Damned Nations

Author Samantha Nutt is the founder and executive director of War Child.

Samantha Nutt

In 1995, 25-year-old Samantha Nutt, a recent medical school graduate and a field volunteer for UNICEF, touched down in Baidoa, Somalia, the "City of Death." What she saw there would spur her on to a lifetime of passionate advocacy for children and families in war-torn areas around the world. Damned Nations is the distillation of Dr. Nutt's observations over the course of fifteen years providing hands-on care in some of the world's most violent flashpoints, all the while building the world class non-profit War Child North America.

Combining original research with her personal story, the book is a deeply thoughtful meditation on war as it is being waged around the world against millions of civilians — primarily women and children. Nutt's boundless energy, dedication, and compassion shine through on every page as she lays out real, lasting solutions to these problems and shows how to move beyond outdated notions of charity towards a more progressive, inclusive and respectful world view. (From Signal)

Read an excerpt | Author interviews

From the book

When war returned to Bukavu, in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo along the Rwandan border, I dismissed the gunfire as nothing more than a minor skirmish. A peace accord had been signed eighteen months earlier by most of the fractured parties to this hellish conflict. Had no one read it? Maybe, I reasoned, it was just a group of boys not quite satisfied with the terms of their severance from one of the ever-shifting rebel groups. This isn't serious. It will pass. During my previous mission to the region a few months earlier, there had been hushed chatter among aid workers of a "third revolution," but war zones are full of such stories — of final chapters in battle not yet written. And, by all accounts, the rumours predated the peace process, so there was no need for concern. There were 10,000 United Nations peacekeepers in the region, and I was confident it wouldn't take them long to identify the problem and contain it.

From Damned Nations by Samantha Nutt ©2010. Published by Signal.

Author interviews 

Featured VideoSocial activist Samantha Nutt, founder of War Child Canada, talks about the impact of war on women and their place in society