I had been avoiding seeing THE PICTURE of the dead toddler washed up on the beach but then it came on the news last week. My heart broke along with the rest of the world and I burst into floods of angry tears.
That week it was unavoidable as it seemed to be plastered across every form of social media to the outrage of many people. Personally if my daughter and I died fleeing a war torn country I would hope from the grave that everyone in the world would see the horror of what we had gone through and would sit up and notice and do something about it. I would want the world to reel at the image of our reality and mourn at the loss of life and the loss of humanity that caused it. While I can’t bear to look at it I don’t object it being shared for everyone to see and I hope it keeps politicians up all night.
That night I hugged my daughter tight and prayed for this nightmare to end for these people. If you have read my blog before you will know about my own immigration heartache but this SERIOUSLY PUTS STUFF INTO PERSPECTIVE. My experience of racism within bureaucracy is most certainly at the soft end of the spectrum compared to what these refugees are now experiencing. World attitudes need to change and everyone can play their part and make a difference.
It’s great that some countries are making an effort and even our own useless government here in the UK has been forced to react to the massive call for action. Clearly more needs to be done and not just to solve the immediate crisis but also the root of the problem – war and hate fuelled by greed, profit and masquerading as religion.
Towards the end of the week I found myself chatting to a nurse while waiting for a hospital appointment and overhearing some conversations in the waiting room. I was shocked and saddened to hear that there are people who don’t want to help the refugees and feel threatened by them taking homes and benefits here in the UK. I explained that these people who have had the resilience to cross miles to start a new life are looking to rebuild their lives. The will be more than willing to work, they will seek education and they will want to be accepted into and become a part of whatever alien society they find themselves settled in. In the long run this enthusiastic and optimistic workforce can only contribute to society and the economy – a fact that Germany has been quick to recognise. There is all this to consider let alone the fact that should the shoe be on the other foot how would you feel if you were fleeing for your life with your children and people who were better off than you refused to help? To help is the decent and human reaction.
The media has a lot to answer for and will be pivotal in how we can combat the long term challenges now. We need to combat racism, xenophobia and fear. We need to ensure that the recent refugee crisis doesn’t impact on already draconian immigration rules, worsening the situation for families like mine. We need to disprove attitudes that we don’t have enough space when there are so many empty properties including whole villages (see link below).
Social media can make a real difference when mainstream media fails.
I will leave you with a more positive picture of some LIVE refugee children and their message of peace and hope for the world.
Below are some links to some things that you can do to make a difference as well as resources for refugees and I will be posting more as I come across them on my FB page – please feel free to add to the list: