Here in Europe we are receiving images daily on our TV screens of a sea of refugees struggling in their escape from persecution at home and arriving in Europe. I want to help in some small way. Tomorrow I’m taking a suitcase full of winter clothes, sheets and blankets to my local Red Cross up the road. And a few stuffed toys. How anyone can look at those children and feel nothing is beyond my comprehension. (UNICEF link below)
“Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free….”
Imagine leaving all your worldly possessions behind, cramming bare necessities into one backpack or small suitcase, shutting the door on your house, never to return, and then leaving your homeland on foot. And then walking for days and days, with your children, some of them babies or toddlers, sleeping in fields or in train stations, crossing turbulent waters in a rubber dinghy. Not knowing what awaits you, not knowing what dangers lurk, not knowing where you’ll end up. If there’s a time for these brave people to have faith in their God, then this is it. But they should also have faith in humanity and in the assistance of their fellow human beings. And that’s us. You and me.
“The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me…”
The West is primarily responsible for their distress, the USA in particular: the Bush administration’s military invasion of Iraq in 2003 which led to degenerating the country into turmoil and then, once US soldiers there, Obama’s inept decision to end military involvement in Iraq in 2011. Obama’s inaction towards Syria in 2012. Hillary Clinton’s intervention in Libya to topple Gadhafi. The consequence has been disastrous. It is the USA who should be receiving the bulk of the refugees, more than the EU.
Many of us were refugees, migrants or asylum seekers…or our parents or grandparents were. My maternal grandfather fled pogroms in Riga (Latvia) for England. My parents left England for Canada as economic migrants.
Below – Migrants being chased by Hungarian police. Have Hungarians forgotten the Hungarian Revolution of October 1956?
Below is the link to UNICEF to help children worldwide.
And don’t forget the children across Gaza, a year on from Israel’s murderous assault on Gaza’s defenceless population that left 551 children dead and 3,370 injured. Those who managed to survive are struggling today with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and life-long disabilities. (see UNICEF – State of Palestine)