Developing the next phase of Never Such Innocence: Giving Children and Young People a Voice on Conflict

How you can help shape the new project

We want to make sure the next phase of NSI meets the needs of children and young people around the world, and their teachers and educators.  We would be incredibly grateful if you might fill in this survey about the new competition and resource topics. If you have any further thoughts at all please do get in touch with us as we would love to hear any insights you may have.  You can email us at enquiries@neversuchinnocence.com or give us a call on 0207 836 2603.

You can also submit early entries to the 2019-20 competition, or see our upcoming locations and focus groups here.


Introduction to the Next Phase of Never Such Innocence from Lady Lucy French OBE, Founder and Chief Executive.

Emily Dutson’s poem ‘   What Would They Think‘   won the 2015/16 competition, and explores the world today in relation to the First World War

Emily Dutson’s poem ‘What Would They Think‘ won the 2015/16 competition, and explores the world today in relation to the First World War

As George Santayana said “those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it” and it is imperative that children today not only learn about past conflicts but are also given an opportunity to relate those lessons to the world we live in now and the many current conflicts that persist around the globe.  Over the past four years, we have discovered that children do not only respond to learning about past wars as a factual history exercise, they respond to the themes within conflicts, the why and the how and the human tragedy.

Conflict has been a constant of human society since the beginning of time.  The capacity for hatred and violence is as much a part of humanity as love, generosity of spirit, and human kindness.  Understanding what prompts intolerance, violence, and aggression can enable the custodians of the future to shape a more peaceful, tolerant world.

Never Such Innocence invites young people to have a strong and powerful voice to influence the world’s decision makers.  The next phase of our project will give children and young people from across the world the opportunity to process, respond to and reflect on all forms of conflict throughout history and consider the value of commemoration.

Larbert High School created artwork in response to the current conflict in Syria.  We visited the school to pilot the next phase of the project.

Larbert High School created artwork in response to the current conflict in Syria.
We visited the school to pilot the next phase of the project.

To date Never Such Innocence works with young people in 47 countries, territories and dependencies across five continents. This work will continue as we invite young people to create a poem, a speech, a song or piece of art reflecting on something they feel strongly about historically or currently, on an international scale, or within their local community or wider society.

We are excited to extend the project to embrace our intergenerational society, encouraging young people to collaborate with older people, sharing stories and experiences.

A schools' resource will be published online, and updated year-on-year, to provide inspiration for competition entries. The resource will be thematic and will cover impacts of war and responses to war, drawing on examples throughout history.  

NSI will also deliver a nationwide roadshow from September 2019 to February 2020, followed by an international Awards Ceremony in May 2020.  These events will provide a wonderful platform for children and young people to share their reflections on conflict, and we are so looking forward to hearing what they have to say.

We are incredibly grateful to our new Education Advisory Panel, who have kindly agreed to offer their perspectives and guide us as we create our new educational resources and launch the 2019-20 competition.

If you have any thoughts on how we can best support children and young people in the new project, we would be delighted to hear them.  You can take a quick survey here, and if you have any additional thoughts at all please don’t hesitate to email us via enquiries@neversuchinnocence.com.

I hope that you will join us for the exciting next stage of our Never Such Innocence journey!

With best wishes,

Lucy

Lady Lucy French OBE
Founder and Chief Executive