War Child


Fashion designer Stella McCartney today joined forces with the War Child UK to launch an international art project aimed at supporting children in some of the world’s toughest conflict zones.

The Draw Me to Safety art project was launched in London at the Global Summit To End Sexual Violence in Conflict. Its aim is to use art created by children from across the UK and conflict-affected countries to promote messages about what the concept of safety means to different children today.

Stella McCartney said: “This project is about young people standing with children affected by conflict. Children see the world with clarity and honesty. War Child UK and I are excited to share their insights through art that will raise awareness and encourage the world to do more to protect children from war.”

The initiative will engage 8-15 years olds in the UK and in conflict-affected countries on the issues facing children in war; asking young people to create artwork answering the question ‘What makes you feel safe?’ Stella McCartney will then create an exclusive fashion product inspired by children’s drawings with proceeds going directly to War Child UK to help protect children in some of the most dangerous war zones in the world.

Rob Williams, Chief Executive of War Child UK said: “There are children across the world who don’t know what safety means because all they have ever seen is conflict. Draw me to safety is about the power of children's voices to talk directly to the world. We are very grateful to Stella McCartney for her response to these voices and her support to help make safety a closer reality for children in war, and to Angelina Jolie for her support and attending this launch event."

Some of the first entries from children in the Central African Republic, Democratic Republic of Congo, Syrian refugees and Afghanistan, will be reviewed by Polline, a survivor from Northern Uganda who was abducted into sexual slavery aged 12. Talking about the project she said:

Polline said: "We need to provide a safe environment for children. We need to respect children's rights, treat them fairly and provide education - let education be the first priority for helping children in conflict." An online gallery will also display the images, illuminating the juxtapositions and similarities between children in the UK and children living in conflict. Angelina Jolie, who is co-hosting the Global Summit To End Sexual Violence in Conflict and was present at the launch, said: "I hope that this campaign will encourage people to think about conflict from the perspective of children. It has been very eye opening and moving to see all the different ways in which children illustrate safety."

For more information, please contact Natasha Dyer at natasha@dhacommunications.co.uk; 0207 793 4035/07590024387 or Jon Flinn on jon@dhacommunications.co.uk; 0151 709 0505.



A 24-year-old woman held as a sex slave for four years in Uganda had a special audience with Prime Minister David Cameron today, as an international summit to end sexual violence in conflict zones around the world opened in London.

Polline spoke with Mr Cameron at No. 10 Downing Street about her experience in Uganda, and subsequent work with the charity, War Child UK, to raise awareness of sexual violence in conflict, and stress the importance of education in helping victims recover from abuse. She said: “The Prime Minister was so patient with me and he listened to my experiences. David Cameron also heard my recommendations for change. I told him survivors of sexual violence should be supported in terms of education. And there needs to be more funding for those who are unable to go back to school. They should be provided with training skills in order for them to acquire employment as this would help them to earn a living and build their lives and hopes again.”

Polline was joined at the meeting by Foreign Secretary William Hague and UN special envoy Angelina Jolie. Currently studying law so she can bring sexual abusers to justice, Polline was kidnapped by Lord’s Resistance Army rebels in Northern Uganda when she was just 12 years old and held as a sex slave for 4 years. At 16 she fell pregnant after being forced to become the ‘wife’ of a rebel commander. Following a traumatic operation after she miscarried, a nurse helped her escape and return to her family.

For more information, please contact Natasha Dyer at natasha@dhacommunications.co.uk; 0207 793 4035/07590024387 or Gemma Cropper at GemmaC@warchild.org.uk; 07769694111.

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