Information Zone Home
War - What is it good for?
Causes of war
Impacts of war
Injury or death
War breaks up families
Painful memories
Child soldiers
A shattered land
Weapons vs welfare
Stages of conflict
Case study: Rwanda - Part 1

Information Zone

War breaks up families
If you lived in a war zone, what do you think would be your greatest fear? Getting shot at? Standing on a landmine? Being captured by enemy solders? Having a bomb land on your house while you were asleep?

Ask a child who is living with all those fears and you might be surprised at the answer. Almost all children caught in a war say their biggest fear is of being separated from their parents. They say as long as Mum or Dad is with them, they can face almost anything.

Sadly, more than one million children have been orphaned in wars in the last decade and many more have been separated from their parents. It sometimes takes years for agencies like World Vision and the Red Cross to find these children’s families. Until then, many must grow up in orphanages or camps for unaccompanied children.

     A time of separation
  1. Think of a time when you were separated from your parents. Perhaps you got lost at the shopping centre, or went to camp for the first time, or just went to stay with a friend. Write down at least five adjectives (describing words) to show how you felt.

  2. In a group of four or five, share the words you chose and explain why you chose them.

  3. Imagine you had not been able to find your parents again after that separation. Write down five more adjectives to describe how you think you might have felt. Again, share your words with your group.