Saturday 5 September 2015

Don't Wish Me Happy Birthday... #SaveSyriasChildren

Today is my birthday. as I turn 31 I'm not thinking about presents and cake, I'm re-running images in my head, images I've seen across the news and social media over the past days and weeks. Images that I want to get rid of but I know I have to continue to see. I have to re-live them over and over again because I need to know this is real. I need to be reminded that these are not far away 'migrants' or 'refugees' these are children, mothers, fathers, sons, daughters.

If I'm honest with myself it's more than days and weeks. I've seen reports of Syrian refugees dying at sea for much longer than that. I've heard of children drowning en masse, of boats capsizing and being refused entry to countries for many months, but I've closed my eyes to it, I've closed them and looked only at my family, my safe healthy children who were fortunate enough to be born in a country that's not being torn apart by civil war. A country where they have the opportunity of education, of a future, of fulfilling their potential.

My eyes are now wide open. They see the lifeless body of a young boy lying on the beach. They see the photographs of his parents who felt that they had no choice but to pack their children into small, unsafe boats and trust their lives to the dark and dangerous sea. Who saw no other way to give their children a future they deserved.

As much as I'm looking forward to spending the day with my family, my thoughts will be with other families. Those who are in such a situation where even after recent events will still feel that their only way to escape terror is to take to sea with their children. More lives will be lost. There will be more images of of dead bodies washing up on beaches. We cannot stop that straight away, but we can help. 

We can help by donating to charities that are providing help around the world, both to those still battling civil war in Syria and those living both in and out of refugee camps in Calais and other places. 

Some fellow bloggers have used images of their children to portray how close to home this crisis really is. You can watch the video below and if you can spare £5 please donate to Save The Children’s emergency relief fund by texting the word SYRIA to 70008. See terms and conditions. You can also donate on the website here.

There are other things you can do if you don't have cash to donate, Donate old clothes, time or other essentials that you don't need any more. Read these 5 practical ways you can help from The Independent.

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