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Founder & President’s Message

2021 was an incredibly unpredictable and especially volatile year. In many of the countries in which we operate, violent crises put more and more people at risk and led to repeated surges in demand for War Child Canada’s services. The number of refugees and displaced people throughout the world, particularly in the wake of the Taliban takeover in Afghanistan, continued to reach levels not seen since World War II.

The ongoing pandemic continued to threaten the most vulnerable, deepening poverty and making it even more difficult for war-affected families to access food, shelter, and other critical services they desperately need.

At the same time, militarized groups took advantage of increased insecurity and international political disengagement to target local communities, committing crimes against humanity and forcing even more families from their homes. Last year alone, War Child’s teams on the ground had to quickly adapt our programs to respond to record numbers of people fleeing extreme violence in Afghanistan, Ethiopia, the eastern Congo, South Sudan, and Sudan — where many of our staff members lost their own homes and became displaced themselves due to renewed violence in Darfur.

Amidst this heartbreaking devastation — and despite these complex threats — War Child Canada remains, guided by our courageous local partners and staff. When the work is hard and complicated, we are there. When it gets harder, we do not leave — we double down. We understand the drivers of conflict at the local level and know that there are no quick fixes or easy answers when it comes to making transformational change.

Real progress toward peace requires the presence of compelling and consistent alternatives that emphasize education, protection, and economic self-reliance. That is why War Child Canada will continue to focus on the long term, investing in opportunities that empower the most vulnerable communities to recover and rebuild — redefining resilience along the way.

Dr. Samantha Nutt
Founder & President


War Child Canada supports the most vulnerable people living in the most complex humanitarian environments around the world.

We are globally recognized for our grassroots, community-driven model of humanitarian action that’s rooted in collaboration, 100% locally led,
and focused on long-term impact.

Thanks to our supporters, War Child Canada’s robust programs continue to empower children and families to build brighter futures for themselves and their communities through access to high-quality education, legal services, and job opportunities.



War Child reached

children and adults affected by conflict

people were educated and empowered to build a brighter future*

people were equipped with skills to support their families and climb out of poverty

people gained access to justice and learned to advocate for their rights

global supporters were engaged through War Child’s online community

* The pandemic and other factors continued to drive the expansion of our radio-based educational programming in 2021. While we don’t have adequate tools to definitively measure the reach of these broadcasts, we estimate the listening audience is approximately 300,000 people.



From the ongoing risks of the pandemic to eruptions of extreme violence and widespread displacement, War Child Canada responded to new and evolving crises in Afghanistan, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, South Sudan, Sudan, Uganda, and Yemen.

Throughout, our local teams redefined what it means to be resilient — acting quickly to protect the most vulnerable, adapting programs to safely and effectively meet rising demands, and closing gaps to break cycles of poverty and violence so we can continue to make real progress toward peace.

Select a country below for a snapshot of some of our global results over the last year.

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When 2021 began, War Child was active in seven Afghan provinces, distributing educational materials to keep 25,000 children learning through pandemic-related disruptions and supporting communities in strengthening safety measures to improve child protection.

Later in the year, displacement, poverty, and malnutrition skyrocketed across Afghanistan following the collapse of the government and takeover by the Taliban. The fragile security situation caused many international organizations to scale back operations or leave the country altogether, driving up demand for critical humanitarian services.

War Child Canada remained in the country, working with local partners to distribute food and essential supplies to families most in need. Thanks to our twenty-year track record of success in Afghanistan, along with our 100% regional staff and strong community ties, we were able to continue our work with women and children in the aftermath of the Taliban takeover.

Our team provided 200 vulnerable women with basic education, business skills training, and access to capital to start much-needed local businesses. Through these ventures, they have been empowered to earn an income and meet the immediate needs of their families. War Child also provided emergency educational programming to more than 6,000 newly-displaced children in Kabul. With the generous support of donors, we are currently expanding this programming to reach 10,000 more children in Kabul and building 36 protective spaces to support 2,000 children in Nangarhar.



The second and third waves of COVID-19 exacerbated existing disparities between boys and girls in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), further widening the gender gap in education.

While cultural practices and gender norms that favour educating boys had already excluded many girls from school before the pandemic, the worsening socio-economic situation across the DRC placed additional burdens on already strapped households. To save money, many girls were forced to drop out of school to help support their families — especially those from the poorest households in remote rural areas.

To ensure girls had the opportunity to keep up with their studies without financial barriers, War Child continued to provide free radio-based educational programming in community centres across six provinces in the DRC. In addition, our teams worked in partnership with local communities to raise awareness of child rights and the benefits of girls’ education, helping to shift gender norms and get more than 1,800 girls back into classrooms during the 2021 school year.



Food insecurity, driven by violence over scarce resources and exacerbated by climate change, is a serious challenge in South Sudan. In 2021, the country was hit by periods of increased flooding and intense droughts which caused heavy losses in agriculture and livestock, disrupting livelihoods and pushing more than 7 million people deeper into poverty.

Rural communities across the country were the hardest hit. To enhance the capacity of farming families, especially those that are female-led, War Child continued to provide more than 2,200 households with agricultural and business training, educating farming families on sustainable planting and harvesting techniques to increase their yields and sustain lands and natural resources.

This project has not only empowered female farmers as community leaders and income generators, but it also ensures they can adapt and respond to the changing climate and feed their families for years to come.



A complex interplay of multiple factors—including conflict, climate change, political instability, and a sustained economic crisis—continued to drive insecurity and internal displacement in Sudan in 2021. The humanitarian situation was made even more complex following a military coup in October 2021 and renewed inter-communal violence across the region of West Darfur. The sharp increase in armed conflict levelled homes and settlement communities, leaving almost half a million civilians displaced and in desperate need of assistance — including many of War Child’s own staff members and their families.

Immediately, our local team mobilized to respond to the escalating crisis, focusing our short-term emergency efforts on providing safe, protective spaces for children and families struggling to access food, clean water, and other essential services. War Child also expanded our livelihoods programming to reach almost 50,000 internally displaced people, providing agriculture and business training and access to seeds and livestock to ensure long-term food security for communities most in need.

Renewed violence across the border in Ethiopia’s Tigray region also led to an influx of Ethiopian refugees fleeing into Sudan. To meet the needs of thousands of refugee youth dealing with high degrees of trauma and loss, our team built two new centres in the Um Rakuba refugee camp and began providing recreational programming. In addition to language training, art therapy, and team sports, youth receive counselling and other psychosocial supports. As the sole provider of youth services in this community, War Child has reached almost 9,500 young refugees so far, providing them with a much-needed source of stability and safety.



Following the outbreak of COVID-19, Uganda’s schools were closed in March 2020 and remained closed for the entirety of 2021 (they did not reopen until January 2022, making it the world’s longest pandemic-related school closure). This closure had severe repercussions for students across the country. Those especially at risk of falling even further behind in their studies were the many refugees displaced by war who had already missed months, or even years of schooling.

War Child Canada has created a successful, first-of-its-kind secondary-level accelerated learning program in Uganda which has provided tens of thousands of students with the opportunity to catch-up on their learning. The intensive program compresses two years of missed schooling into one so students can eventually re-enter the formal education system.

In 2021, to ensure these vulnerable students could continue to make progress in their studies despite the ongoing school closures, War Child’s local team pivoted to a distance-education model, providing students with the materials, supplies, and encouragement they needed to support (and stick with) at-home learning. 42% of students—almost half of whom are refugees—graduated from the program last year and transitioned to formal secondary schools to continue their learning. For a highly transient refugee population that is often denied the opportunity to attend school in host countries, this is an incredible success.



Yemen continues to be one of the worst humanitarian crises in the world. More than 20 million people are in dire need of humanitarian assistance and 2 million children are out of school due to the ongoing civil war.

War Child Canada is one of the few international organizations that has been granted permission to work in Yemen. In 2021, we began operating in the country’s southern region.

In addition to improving water and sanitation in education facilities, our local team was hard at work rebuilding schools destroyed during the fighting. We also worked with partners to facilitate teacher and community training to improve child protection in Yemen and provided school supplies and other materials so children could get back to learning.


Faizullah from Afghanistan

Faizullah is a seven-year-old boy whose family lives in a settlement for internally-displaced people in Kabul, Afghanistan. Originally from Paktia province, he fled with his parents and four siblings as violence began to intensify in the area. With no formal schools nearby, Faizullah’s father—who is one of War Child’s community leaders trained in child protection and improving community safety—registered him in our community-based educational program that provides children with access to high-quality learning in safe spaces.

“I am really happy there is a school in our village and I love my father for sending me. I learn a lot at school, like reading and writing the alphabet, and even know what my rights are and how to protect myself.”

Rawasia from Afghanistan

Rawasia is a 33-year-old mother of five who was illiterate before she enrolled in our vocational skills training program in Kabul, Afghanistan. Now, in addition to learning basic literacy and numeracy skills, Rawasia has trained as a tailor and started her own business mending and designing clothing for the community.

“War Child has played a vital role in my life. Before, I wasn’t even able to take a pen and write my own name. But the program has improved my skills and helped me stand on my own feet. I have created an income source through tailoring which provides monthly cash to buy food, pay for my children’s school fees, and purchase the medicine my husband needs for his health condition.”

Akello from South Sudan

Akello is a 40-year-old woman from a rural farming family in the South Sudan state of Western Bahr el Ghazal. She is also the leader of War Child’s Farmer Field Business School (FFBS) project that provides agricultural and business skills training to empower female farmers.

“In the beginning, I faced situations where local male farmers opposed my leadership in the community just because I’m a woman. But with War Child’s support, I never gave up and kept reminding them that women and girls deserve fair opportunities and that we need to work together to improve the situations of our families. Now, they respect me as their leader and we have all experienced positive changes in terms of our income and food.”

Letio from Uganda

Letio is a 21-year-old South Sudanese refugee whose parents were killed in the war. She escaped and fled the country into neighbouring Uganda where she now lives with her aunt in the Adjumani refugee settlement. For years, Letio dreamed of going to school but her aunt couldn’t afford the fees. When a friend in the camp told her about War Child’s free secondary-level accelerated learning program, she immediately enrolled to catch up on her schooling and hasn’t looked back.

“I’m grateful to War Child for giving me the opportunity to go back to school again. I joined level one of the secondary program and I hope to keep studying hard to one day become a lawyer so I can advocate for other women refugees.”


Thank you to our many supporters for your continued generosity and commitment – without you, War Child Canada’s critical work wouldn’t be possible.

Chair of the Board of Directors: Michael Eizenga

Board of Directors: Adrian Lang, Anna Gainey, Bob Richardson, Denise Donlon, Ikram Al Mouaswas, Jeffrey Orridge, Nils Engelstad, Omar Khan