Stories of hope from 30 years of War Child

Sam Gipson · 13 November 2023

Prospect Senior Organiser Sam Gipson writes about an inspirational and uplifting event she recently attended at the invitation of one of our charity partners, War Child.

I had the privilege of attending War Child’s annual Thank You Gathering in London on behalf of Prospect. It was also a celebration of War Child’s 30th Anniversary.

The gathering acknowledges the many people and organisations who support and donate to War Child, people like Prospect members who raise money through the Member-Recruit-Member donation scheme and in other fundraising events.

Given world events at the moment this gathering had the potential to be heart-rending but what it turned out to be was uplifting and inspirational.

Of course, we were told about War Child’s current work, in Afghanistan, in Yemen and in the Middle East in particular; areas where teams, who are living in shelters (in Gaza) or in tents (in Afghanistan) are still spending daylight hours assessing needs, distributing lifesaving supplies, reuniting children with relatives and helping children to cope in unimaginable situations.

We were also told one particular story of hope; the story of Jasmin Elezović, and Jasmin himself was there at the gathering to tell us how War Child helped him.

Jasmin was one of the very first children that War Child worked with in Bosnia during the early-1990s. During this time, War Child started its first significant project – a mobile bakery that provided food for 15,000 people each week on the frontline and in nearby villages. War Child provided more than aid, it provided compassion, safety and creativity. The charity established music therapy projects in the region, starting with a music centre in Mostar.

For Jasmin, who had been living in constant fear, this was a lifeline. “Suddenly, there were all these people bringing a new world, a new language, and music – their music, old classics. I loved it, and the bakery was where I even made a heart-shaped loaf for my mom,” he recalled.

In the intervening years Jasmin has become a talented guitar player, a skill he had started at the music centre. While completing his studies in communications, he started a school council at the only non-segregated secondary school in Mostar, bringing together students from diverse backgrounds for projects aimed at uniting a city impacted by conflict. He continues to work with his own NGO in Mostar.

Prospect members can learn more about some of the highlights from across War Child’s thirty years of operation in this video and can find out more about how to donate through our Member-Recruit-Member scheme.

Prospect also supports The Trussell Trust as a charity partner. Learn more about our charitable parters.