Camp Okutta: A summer camp where Canadian kids learn the art of war

    Shocking for Canada, but true across the globe

    War Child charity brings global issue of child soldiers home to Canadians
    with provocative multi-media campaign

    TORONTO, Aug. 22 /CNW/ - War Child Canada is launching a provocative and
edgy multi-media campaign to call attention to the plight of children caught -
and often forced to fight - in as many as thirty armed conflicts across the
    The campaign depicts life at Camp Okutta, a fictional summer camp similar
to those frequented by Canadian children every summer, but with a noticeable
twist. Children attending Camp Okutta participate in activities that include
firing an AK-47, walking through a live minefield and throwing hand grenades
in preparation for combat, and are depicted on four viral videos. The images
of very young children participating in such activities are startling and
obviously disturbing.
    "The purpose of the campaign is not to offend but to inform", says Dr.
Samantha Nutt, Founder and Executive Director of War Child Canada, an
international humanitarian organization based in Toronto. "While for many of
us here these images seem shocking, sadly this is the reality that many
children face in war torn countries around the world. In full violation of
international law, children are being forced to fight in wars in countries
that include Sudan, Uganda, Afghanistan, Iraq, the Democratic Republic of
Congo, Sri Lanka and many others. While these issues are not new, we hope that
this campaign will resonate with Canadians in a new way. These aren't the
stereotypical images of children in war intended to promote sympathy. These
are images of children that make you stop and go 'that's just not right'."
    Parents are invited to register their children for "Camp Okutta" at As they virtually tour the camp they see cheerful
counselors showing kids all that Camp Okutta has to offer, including a camp
infirmary where children are drugged to suppress homesickness and fear, and a
mess hall where kids are served scraps that the camp leaders have left behind.
    Also part of the campaign, brochures and posters are being handed out to
parents by street teams, dressed as Camp Okutta counselors and staff.
    The pro bono campaign, created by Toronto advertising agency, john st,
aims to urge Canadians into action and raise awareness and support for War
Child Canada's work with vulnerable children in some of the world's most
violent flashpoints including Darfur, the Democratic Republic of Congo,
Uganda, Iraq and Afghanistan.
    The Camp Okutta site links back to, where visitors can
learn more about the global impact of war on children. All funds raised by the
campaign will support War Child Canada's international programs.
    "Canadians would never stand for a camp like this", adds Dr Nutt, "But,
sadly, it's happening all around the world right now. And it has to stop."

    War Child Canada ( implements humanitarian programs in
war-torn communities around the world providing health, education, livelihoods
training and psychosocial support to vulnerable children and their families in
both emergency and post-conflict settings. War Child Canada currently provides
support to war-affected children in Iraq, Afghanistan, Sudan (including Darfur
and southern Sudan), Uganda, Sierra Leone, Democratic Republic of Congo,
Ethiopia and Sri Lanka.

For further information:

For further information: and interview requests please contact: James
Topham, Director, Marketing and Fundraising, War Child Canada, Office phone
(416) 971-7474, Cell phone (647) 340-4339,; Barbara Harmer,
Director, Communications and Music, War Child Canada, Office phone (416)

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