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

Argyll Scott International: Senior Business Analyst- Insurance

Negotiable: Argyll Scott International: Senior Business Analyst - Insurance ...

Recruitment Genius: Property Manager

£25000 - £29000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This independent, growing Sales...

Recruitment Genius: Graphic Designer

£16000 - £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Multi-skilled graphic designer ...

Austen Lloyd: Court of Protection Solicitor

£30000 - £50000 per annum + EXCELLENT: Austen Lloyd: Court of Protection Solic...

Day In a Page

Read Next
A CCTV camera is seen in front of a large poster opposite in central London  

Home Office is creating more powers to turn everyone into suspects – but leave us no safer

Shami Chakrabarti
 

David Mellor has been exposed as an awful man, but should he have been?

Simon Kelner
Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: Drifting and forgotten - turning lives around for ex-soldiers

Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: Turning lives around for ex-soldiers

Our partner charities help veterans on the brink – and get them back on their feet
Putin’s far-right ambition: Think-tank reveals how Russian President is wooing – and funding – populist parties across Europe to gain influence in the EU

Putin’s far-right ambition

Think-tank reveals how Russian President is wooing – and funding – populist parties across Europe to gain influence in the EU
Tove Jansson's Moominland: What was the inspiration for Finland's most famous family?

Escape to Moominland

What was the inspiration for Finland's most famous family?
Nightclubbing with Richard Young: The story behind his latest book of celebrity photographs

24-Hour party person

Photographer Richard Young has been snapping celebrities at play for 40 years. As his latest book is released, he reveals that it wasn’t all fun and games
Michelle Obama's school dinners: America’s children have a message for the First Lady

A taste for rebellion

US children have started an online protest against Michelle Obama’s drive for healthy school meals by posting photos of their lunches
Colouring books for adults: How the French are going crazy for Crayolas

Colouring books for adults

How the French are going crazy for Crayolas
Jack Thorne's play 'Hope': What would you do as a local politician faced with an impossible choice of cuts?

What would you do as a local politician faced with an impossible choice of cuts?

Playwright Jack Thorne's latest work 'Hope' poses the question to audiences
Ed Harcourt on Romeo Beckham and life as a court composer at Burberry

Call me Ed Mozart

Paloma Faith, Lana del Ray... Romeo Beckham. Ed Harcourt has proved that he can write for them all. But it took a personal crisis to turn him from indie star to writer-for-hire
10 best stocking fillers for foodies

Festive treats: 10 best stocking fillers for foodies

From boozy milk to wasabi, give the food-lover in your life some extra-special, unusual treats to wake up to on Christmas morning
Phil Hughes head injury: He had one weakness – it has come back to haunt him

Phil Hughes had one weakness – it has come back to haunt him

Prolific opener had world at his feet until Harmison and Flintoff bounced him
'I have an age of attraction that starts as low as four': How do you deal with a paedophile who has never committed a crime?

'I am a paedophile'

Is our approach to sex offenders helping to create more victims?
How bad do you have to be to lose a Home Office contract?

How bad do you have to be to lose a Home Office contract?

Serco given Yarl’s Wood immigration contract despite ‘vast failings’
Green Party on the march in Bristol: From a lost deposit to victory

From a lost deposit to victory

Green Party on the march in Bristol
Putting the grot right into Santa's grotto

Winter blunderlands

Putting the grot into grotto
'It just came to us, why not do it naked?' London's first nude free runner captured in breathtaking images across capital

'It just came to us, why not do it naked?'

London's first nude free runner captured in breathtaking images across capital