War Child Holland is an independent and impartial, international nongovernmental organisation investing in a peaceful future for children and young people affected by armed conflict. War Child's origins go back to 1993 when Willemijn Verloop, a social entrepreneur from the Netherlands, travelled to the Balkans as a peace activist for the European Action council for Peace in the Balkan. There she met music professor Nigel Osborne who, in the midst of the fighting, ran musical workshops for children in the bomb shelters of Bosnia.
Willemijn started organising fundraising events in the Netherlands, with great success. War Child Holland was then, in 1995, officially founded; a small organisation with a handful of volunteers. From the very beginning, many companies and private donors were attracted to War Child because of the nature of our work: creative psychosocial activities for children in areas affected by conflict. As support for our work grew, we were able to increase the number of activities and add to the number of programme countries. In addition to psychosocial support, education and child protection became key thematic areas in War Child’s projects.
By using creative and involving workshops we unleash the children's inner strength. That is our mission. We work with children regardless of their religion, ethnicity, social background, or gender.
Our work is based on the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child. We implement programmes in Africa, Asia, the Middle East, South America, and Europe. Our head office is located in the Netherlands. We are part of War Child International.