Dates for assembly

22nd April 2005 at 01:00
April 24 to 30 Save the Children Week

During this week, the international charity SCF highlights the plight of children who live in poverty or are victims of war.

Outline script for assembly leaders

Juma lives in the Democratic Republic of Congo in central Africa. When he was 10, he dropped out of school because his family couldn't pay the fees.

"My father was sick. My mother worked on the land but had no money. I thought it best to find another way to live so I joined a rebel group."

Juma worked as a guard to a commander. "We lived in the forest. If there was no food, I went to sleep hungry. There was a lot of death. Once we buried 10 or 20 people in one grave. The others were thrown in the lake.

The dead people were our enemies."

War between different groups in the Congo has led to four million people being killed. A quarter of a million children have been separated from their parents and 30,000 have been recruited into the different armed forces. The boys are made to fight; the girls are forced to become "wives" of the rebel leaders.

After getting shot in the hand during a battle, Juma managed to escape from the armed group. "I was tired and I fell sick a lot. I saw that it wasn't a good idea to continue that life."

He is now at a centre for demobilised child soldiers supported by the Save the Children Fund but has had to have part of his thumb amputated. "I am happy to be helped here. But I don't want to stay here. I want to go home.

If I just had a packet of sweets I could sell them at the roadside and like that I could start earning a living."

It costs pound;100 for the Save the Children Fund to secure the release of a child from the armed forces in the Congo and to reunite them with their family.


The Save the Children Education Unit offers a range of free and priced materials for teachers, along with downloadable lesson plans and project ideas (such as wrapping your school in a Make Poverty History timeline).

Visit the website: and the Make Poverty History campaign: www.make

Information about fundraising during Save the Children Week is available by phoning 0845 606 4027.

* Details of The TESMake the Link campaign at

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