Learn to Live: Joss Stone says our campaign is ‘life-changing’ for children in war zones

'I think twinning with schools in London is a good idea because it helps people from different lands to understand they are all the same, we are all human'

Naomi Ackerman
Thursday 25 October 2018 09:58 BST
Comments
Learn to Live: Joss Stone says The Independent's campaign teaches children around the world to 'empathise' with each other

Singer Joss Stone today said our Learn to Live campaign is “imperative” to help young people growing up in war zones after singing with a group in the Central African Republic.

The African nation has seen ongoing coups and counter-coups since gaining independence from France in 1960. It has been gripped by civil war since 2012. Children have been forced into joining brutal militias. Brainwashed through beatings and drugs, they have terrorised entire communities.

Children who grew up in such communities can still bear the mental scars. They also face issues such as teachers expecting sex from pupils in return for good grades.

Learn to Live: Joss Stone says The Independent's campaign is 'imperative' for children in Central African Republic school

Through The Independent's campaign, young people who attend an after-school centre in Bangui run by British charity War Child have twinned with a school in London, with whom they are writing a song to sing together.

I think twinning with schools in London is a good idea because it helps people from different lands to understand they are all the same, we are all human 

Joss Stone 

Platinum-selling musician Stone took time off from a world tour to meet the group, who performed their tune for her before she joined them in song.

The artist, 31, who supports charity projects in every country she tours, said: “They were showing me a song they had written and it was actually really good. A lot of the young people said they wanted to be singers – one of them asked me how I got my break. Some of these children are orphans. It is good to do something that could help a person, or a few people. As a singer I can sing a song, that is four or five minutes of joy, but there is a lot more there. This work is life-changing.”

She added: “I think twinning with schools in London is a good idea because it helps people from different lands to understand they are all the same, we are all human.

Learn to Live: Joss Stone says The Independent's campaign provides 'important psychosocial support' for children affected by violence

“If we don’t connect with different people and cultures, we will not know how to empathise with them, and then you have this issue of ‘them over there, they are not our problem’. This twinning programme is a step in the right direction, letting people know that we are all in this together.

“These are the formative years, they are very important, if the issues aren’t dealt with, they can wreck your life.”

Join our commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

Comments

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in