UK

War Child Marks Five Years Of Syrian Conflict With Emotional Video

Bring your tissues

15/03/2016 13:53 GMT

Rita Ora and Hozier have appeared in an emotional video that highlights how the Syrian Civil War has affected children on the conflict's fifth anniversary.

Amongst other famous faces, the pair read a haunting poem written by a Syrian boy named Omar, lending their support to raise awareness of the issue in conjunction with charity War Child. 

The 15-year-old who wrote the passage fled from Syria with his family, and they are now living as refugees in Jordan.

The poem features shocking lines such as:

"Our news doesn’t change

It is always of the dead and the injured

Our blood became the headlines lines"

Irish artist Hozier begins the reading, which sees the conflict from a child’s point of view, and features a selection of stars.

Carey Mulligan speaks Omar’s words and is followed by American actress and Glee star Dianna Agron. British actor and comedian Jack Whitehall lends his voice with solemnity along with British pop star Rita Ora and Brit Award Critic’s Choice Jack Garrett. The closing lines are shared by Mumford and Sons lead singer Marcus Mumford.

The video urges viewers to sign a petition, calling for the UK government to do more to help protect children affected by conflict.

Across the Middle East, there are more than 4,750,000 Syrians registered as refugees. Half of them are under 18. In 2000, world leaders made a pledge to provide all children with basic education by 2015, War Child believes this pledge has failed those affected by conflict. 

44 million boys and girls (around four times the number in education in the UK) in conflict zones are denied any education, says War Chid. 

Rob Williams, the UK chief of the charity, said: “It’s been five years since many families were forced to leave their homes and the situation is still not improving for most.

"We’re really grateful for the fantastic support we have from Carey as our global ambassador and I would like to thank all the other artists, actors and musicians who have got involved to lend their time with this video.

"The situation for children like Omar in the Middle East is not easy. These are children who have been through trauma and then are denied access to educations and livelihoods.  We need for the international community and British government to do more to protect children affected by conflict.”