This time of year is the season when we tend to reflect on the past year and its momentous occasions, the highlights along with the things we’d rather forget. As the world mourns the deaths of 132 children in Peshawar, Pakistan, yet another tragic moment is added to our memories of 2014: it was devastating for children.
UNICEF shares the stories of children from the Democratic Republic of Congo, to Syrian refugees in Lebanon and Ebola survivors in Sierra Leone. They are united in their dreams for education, safety, friends and play. They are finding glimpses of joy and hope in the toughest of circumstances. They are working hard to change their own futures despite unimaginable obstacles.
Yet hundreds of children this year have been kidnapped from their schools or on their way to school, and tens of thousands have been recruited or used by armed forces and like groups. As many as 15 million children are caught up in violent conflicts, including those who have been displaced or who are living as refugees. An estimated 230 million children currently live in areas affected by armed conflicts.
In the face of these continuous worldwide challenges, humanitarian organizations like UNICEF have worked to provide life-saving assistance and critical services, like education and emotional support, to help children living in some of the world’s most dangerous places.
UNICEF Executive Director Anthony Lake said, “The world can and must do more to make 2015 a much better year for every child. For every child who grows up strong, safe, healthy and educated is a child who can go on to contribute to her own, her family’s, her community’s, her nation’s and, indeed, to our common future.”
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When you support UNICEF and their partners you are contributing to a special effort on reaching the most vulnerable and excluded children, to the benefit of all children, everywhere. For more information please visit unicef.org.