After every war and conflict, there are children who live whole lives with stigma and persecution because they carry the genes of the enemy.
The examples are endless; the estimated half a million children born during and after World War 2 by German or Japanese occupying forces and local women, the children of rape victims in the civil wars of Bosnia, Rwanda and Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) to the unknown number of children born by IS soldiers in recent years. Regardless of whether the children were conceived through rape or more or less consensually relationships, the stigma of being connected to a ,foreign’ troop is often the same; the children are conceived as ‘enemies’ in their home countries and thus experience exclusion from family and their local community. They experience bullying, physical and psychological violence , as well as discrimination by the government and lack of human rights.
The topic is often a big taboo in the post-conflict communities. These innocent children grow up learning that they should not have been born and that they carry unwanted genes and no one seems to be interested in protecting their human rights, thus:
They need help to be seen and heard. As long as their fates remain invisible, nothing will change. Their suffering will continue.
Today, there is no international foundation that is dedicated to helping Children Born of War. We wish to change that.
Please help us establish such an organization, working to improve the situation for Children Born of War all over the world!
This initiative is the result of an unusual collaboration - between game designers and researchers. We are: Prof. Dr. Ingvill C. Mochmann, the global leading researcher on Children Born of War and head of the "International Network for Interdisciplinary Research on Children Born of War", Elin Festøy, the producer of the mobile game "My Child Lebensborn" and Catharina Due Bøhler, lead game designer for "My Child Lebensborn".
While collaborating to make a game that can let the player experience the situation for a child born of war, we saw the need for this organisation and saw that our work complemented each other. Prejudice is the root cause of the suffering for Children Born of War (CBOW), and creating awareness and knowledge is necessary. With the solid foundation of the research from Dr. Mochmann and network, together with our game's ability to communicate the topic, we have a strong starting point to create international awareness and document the situation for the children.
For the first time in our lifetime, we see that a group of Children Born of War is in the headlines. It seems time has come in many countries to leave room for voices and victim grozps that do not belong to the main stories of the post-conflict narrative. The last year has also brought us many articles about the children of IS soldiers. The language that is being used is sadly similar to language used after World War 2 – that these children will grow up with extreme views and be a danger to society. This all makes it important to now raise awareness of their perilous situation, and how marking the children as a potential danger is a known starting point for a lifetime of prejudice and hostility towards these innocent children.
Furthermore, the research on CBOW up to today has been heavily dependent on the support from the many Children Born of War from World War 2, who have done a significant contribution to the knowledge we have today. The BOW Int network of European CBOW from World War 2 is the largest organization of CBOW today. But this resource is slowly disappearing as these children are approaching their eighties and local groups are starting to shut down. These wise and knowledgeable voices will be missed in the coming years.
This makes it even more important to create a new, international organization that can continue the work and help support and strengthen the smaller CBOW groups from more recent conflicts.
The name of the new foundation is "The Children Born of War Project", chosen to underline the active campaign-nature of the foundation.
We need to make the UN and governments around the world aware of this group of war victims. We need to make them start helping these children and we need to support local initiatives and international humanitarian organizations who are in contact with these children. Lastly, we need more research to better be able to document the way in which these children are traumatized by the stigma and taboo of carrying the enemy's genes.
This means that the foundation will have four main challenges:
This campaign is to collect the necessary funds to establish a new, global foundation called "The Children Born of War Project".
The collected funds from this campaign will go directly to the newly established bank account for "The Children Born of War Project", to document to Norwegian authorities that the foundation has the necessary startup capital (NOK 100.000) to be registered as a foundation.
The registration will mean that we have an official, solid and registered organization with accounting and transparency according to Norwegian law. This gives us the necessary legal structure to be an official partner in international projects and eligible for other sources of funding. After the registration has been accepted, the funds will be available for the work of the foundation.
The funds will not be used for the day to day running of the organization, but earmarked for:
We are also donating 10 % of the net income of the game "My Child Lebensborn" to the new foundation, but this is not enough to get the funding capital that we need in place. This game funding will however be used to cover the charges from Gofundme and campaign expenses, so that all of the donated money from this campaign will go directly to the foundation.
Thank you so much for your interest in our campaign! We hope you will join us in our effort to create change for Children Born of War.
Ingvill, Catharina and Elin