Help the children brutalised by war

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 war-torn Africa.

But that is what we at The Independent 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 20 or enjoy bidding for the wonderful lots we have in our charity auction. 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 Independent, i, 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

Jemma Gent: Year End Accountant

£250-£300 Day Rate: Jemma Gent: Are you a qualified accountant with strong exp...

Jemma Gent: Management Accountant

£230 - £260 Day Rate: Jemma Gent: Do you want to stamp your footprint in histo...

Beverley James: Accounts Payable

£22,000 - £23,000: Beverley James: Are you looking for the opportunity to work...

Beverley James: Accounts Assistant

£30,000: Beverley James: A fantastic opportunity has arisen for a person looki...

Day In a Page

Read Next
Kanye West performs live at the Brit Awards 2015  

UK Grime is finally getting the recognition it deserves, but why has it taken so long?

Paul Gibbins
 

Jihadi John went to my university – so what?

James Tennent
HIV pill: Scientists hail discovery of 'game-changer' that cuts the risk of infection among gay men by 86%

Scientists hail daily pill that protects against HIV infection

Breakthrough in battle against global scourge – but will the NHS pay for it?
How we must adjust our lifestyles to nature: Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch

Time to play God

Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch where we may need to redefine nature itself
MacGyver returns, but with a difference: Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman

MacGyver returns, but with a difference

Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman
Tunnel renaissance: Why cities are hiding roads down in the ground

Tunnel renaissance

Why cities are hiding roads underground
'Backstreet Boys - Show 'Em What You're Made Of': An affectionate look at five middle-aged men

Boys to men

The Backstreet Boys might be middle-aged, married and have dodgy knees, but a heartfelt documentary reveals they’re not going gently into pop’s good night
Crufts 2015: Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?

Crufts 2015

Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?
10 best projectors

How to make your home cinema more cinematic: 10 best projectors

Want to recreate the big-screen experience in your sitting room? IndyBest sizes up gadgets to form your film-watching
Manchester City 1 Barcelona 2 player ratings: Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man?

Manchester City vs Barcelona player ratings

Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man at the Etihad?
Arsenal vs Monaco: Monaco - the making of Gunners' manager Arsene Wenger

Monaco: the making of Wenger

Jack Pitt-Brooke speaks to former players and learns the Frenchman’s man-management has always been one of his best skills
Cricket World Cup 2015: Chris Gayle - the West Indies' enigma lives up to his reputation

Chris Gayle: The West Indies' enigma

Some said the game's eternal rebel was washed up. As ever, he proved he writes the scripts by producing a blistering World Cup innings
In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare and murky loyalties prevails

In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare

This war in the shadows has been going on since the fall of Mr Yanukovych
'Birdman' and 'Bullets Over Broadway': Homage or plagiarism?

Homage or plagiarism?

'Birdman' shares much DNA with Woody Allen's 'Bullets Over Broadway'
Broadchurch ends as damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

A damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

Broadchurch, Series 2 finale, review
A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower: inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

Inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower