A few days ago we all saw the horrific pictures of Aylan Kurdi, the 3 year old Syrian boy who was washed up dead on a Turkish beach. He and his family were fleeing the civil war in Syria, just looking for a better life. Not a rich one, just one with a roof over their heads, enough food to eat and the freedom to move about safely. You know the basics, the things we take for granted.
I was appalled (nearly physically sick) this morning when I heard on my local radio that a UKIP candidate Peter Bucklitsch had tweeted the following on 3rd September - "The little Syrian boy was well clothed & well fed. He died because his parents were greedy for the good life in Europe. Queue jumping costs." Greedy for the good life? Well if that is what safety is now referred to then yes I suspect we all are!
I am heartened to at least be able to say that Joe Average has responded, in the main, with compassion and love. There are numerous petitions urging the British public to speak up and demand that our government allow the UK to take their fair share of Syrian refugees (I only wish some could come and stay with us, I kid you not - I really am willing to put my money where my mouth is) and there are lots of people who want to not just sit here helpless, they are looking for ways to get involved.
Of course what we need is action and not words but as one person, a lone mother in East Sussex I feel a bit useless and like there is little I can do to make a difference.
- I've signed the petitions (two I can recommend are here and here)
- I'm praying.... constantly
- I've donated money for care packs to be sent abroad to the refugees living with practically nothing
- I've offered to volunteer for a local charity sending out clothes and provisions to those living in the refugee camps
- I've given physical items that we no longer need, that can be driven over to Calais
- And now I'm doing what bloggers do best, I'm helping to spread the word about how you can help too, how you can not feel useless in this travesty which is happening right now and in fact has been for years. We cannot turn a blind eye and pretend it is not, who knows, one day it could be you, your child or it could be me and my family. Things can change in an instant.
- That image you saw above of my kids is part of a mass push by a large group of bloggers who want to help and feel moved to try and make a ripple in what is happening. We can't solve the problem but we can raise awareness and show you where you can donate your money to help at least one group of affected people.
If you are feeling a little overwhelmed and you need to know some basic facts about the refugees from Syria, then take a look at this really simple article from Mercy Corps. The problem is big, very big and I know you perhaps can hardly comprehend it and that is where poor Aylan has been a hero. He has bought the reality of the crisis to you and me in a way we can understand, he has made it personal.
You can give £5 by texting SYRIA to 70008*
Or please donate whatever you can to Save the Children's Syria Crisis Appeal:
Online by debit or credit card Click the links
By telephone by calling 0800 8148 148
I'll leave you with this video, which I first saw early last year and I've watched a few times since. It is very powerful and you should watch it too.
Just imagine if Surrey were Syria!
Thank you for any help you can give, God bless you. Mich x
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