are being squeezed militarily and economically, but there is no sign of an implosion, says Patrick Cockburn
Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action

Virtual reality: Seeing is believing

Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action
Homeless Veterans appeal: MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’

Homeless Veterans appeal

MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’ to help
Larry David, Steve Coogan and other comedians share stories of depression in new documentary

Comedians share stories of depression

The director of the new documentary, Kevin Pollak, tells Jessica Barrett how he got them to talk
Has The Archers lost the plot with it's spicy storylines?

Has The Archers lost the plot?

A growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent over the rural soap's spicy storylines; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried, says Simon Kelner
English Heritage adds 14 post-war office buildings to its protected lists

14 office buildings added to protected lists

Christopher Beanland explores the underrated appeal of these palaces of pen-pushing
Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Scientists unearthed the cranial fragments from Manot Cave in West Galilee
World War Z author Max Brooks honours WW1's Harlem Hellfighters in new graphic novel

Max Brooks honours Harlem Hellfighters

The author talks about race, legacy and his Will Smith film option to Tim Walker
Why the league system no longer measures up

League system no longer measures up

Jon Coles, former head of standards at the Department of Education, used to be in charge of school performance rankings. He explains how he would reform the system
Valentine's Day cards: 5 best online card shops

Don't leave it to the petrol station: The best online card shops for Valentine's Day

Can't find a card you like on the high street? Try one of these sites for individual, personalised options, whatever your taste
Diego Costa: Devil in blue who upsets defences is a reminder of what Liverpool have lost

Devil in blue Costa is a reminder of what Liverpool have lost

The Reds are desperately missing Luis Suarez, says Ian Herbert
Ashley Giles: 'I'll watch England – but not as a fan'

Ashley Giles: 'I'll watch England – but not as a fan'

Former one-day coach says he will ‘observe’ their World Cup games – but ‘won’t be jumping up and down’
Greece elections: In times like these, the EU has far more dangerous adversaries than Syriza

Greece elections

In times like these, the EU has far more dangerous adversaries than Syriza, says Patrick Cockburn
Holocaust Memorial Day: Nazi victims remembered as spectre of prejudice reappears

Holocaust Memorial Day

Nazi victims remembered as spectre of prejudice reappears over Europe
Fortitude and the Arctic attraction: Our fascination with the last great wilderness

Magnetic north

The Arctic has always exerted a pull, from Greek myth to new thriller Fortitude. Gerard Gilbert considers what's behind our fascination with the last great wilderness