Friday, 27 September 2013

ActionAid #Rebuild The Lives Of Children Devastated By War

ActionAid’s latest campaign is to help #Rebuild the lives of children who have been devastated by war. As part of the campaign they are encouraging everyone to share their favourite childhood memories. 

I had a very happy childhood, an adventurous one. Mum encouraged us to be 'real kids', which usually meant being covered in mud and gnat bites. One of my most favourite childhood memories was a family holiday to America and Canada. It was a real adventure.




It was September 1979 and I was nine years old. We boarded the huge DC10 aeroplane full of excitement and anticipation for the unknown. We knew we were very lucky to being going to Disney World as we didn't know anyone else who had ever been to America. It was the 70's and not many British families visited Florida back then, but that was my Mum, She was always one of the first to venture into anything new. A real adventurer was our Mum.

The journey was long and my initial excitement soon wore off as I held my green face over a newspaper held in front of me, ready to catch the in-flight meal that I had eagerly devoured three hours before. I looked over to my younger Brother and his face looked even greener than mine. I called to Mum "Are we nearly there yet Mum?" Her response of "Try and have a little sleep" told me that we still had a long way to go.


After an overnight stop in  a chilly New York City, we caught a short internal flight to Miami airport. We were instantly struck by how different these two cities were. New York was cold, noisy, bright and thrilling, a little like London but on a bigger scale and Miami was sunny, hot, happy and chilled. As we stepped into our cab, heavy rain pattered noisily on to the car roof and Mum said "Blimmin typical, we come all this way and its raining just like it was when we left London!" The cheery cab driver quickly informed her "The rain here is nothing like your London rain!" and he was right. As we arrived at the Holiday Inn and opened the cab door, we were totally amazed that the rain was warm, just like turning on a hot tap. We all giggled as we dashed for cover.

That was the start of an amazing four weeks spent in Miami, Orlando and then on to Ontario in Canada. We enjoyed blue skies, white sands, palm tree's, orange tree's, Mickey Mouse, Friendly Americans, ice machines, candy, Halloween Canadian style, Niagara falls and the CN Tower. We had a ball.


I'm very lucky and privileged to be able to look back to my childhood and recall, not just this happy memory but many other fond memories too. Not everyone can say the same.

Actress and ActionAid Ambassador Sarah Alexander travelled to Sierra Leone, a country recovering from civil war, to visit ActionAid’s child sponsorship work.



Sarah said of her trip: “Children in conflict are at the forefront of everyone’s minds due to what’s happening in Syria. I’ve seen with my own eyes just how devastating the effects of war are long term on generations of children. Please help us to give everyone the right to a happy childhood.”

Many modern-day conflicts last the length of an entire childhood. Children can be psychologically traumatised; many have seen members of their family die and believed they would die too. ActionAid’s child sponsorship programme enables the charity to do vital work in war-affected countries, giving children the basics they need such as water, food and an education.

Throughout the campaign ActionAid are hoping to secure more than 2,200 new UK child sponsors for children in war-affected countries including Afghanistan, Pakistan, Democratic Republic of Congo, Liberia and Sierra Leone. Everyone has the right to a safe and happy childhood. Bitter and bloody conflicts around the world are driving children from their homes and leaving them injured, traumatised and in constant danger.
Sponsoring a child for just £15 a month will provide: 
  • clean water and food
  • shelter to protect from cold and disease
  • sessions with a locally-trained counsellor
  • an education at a local school
You can sponsor a child here

5 comments:

  1. Lots of happy holiday memories can you believe it's 34 yrs ago lol xx

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  2. Wow, what amazing holiday memories! I still haven't been to USA or Canada and somehow doubt I ever will. The contrast with children in areas of conflict is so stark. The thought that children could be living like this for their entire childhoods is truly shocking.

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  3. So glad that you found me so I cand find you back.
    Following you and hoping we become grat blogger friends, ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhh
    Grow your own veg, amazinggggggg

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  4. A happy childhood is such a gift, yo have been given and to give! Tragic there are some who live so differently x

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  5. What a gift that was.... such an adventure aged nine! Sometimes I find myself over whelmed thinking about how unfair and awful the world is - how random it is, and yet western countries have the means to pay off world debt...... X

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