Czech Olympic Committee lends support to children of war

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UNICEF, the United Nations Children's Fund, joined forces with the Czech Olympic Committee on Tuesday to raise awareness of the plight of children whose lives have been destroyed by war. The campaign--entitled Give Hope to the Children of War--aims to use the Olympic Games to highlight the problems faced by children in former or present war zones such as Rwanda, Sierra Leone, Sudan, Afghanistan, Kosovo and East Timor.

UNICEF, the United Nations Children's Fund, joined forces with the Czech Olympic Committee on Tuesday to raise awareness of the plight of children whose lives have been destroyed by war. The campaign - entitled Give Hope to the Children of War - aims to use the Olympic Games to highlight the problems faced by children in former or present war zones such as Rwanda, Sierra Leone, Sudan, Afghanistan, Kosovo and East Timor.

One famous athlete lending his support to the campaign is the Czech Olympic javelin-thrower Jan Zelezny: Unicef estimates that 300,000 children worldwide are directly utilized in war zones either as soldiers, cooks or prostitutes. Another 12 million suffer from the consequences of losing their homes and their families. 300 volunteers will take to the streets of Prague on the 14th September, the day before the games begin, to offer yo-yos and postcards to passersby. The money raised will go towards projects such as rebuilding schools and providing medical facilities for war-effected children. One man who believes that children should be learning and playing instead of fighting or suffering is the president of the Czech Olympic Committee, Milan Jirasek: