There’s a powerful story behind today’s Dictionary.com ‘Word of the Day’
Words are powerful beyond measure, but they hold different meanings for each person.
With that truth in mind, Save the Children — an international organization that fights for children’s rights – enlisted the help of Dictionary.com to show how definitions can vary under different circumstances.
On Thursday, Dictionary.com chose “SOS,” a noun defined as “any call for help,” as its Word of the Day to raise awareness of the 357 million children currently living in conflict zones around the world.
In a new report titled The War on Children, Save the Children found that one in six kids around the world live within 30 miles of a conflict zone. The 15% of children in the world affected by war — in places like Syria, Afghanistan, and Somalia — encounter dangerous challenges that have a major impact on their housing situations, family members, education, and leisure activities.
To powerfully illustrate the harrowing reality these kids face Save the Children had Dictionary.com define four core words in a child’s life: family, home, playground, and school. The organization then replaced the official definitions with personal ones from children who live in war zones, creating the striking images below.
Family: “Just me and my auntie, until we find my mother and brother again.”
Home: “The tent where I live and feel scared all the time.”
Playground: “A place where we used to play, but can’t play anymore because of the bullets and bombs.”
School: “A bombed-out place where I used to learn with my friends.”
Save the Children hopes that redefining these words will open people’s eyes to the serious situation happening across the globe and inspire them to take action to protect the children caught in the midst.
To learn about additional research performed by Save the Children and the Peace Research Institute Oslo, along with individual experiences from children living in war-torn areas of the world, check out the full report.