Children In Crossfire

Richard Moore

In 1972, aged 10, while walking home from school, Richard Moore, the founder of Children in Crossfire, was struck in the face by a rubber bullet and permanently blinded. Astonishingly, his terrible experience has never turned to anger or bitterness or in any way stunted his development as a remarkable humanitarian. “I learned to see life in a different way,” is how he describes his remarkable acceptance of what, for most, would be a debilitating trauma.

In the 35 years of blindness, he has become a husband, father, accomplished musician, folk group leader and successful businessman. A decade ago he felt the need to harness all that he had learned and put it at the service of humanity, in particular to help children around the world who, like himself, have been caught in the crossfire of violence or poverty and hunger. Now, “Children in Crossfire” is a global organisation with an expanding outreach to Asia, Africa and Latin America. It is a remarkable testimony of the indomitable spirit of a man who turned personal tragedy into triumph and now wishes to bring healing and reconciliation to the world.

In 2007, Richard Moore was the subject of a major BBC television documentary, ‘Blind Vision’ in which he met the soldier who blinded him. Both men have now embarked on a journey of friendship. Children in Crossfire exists to make a significant and lasting contribution to the eradication of poverty. However, we do not work alone, but as an independent part of a vibrant web of collaborating agencies, each of us contributing something unique and valuable toward our shared vision for a better world.

Children in Crossfire supports local initiatives that improve the daily lives of people living in some of the world’s poorest communities – for instance, the achievement of greater income-earning opportunities, improved health facilities, and clean water supplies. At the heart of our commitment to tackle poverty is the belief that the most effective and sustainable development initiatives are to be found within the local communities themselves. Strengthening the ability of these communities to establish and sustain development initiatives is a central theme of our work.

The strength of Children in Crossfire comes from our relationship with partner organisations and communities around the world. At the heart of these relationships – many of them long established – is a shared commitment to service. We continue to develop new partnerships as the scale and scope of our work expands. Using our practical development experience, Children in Crossfire, together with our partners, maximise our impact by informing and lobbying local and international key government decision-makers.

Children in Crossfire responds to community needs, and is consequently involved in a wide range of urgent and essential projects. In each country we focus on areas where we can make a palpable difference – for instance, on agriculture and food security, emergency relief, human rights, water and environmental sanitation. As a direct result, individual and relevant initiatives and strategies emerge.

In May 2008, Stephen accepted an offer from the charity to witness, in person, the work of the organisation in East Africa. He says his visit to Tanzania as the representative of the band was “a life changing experience” and consequently, The Miami Showband is now fully committed to highlighting the wonderful work of “Children in Crossfire”. Paddy Dunning, the owner of Temple Lane Recording Studios in Dublin, generously put his excellent facility at the disposal of the project where The Miami Showband, with the children of Hazelwood Integrated College cross community School recently recorded the very appropriate Hoyt Axton song “Joy to the World” in aid of the charity. “The Miami Showband/Children in Crossfire” collaboration was managed by the acclaimed musician and fellow traveller to Tanzania, Morris Crum, whose untiring work on behalf of the charity is both inspirational and unrelenting.

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