Carnegie Medal winning author and Cord ambassador Gillian Cross, this year published her new work ‘After Tomorrow’, a beautiful and stark portrayal of life as a refugee, posed from the perspective of a child living in Britain.

The book was nominated for the 2013 Guardian Children’s fiction prize and Cord were approached to contribute to a piece in the Guardian describing our work in Chad - which provided Gillan’s inspiration for the story.

Gillian describes how working with Cord helped her to experience the characters of those faced with conflict. One of our photographs, of small children at the camp playing with a ball made entirely from plastic bags, impacted Gillian greatly.

She said, ‘Often tiny things are the most moving. They had so little - not even a proper ball - they hadn’t let that stop them. I didn’t know how to make a plastic bag ball, but they did.’

She continued, ‘I thought a lot about those boys - and about their parents, who taught in the camp schools or started up small businesses to provide services to other refugees. Would I be able to cope as well as they did?’

Putting things into a relevant perspective always helps people to empathise with the plight of others - and, as distant as the Sudanese refugees in Chad may be, the story was eloquently told through the eyes of a boy in the UK, experiencing a violent conflict at home and having to flee abroad.

Our lifestyles may be different, but our reactions, our survival and our spirit, are human characteristics that translate wherever we live.

We are delighted that Gillian will be launching our Schools’ Pack later this year. Her unique way of translating the message to a younger audience is vital in continuing the peace building work throughout generations to come.