Sarah does not talk. She whispers. She is quiet and withdrawn. She has barely smiled for months. Her parents died in 2013 during South Sudan’s first outbreak of violence. In 2016, Sarah fled the violence with her sister and brother-in-law. “Rebels came to our house,” she remembers. “They beat people, shot them and stabbed them… My aunt, uncle and neighbours – they’re all dead.”

In Bidibidi refugee settlement she tries to piece her life back together. But thinking of South Sudan makes her sad. She misses her school and her friends. She doesn’t have many friends in the settlement because the other children don’t speak her tribal language. She does have one good friend – Alysa, with whom she likes to jump rope. Why Alysa is her best friend? “She does not like fighting,” Sarah answers.

War Child provides psychosocial support for children through its I DEAL life skills intervention. Children like Sarah learn to express their feelings, cope with trauma and adversity, and solve problems and conflicts peacefully. Creative group activities, games and discussions help build children’s confidence and self-esteem – helping them to believe in a better future.

War Child is an international NGO working with the most vulnerable and marginalised children living in some of the worst conflict affected areas in the world. We are dedicated to protecting children by bringing education, opportunity and justice to where they are needed most. We provide life-changing, child-centred initiatives in a range of contexts from emergencies to post-conflict recovery. Comprised of three organizations based in the UK, Holland and Canada, War Child works in 14 conflict-affected countries across the globe. Together, we protect and support children and young people affected by conflict: we save lives and empower survivors to claim their rights, develop to their full potential and contribute to a peaceful future for themselves and their communities.

www.warchildholland.org