Children account for half of the victims of conflicts across the world and are among the most vulnerable victim groups, often hardest hit by conflicts. When the EU received the Nobel Prize for Peace in 2012, it therefore decided to use the prize money to create a lasting legacy in the form of the EU Children of Peace initiative. Through the EU Children of Peace initiative, the EU aims to turn "children of war" into "children of peace".
The initiative funds humanitarian projects for children in conflict regions, providing them with access to schools where they can learn in a safe environment, as well as with psychological support to heal their traumatic war experiences.
In the first year of the initiative (2013), some 28 000 children from Pakistan, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Ethiopia, Colombia and Ecuador, as well as Syrian refugees in Iraq have benefitted from it. In 2014, the scope has been extended to reach out to more than 80 000 young people, with projects also including South Sudan, Chad, the Central African Republic, Somalia, Afghanistan, Iraq and Myanmar.
Apart from providing immediate help such as shelter, food, clean water and medicine; education is one of the best tools to help girls and boys build a long-term future. It is particularly crucial for both the protection and the development of children affected by conflict. Apart from contributing to their development, educational activities provide girls and boys with psycho-social support and help create at least some sense of normality.
The EU Children of Peace initiative aims to fund on-the-ground actions and at the same time raise awareness of the importance of children education in emergency situations.
On the occasion of Universal Children's Day on 20 November 2014, ECHO organised a Google Hangout to highlight the EU Children of Peace initiative and its projects around the world.
For updates on the projects follow #childrenofpeace on social media.