As I watched the 10 o’clock news last night (on World Humanitarian Day) and saw the horrific pictures of 5 year old Omran Daqneesh sitting staring at the blood in his hand, in shock, alone in the back of an ambulance in Aleppo my heart broke.
How is this happening again, how were the horrific images of Aylan Kurdi washed up on a beach in Turkey last year not enough trigger change. How many more of these heart breaking images will we have to be shown before change happens. Where has humanity gone?
I shared the BBC news story to my facebook page, and asked what can we do? It’s now 2am and I’m so far from sleep with that image swimming in my head and feeling so blessed with my own circumstance – I want to do more… more than simply share an image on social media and comment how atrocious the situation is.
So what can we do? What can I do to help? My hope is that a combination of millions of people doing something not nothing, even if it’s only a little thing, will through strength in numbers become a big thing. So here goes this is what I have done and intend to do over the coming days:
There are many many amazing charities supporting the refugee Crisis in Syria you can donate to; and I’m not about to tell people who they should send their hard earned cash to. I however have chosen to donate to War Child on their website (http://www.warchild.org.uk) who help to rehabilitate children of war in child protection centres and to Save the Children via text donation.
Social Media is a powerful thing, the ice bucket challenge, the 22 day push up challenge, these viral campaigns show me that people want to help, people want to get involved, people all over the world want to stand together and help.
Therefore this evening I posted a picture on my Instagram feed showing what I am blessed to have. Adding the hashtag #Iamblessed and I then TEXT SYRIA5 to 61144 to donate £5 to Save the Children’s Syria Emergency Appeal. I’m a small fish I only have a small following, but the ripple effect could be huge. If only half my followers follow suit, post a picture # it and donate, more money than I could ever afford to give will be donated to the appeal.
A small thing for me to do, but to a 5 year old child alone and terrified it could mean the world. I recently asked my two children to chose some of their teddies to donate via The Teddy Trust to children who may not have a mummy or daddy to cuddle. Who hear loud bangs and see scary things and would really like a teddy to cuddle when they try to go to sleep. It was a hard sell I’m not going to lie; my three year old said “that would be kind mummy, but not my teddies” and promptly donated 7 of his baby sisters teddies to the pile. We got there with some gentle coaxing (negotiations included a Smarties for teddy donations deal breaker); and donated a bag of teddies. Again there are many charities that take donations of things to send to Syria (and other places of conflict where supplies for refugees are so greatly needed), this was just my chosen way to donate some of our belongings in a bid to help. I’m lucky a local shop is taking donations in for The Teddy Trust at the moment. If you want to donate there is information on their website detailing how you can do so: http://theteddytrust.wixsite.com
Write to your local MP, write to our new Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson, hell write to Theresa May, badger them to do something about this crisis. What is going on in Syria is a war crime. indiscriminate attacks on a civilian population is against the Geneva Conventions.
There is a UN General Assembly meeting next month where world leaders will gather to discuss the large movements of refugees and migrants. We must try to make our voices heard by the UN & by our own government. So that those in a position of power that enables them to effect change do so on our behalf.
For me it’s about doing something, not nothing, however small that something is. Without getting to mushy and gushy about it – together we can make a difference. Any other ideas? I’m open to more suggestions of ways I can help…