Child Soldiers Campaign


In 2007, War Child started the campaign 'Child Soldiers' because worldwide there are still around 300,000 child soldiers active in armed factions. During the first phase, in 2007, the problem was brought to the attention of the public; in 2008 War Child intends to go more deeply into what it does for child soldiers.

Press conference kick off campaign 'Child soldiers'Press conference On April 10, War Child kicked off the campaign with a press conference in Nieuwspoort in The Hague. At this conference the report 'Child Soldiers, the shadow of their existence' was presented to the Minister of Development Aid, Mr Bert Koenders. NOS news, RTL news, Radio 1 news and the World Service among other media, devoted some time to this. Total number of people reached: 672,000 (TV) + 1.5 million (radio).

Press presentation
Press conference Ishmael BeahOn September 21, the international Day of Peace, Ishmael Beah, former child soldier and author of the bestseller 'A Long Way Gone' came to Holland for the promotion of his book. Together with Sijthoff Publishers, War Child organised a round table discussion in Pakhuis de Zwijger chaired by TV anchor Matthijs van Nieuwkerk. Around the table were seated Ishmael Beah, Kon Kelei (a former child soldier from Sudan and information officer of War Child) and War Child methodology specialist Ans de Jager. TV programmes Netwerk, 4 in 't land, the dailies 'Trouw' and 'De Volkskrant', and Radio 1 News reported on the content of the discussion. Total number of people reached: 1.4 million (TV only). All in all the printed media published 70 articles on child soldiers.

Commercial campaign
In 2007, War Child started a commercial campaign to bring the problem of child soldiers to the attention of the public at large and to activate people to do something against it. The campaign, which was funded entirely by sponsoring, consisted of:

  • A television commercial aired on 9 TV channels; 
  • A cinema commercial, shown in 32 cinemas; 
  • A printed advertisement, published in 6 national magazines; 
  • A bus shelter poster; 
  • A radio commercial; 
  • Electronic direct mail.

Own means of communication
On top of this in the following War Child means of communication attention was paid to the campaign:

  • The newsletter Peace of Paper (3x annually); 
  • The email newsletter Peace of Post (12x annually); 
  • A web special (3000 hits per month) with the aim to raise funds (donation module, tell-a-friend movie short, banner campaign); 
  • A special Child Soldiers page on the general website; 
  • A summary of the Annual Report 2006 (edition 120,000).
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Aase Kretzschmar, War Child’s press officer

Aase Kretzschmar, War Child’s press officer organized a press conference in April: “The effect of the launch of the Child Soldier Campaign was tremendous.”

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