One minute this little girl's on a climbing frame, happily playing like any normal kid, the next she's cowering under her desk frightened for her life. In a new, very powerful, short film from Unicef UK—a children's charity—images of everyday family life in a playground are juxtaposed with images of those same kids suddenly transported to conflict zones or disaster areas.
The message is clear. The kids whose lives are torn apart by the many wars raging around the world or the sudden consequences of a natural disaster, are just like every other child. It's just their lives have been turned upside down, never to be the same again.
Just like the children in Nepal or Syria, who suffer the devastating aftermath of an earthquake or the horrors of an ongoing civil war.
"Children are being killed while studying in the classroom. They are being forced to become soldiers. Many have been orphaned by emergencies." Unicef says. "Ahead of the first ever World Humanitarian Summit in May , we can change how the world responds in emergencies. Please sign the petition telling [British prime minster] David Cameron to make protection from violence a priority at the summit. He can do this by committing his government to protecting children from extreme violence, protecting the schools that keep them safe and protecting children who are torn from their families by wars and disasters."
You can sign the petition here. You can donate to Unicef and learn more about their work here.
Below are some stories from children Unicef has helped from around the world.
Sumitra, 12, has a unique story, as she is one of the children in danger who was saved from a life of domestic slavery and potential trafficking when the second earthquake struck Nepal on 12 May 2015.
Sushma's world was turned upside down by the second earthquake that hit Nepal on 12 May 2015. Her home toppled, and her school was badly damaged. She saw many people and animals buried under the rubble, and some of her friends and family were killed. Like many other people in Nepal she is scared of buildings now, and is happiest when she is outside.
The conflict in Syria turned 14-year-old Bassam’s world upside down. His mother was killed and he also witnessed his cousin’s hand being blown off. After such horrific experiences, Bassam became withdrawn and angry but he found hope in the most unlikely way...wrestling. Unicef-supported wrestling classes at Za'atari refugee camp have helped Bassam channel his aggression and emotions. With the amazing support of his coach who also fled Syria, Bassam has stayed out of trouble, is doing better in his education and most importantly has hope for the future.
Marwa and Aya’s were forced to flee their home in Syria when their town was shelled and their school was hit by a bomb. They are now living in Za’atari Refugee camp and are back at school thanks to Unicef-supported classes.