Journalist in Iraq war, casts inspiring vision for Iraq’s children

Declaring that “children must be our top priority because they were never part of the fighting or politics that led to war,” ABC News journalist Bob Woodruff has taken up the cause of Iraq’s orphans and vulnerable children. Woodruff shared his experiences as a journalist in Iraq at a September 18 event hosted by the Embassy of Iraq for the Iraqi Children Foundation

Gravely wounded with traumatic brain injury from an IED, Woodruff received immediate emergency assistance from commanding officer, Major Mike Jason, of the unit with which he was embedded. Jason (US Army, Col. Ret.) today serves on the Board of Directors of the Iraqi Children Foundation. Woodruff recounted his experiences and long recovery, and his desire to one day return to Iraq. 

In an interview, Woodruff said: “Sometime soon I would like to get a chance to visit Iraq again. The last time I was there was in 2006 when I was badly wounded. This time I would like to witness the remarkable work being done by the Iraqi Children Foundation. I believe that children must be our top priority because they were never part of the fighting or politics that led to war in their country.” 

“Everyone I know would like to give kids a chance to live a great life,” Woodruff added. “In fact this is the best way to avoid wars in the future because conflicts happen mostly because of a lack of education. If we help them learn early in their lives this crucial education will be the most successful form of diplomacy. No one is better at this than ICF.” 

Grant Felgenhauer, Chairman of the Iraqi Children Foundation, also spoke about ICF’s initiatives in Iraq, sharing personal stories of orphans and vulnerable children whose lives have been uplifted by ICF’s compassionate work.

Among the stories were those of desperately poor children, many of whom have been at risk of child labor, trafficking, early marriage, abuse and lack of education. But, now so many children have access to free legal protection, psychosocial care, and a free education and nutrition at ICF’s eye-catching Hope Buses. 

“The kids in the Hope Buses exemplify human resilience and optimism,” Felgenhauer explained. “They remain hopeful and determined to improve themselves and the lives of those around them through education.” 

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