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Editorial: An outstanding Christmas Appeal – thanks to you

There are few children who need help so much as those who have been both physically and psychologically abused. The boys and girls rescued from child soldiery and sex slavery in the Central African Republic have been profoundly affected by their ordeals. Yet our Christmas Appeal to raise funds for Unicef has shown how their lives can be, painstakingly, restored.

On the ground, that work relies on the bravery of Unicef staff negotiating with rebel warlords in a conflict zone. The charity's activities are funded entirely by donations and readers of The Independent have made a huge contribution, raising a remarkable £173,894 so far.

Thank you. Every penny will make a difference in the lives of youngsters trying to re-learn that kindness, rather than brutality, can be the normal behaviour of the adults around them. The appeal will remain open until the end of the month. Please continue to give generously.