Guest post by Nina Kelly, ActionAid.
My favourite memory of being a child is a recurring one: arriving at my gran’s house in Manchester for Christmas. She had everything I always wished we had at home in London: a yappy little dog, Sky TV and dishes of boiled sweets scattered around her warm, cosy house.
Whether it involved Christmas or not, I’m sure it wouldn’t take much for you to recall your favourite memory of being a child.
Perhaps a holiday with family or playing out with friends? These are the most likely, which I can tell you with authority because at ActionAid, where I work, we surveyed the nation’s memories from childhood and the results were full of family, friends and fun.
More than a third (36%) of UK adults cherished their memories of childhood friendship – naming it the most important childhood memory. Meanwhile, playing outside was named as the most fun memory of growing up (36%), closely followed by holidays by more than a quarter of respondents (27%).
We posed similar questions to celebrities, some of whom –Yvette Fielding, Heidi Range, Jodie Whittaker, Ben Miles and Olivia Colman – took part in a photo shoot re-enacting their favourite memories from childhood. Watch a two-minute behind-the-scenes video here:
But while the survey results and photo shoot were fun and nostalgic, our motivation for sharing favourite childhood memories was a serious and important one.
Many modern-day conflicts last the length of an entire childhood. Children in war-torn countries can be psychologically traumatised; many have seen members of their family die and believed they would die too.
In short, children in conflict lose their childhood to war and its after-effects.
ActionAid’s #REBUILD campaign and wider child sponsorship programme enable us to do vital work in war-affected countries, giving children the basics they need such as water, food and an education.
Throughout the #REBUILD campaign in particular, which runs until Christmas, we’re hoping to secure more than 2,200 new UK child sponsors for children in war-affected countries including Afghanistan, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Liberia and Sierra Leone.
We think everyone has the right to a safe and happy childhood.
If you agree, please visit (and share) this link to learn what you can do to help #REBUILD the shattered lives of children in conflict: www.actionaid.org.uk/child