Through the Barricades – a new single, by Si Wheeler. All proceeds go to WAR CHILD.
— WAR CHILD: Our approach —
‘Where others see victims with needs, we see children with rights….’
Charities and NGOs traditionally based their work on meeting the needs of the people they help. ‘Nothing wrong with that’ you might think, but in practice it often creates a situation where the beneficiaries become reliant on aid, and their governments are let off the hook. Our approach is that yes – children have immediate needs, but they also have rights – the right to an education, the right to live free from violence etc.
Those rights are supposed to be protected by international and national laws and conventions, and there are governments and councils responsible for upholding them. We do help meet the immediate needs, but it’s part of a bigger programme where we’re also helping them to campaign/lobby to make sure that the local, national and international govts/bodies are held responsible. And we’re helping them to meet those rights by training social workers and helping to build or refurbish schools. We’re cost-effective, but not cheap. Working in dangerous, insecure places like Iraq is more expensive than in countries like India. We take the security of our staff and the children very seriously, and our planning, training and staffing budgets reflect that. Our projects are providing intensive support to some of the most marginalised and vulnerable children in the world, and every penny we spend is put to the best possible use in doing so. It’s cost-effective and it’s life changing. But it is more expensive than some other NGO projects. We focus on quality, not quantity. Our aim isn’t to provide some kind of support to as many children as possible. It is to provide sustainable, intensive support to the most marginalised and vulnerable children and young people. It would be easy to reach lots of ‘beneficiaries’ by buying thousands of children a school uniform, or by giving street children a lift back home – but without addressing the family, social and economic problems – the children will most likely be forced to drop out or run away again. We don’t judge our success or our impact purely by the total number of children and young people we’ve directly supported. We’re careful that the children don’t become dependent on us. It’s all too easy for well-meaning charities and NGOs to intervene in children’s lives and provide everything for them. Our aim is to strengthen the capacity of the families, communities and authorities to look after their own children. They’ll be there and doing that long after we’ve gone.
With the sale of this single, together, we can continue the important and life changing work of War Child UK. ‘Through the Barricades’ by Si Wheeler, is available to download from all major online music retailers. Thank you for your support.
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