Coyne Airways, ACS support 'War Child' charity

Published: Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Coyne Airways and Air Charter Service recently announced a scheme to back War Child, a charity which supports children affected by conflict.

Family-run Coyne and ACS will donate an agreed amount per transaction on behalf of their customers, starting from next month.

Customers will be given the opportunity to match the donation on a quarterly basis.

“The air cargo business supports many charities but none specifically aimed at helping children in conflict areas” said Larry Coyne, CEO, Coyne Airways, speaking on the second day of The International Air Cargo Association (TIACA)’s Air Cargo Forum.

“We want to support a charity which helps some of the most disadvantaged people during wars – children, and encourage participants in our industry to give, based on a formula which is simple and within their means.

“By tying the giving to a transaction such as a booking, a landing, or a flight, at a rate they are comfortable with, we take the guesswork out of how much to give and we are committing to give for a minimum period.”

“I appeal to any other companies interested in helping children in conflict zones to support War Child through this type of arrangement.”

Chris Leach, Chairman of ACS, added, “At ACS we support a number of charities each year, but when Larry brought War Child to my attention we felt we should dig that little bit deeper.

“During our careers in this industry some of us have seen the horrors left behind by conflict first hand.

“With Syria at the forefront of people’s minds at the moment, we feel that we can do more to help. War Child helps rebuild children’s lives following such conflicts and we are really proud to be supporting them.

“There are some great people in this industry of ours and if more of us came together we could make a really significant impact.”

War Child is the only specialist charity for children in conflict, delivering high-impact programmes that are rebuilding lives across the Middle East, Africa, and Asia.

“It’s brilliant that Coyne Airways has chosen to support us; we’re very grateful and want to say thank you to all involved,” said Rob Williams, CEO, War Child UK.

“The funds generously raised by Coyne and their customers will go towards life changing interventions for children affected by conflict – providing hope for the future for thousands of children in some of the most difficult places on earth.

War Child case study

Nour* was just six years old the first time she was abducted.

She was forced to flee from her comfortable home in Syria along with her mother Rana and baby sister Hiba. Rana knew the risks but she also knew that she needed to get her family out of there fast. Rarely has the phrase ‘stuck between a rock and a hard place’ been so appropriate.

Travelling by foot, at night, they made their way across the hills until they were captured by a militia group. Held captive for five days, they were beaten, cut, stripped, starved and separated from each other until their release was negotiated by extended family members.

The second time they attempted to leave their war-torn home country, they were held up by a group of Isis soldiers while travelling by bus. Nour could only watch as one of the passengers was hit in the face with the butt of a rifle and dragged away with his hands bound. They were held hostage in Syria, awaiting execution, until a last-minute deal with Kurdish forces allowed them to flee over the border and into northern Iraq.

Three years later they are amongst the 50,000 Syrian refugees living in Domiz camp in Duhok who now call an 8m x 4m tent ‘home’. Three out of five of the children who would have enjoyed a world-class education before the war are now out of school. The priority is to get these children back into education but the trauma they have experienced can be a massive barrier.

War Child provides unique support and counselling to help children come to terms with their experiences. Laughter and role-play are used to coax children out of their shells and into classrooms. It often starts small — encouraging eye contact with the deeply traumatised child. “We try to make them feel safe again”, War Child member of staff in Iraq.

Nour, now nine, has barely spoken since her ordeal but she is slowly finding her voice again. She is getting better every day. Over the last year, War Child has provided life-changing support to over 3,700 children in Iraq like Nour.

No one is pretending there’s a quick fix. But it is progress in a camp that is aspiring to be an alternative to a war-torn home or a perilous sea journey to Europe.