We are War Child. We began life as a handful of volunteers working in a borrowed loft. Today we are active in sixteen countries - working to improve the resilience and wellbeing of children living with violence and armed conflict.

War in the Balkans

Our story began in 1995. War Child was formed by social entrepreneur Willemijn Verloop. Willemijn, together with filmmakers David Wilson and Bill Leeson, visited the former Yugoslavia during the Bosnian war to call attention to the plight of children there - and were horrified by the violence and ethnic cleansing they witnessed.

War Child historic photo archive

Musical workshops for children in bomb shelters

Photo: War Child archive

War Child historic photo archive - red fan with colleagues

The War Child team in 2000

Photo: War Child archive

Hope amid the bomb shelters

Yet the trio also saw some small signs of hope. In the midst of the fighting, they observed musical workshops for children being held in the bomb shelters of Bosnia - and were convinced of the benefits of this creative approach for young survivors of armed conflict across the world.

Providing psychosocial support

Willemijn returned to the Netherlands and resolved to take action. She began to organise fundraising events in support of children growing up in the midst of war. These small fundraising drives grew rapidly in scale and War Child was born. Within just three years we were present in Sudan, Ingushetia and in Pakistan, where we provided Afghan refugee children with vital psychosocial support.

Today we are active in Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Middle East - and reach hundreds of thousands of children every year.

Where we work

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War Child works in areas affected by armed conflict. This may be during the conflict or after it has ended. Working in these areas presents a variety of challenges ranging from insecurity to political and logistic constraints.