Our participation in the Active-toi TV program here in Canada has taught us a great deal about kids and war. We were lucky enough to get to know Mines Action Canada, an organization campaigning to ban landmines, and to meet a man who has experienced the consequences of war in Rwanda, such as losing a leg because of a mine.
We also met Victoria, a 16-year old who has helped to organize the international “Invisible Children” demonstration aimed to denounce the use of child soldiers. This demonstration was held simultaneously in a hundred cities throughout the world.
Finally, we also organized a successful Red Hand Day at our school to denounce the use of these child soldiers. All these meetings have led us to several conclusions about war and kids, and shown us the gravity of the situation.
War violates all the rights of young people. Why wage war when we can discuss? Child soldiers have a right to normal childhood. Kids must be allowed to be kids and not have their childhood taken away.
Conflicts come and go but childhood only comes once and should be sacred. War has been going on for years, but in all corners of the world we can make a difference – and it’s our duty.
In short, all kids are entitled to a real childhood, which means: having a right to education, food, medical services, the right to play with their friends, develop their personality, be loved and protected.
A child never deserves the right to be exposed to bombs, to clear minefields or be part of an army. Living in another part of the world, possibly in an impoverished country, is no reason to ban children from having a childhood.
We all deserve the same rights: the right to security, pleasure and a healthy environment. So we say to you kids, suffering from war: we are all aware of your situation and we are doing our best to find solutions from which you can all benefit.
You don’t have to get discouraged, or feel abandoned – hope exists everywhere. We have decided to send this article to the Rwanda newspaper to let people know what’s going on in the world and to show our support and encouragement to putting an end to war.
We must all do our bit for if we do nothing, who will do it? It is up to us to do our utmost to help kids living in such difficult circumstances. Let’s act before things get worse.
On behalf of the whole Active-toi team, we should like to send the message to all kids living with war that we, in Canada, are against everything they have to endure and that we hope for a change as soon as possible!