Child Soldier Testaments from UNESCO

Brazil agency Africa has released “Testament”, a print advertising campaign for UNESCO raising awareness of the lost lives of child soldiers. Photographs by journalist Steve McCurry featuring real child soldiers in Afghanistan, India and Central African Republic are at the centre of each ad, with digital illustration and photographic textures used to support the written testaments of each child. Each story explores the recruitment, the degradation and the rescue of the child. “War kills children. Help us put child soldiers back to school”.

UNESCO Testament India

UNESCO Testament Afghanistan

“We created something that surprised people. Testaments based on the lives of children rescued during conflicts. A very powerful text, capable of making us wonder how cruel it’s a child soldier’s life. In the end, we reveal that the army killed the most precious thing: childhood. The testament is, in fact, a posthumous memory of the kid’s childhood. After all, when a boy or girl joins war, they’re are forced to become adults. The last will is the wish every child in the world may live life fully and freely, a child’s life, something the young soldiers couldn’t accomplish.”

UNESCO Testament Central Africa


The UNESCO Child Soldier Testaments campaign was developed at Africa, São Paulo, by chief creative director Sergio Gordilho, art directors Paulo Coelho, Rafael Gil and Paulo Filipe Souza, copywriter Gustavo Costa and photographer Steve McCurry.