Children in Crossfire

Children in Crossfire was founded in 1996 by Richard Moore. In 1972, as a 10 year-old child, Richard was blinded by a rubber bullet fired by a British soldier during the Troubles in Northern Ireland. Amazingly from childhood to the present day, he has accepted the loss of his sight without any feelings of resentment. In describing his remarkable acceptance of what, for most, would be a debilitating trauma, he says “I learned to see life in a different way, I may have lost my sight, but I have my vision”.

Despite his blindness Richard has lived the fullest of lives which he increasingly devotes to helping those who do not have the possibilities and choices he had. The compassion which Richard experienced throughout his life was and is the inspiration behind Children in Crossfire and is clearly apparent in all of its activities. The organisation’s ‘spirit of humanness’ is often cited as one of its key strengths.

“When I think of my own story I realise that any ideas of compassion, any ideas of forgiveness, all of those principals were instilled in me by my family, by my local community and by my teachers all of whom spent a lot of time educating my heart. I feel very lucky to experience compassion on a daily basis in my everyday life and my wish is, through Children in Crossfire, to help others, particularly children, realise that compassion is deserved by all and should be experienced by all.” (Richard Moore)

Just as Richard’s life emerged as triumph out of tragedy through his experiences of compassion in the face of challenge, Children in Crossfire pursues its vision through and with that same compassion. Specifically it responds to the rights and needs of children and young people caught in the crossfire of global poverty, injustice and inequality by using two mutually reinforcing approaches:

  1. In addressing directly the developmental and often urgent needs of some of the most vulnerable children on the planet. Currently CiC works in partnership with other organisations in Tanzania & Ethiopia, in particular in the area of Early Childhood Development, to find and implement the best possible solutions to poverty so that every child has the chance to choose.
  2. In recognising that long term sustainable change in the world not only requires programmes directly serving the most vulnerable children but also those in Ireland, the UK and globally, so that children and young people understand the causes of poverty, injustice and inequality and are mobilized to take action for a fairer world.

Both approaches share the common aim of educating hearts and minds to give every child Children in Crossfire encounters the chance to contribute positively to this world as compassionate global citizens, the only difference is the place from which that journey starts.

In 2007 Richard came to the attention of His Holiness the Dalai Lama, who often refers to him as “his hero”. The two have since become firm friends and the Dalai Lama has been patron of Children in Crossfire since 2010, he describes Richard as “an indomitable spirit, he is a real practitioner of compassion and a living example of peace, he is my hero”.

VISION

 

A compassionate world where every child can reach his or her potential.

 

MISSION

 

To work with others to tackle the injustices and poverty affecting children.

In supporting Children in Crossfire Secure Base has recently facilitated the development of their new Website. Secure Base also currently supports Children in Crossfire’s Educating the Heart initiative which, through the development of its existing Teachers in Development and Learning (“TIDAL”) programme, aims to encourage the embedding of compassion into education policy and practice in Northern Ireland, with the intention of creating a model worthy of global replication.