Murals in Waterloo Highlight Work to End Child Violence Around the World

Two murals aimed at raising awareness of the dangers to children around the World have been painted in Waterloo. Commissioned by the children’s charity ‘World Vision UK‘. They have been painted by graffiti artist Tom Webb as part of the charities ‘It Takes a World‘ campaign.

Depicting a young girl, the first mural shows her as a child soldier. The second shows the same girl going to school, holding books instead of weapons. The colours used in the murals change along with the context. The first filled with greens, reds and blacks giving it a camouflage effect and making obvious army associations. The second utilises softer pastel shades of pinks with browns and blue to help lift the image and to give it a more uplifting feel.

Two images from graffiti artist Tom Webb in Waterloo. The first shows a child with books ready to go to school. The second, the same child as a soldier holding a gun. The murals were inspired by former child soldiers from Africa and UK survivors of street violence. Credit: © World Vision / Kirsten Nainoca Photography


Exhibited at London’s Waterloo during November, they marked the launch of the ‘It Takes A World’ campaign from World Vision. The campaign aims to end violence against children around the world. “Anyone looking at this, can just feel a little bit more enlightened about these kinds of conflicts that are going on,” says Webb. “How lives are being turned upside down for all kinds of reasons….and children are missing out on their childhood.”

Last November, World Vision revealed that the UK government spends only 2.5 per cent of its humanitarian budget to protect children in emergencies. World Vision wants this to increase to at least 10 per cent! A key aim of the campaign is to ask the government to increase the amount spent through the presentation of a petition. It is hoped that they will have 50,000 signatures by the end of June 2019.

The murals were created in Waterloo’s Leake Street Tunnel. Credit: © World Vision / Kirsten Nainoca Photography


“Millions of children are trapped in conflicts and other emergencies around the world,” Rhian Beynon, Campaign Manager at World Vision UK, says. “They need protecting from violence as much as they need shelter, food and other basic necessities. “Yet the UK government – a leading aid donor – spends a relatively small amount of its aid budget to protect them. Some countries where children are at the most vulnerable receive no funds for child protection.”

“By signing the petition, people can send a powerful message to the government that they want the UK to commit more than £100 million to protect children. The UK government also needs to ensure money reaches the places where children are most at risk of violence.”

World Vision UK unveiled a harrowing mural of a young girl forced to fight in a war in Africa at the #ChildNotSoldier event in Waterloo’s Leake Street on 14thNovember 2018. The charity commissioned Graffiti Kings to create the artwork as part of its campaign – It Takes A World– to end violence against children in emergencies.  Credit: © World Vision / Kirsten Nainoca Photography
Singer/songwriter Sharlene-Monique, member of the Kingdom Choir, performed at the #ChildNotSoldier event in Waterloo’s Leake Street on 14thNovember 2018. Credit: © World Vision / Kirsten Nainoca Photography

The ‘It Takes a World‘ campaign from World Vision was launched in November 2018 and currently has 27,000 signatures. The aim is to increase this number to 50,000 by June 2019 so that a petition can be presented to the UK Parliament. Hashtags for the campaign can be followed at #childnotsoldier and #Ittakesaworld. You can sign the petition here.

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