19 August 2016
The image is spinning around the internet - I saw it first 2 days ago and sat in shock watching the video of a small child covered in blood placed on a seat in an ambulance - he was in deep trauma. This seems like is a repeat of the image of the small boy on the beach last year and again the words of shame, horror and ‘this must not continue’ roll around in a space empty of action. Nothing happens - will anything happen this time? I sincerely hope so, but sadly I fear not.
For those of us who are working in the ‘field’ it is a continual story of doing our best to help, and help of course we do, but some days it feels like we are sticking a tiny plaster onto a gaping wound that needs major surgery.
We continue to raise money for food, for clothing, for anything we can to try and ease the suffering of people who have gone through unimaginable journeys as they have had to flee all they know and love. They have wrenched their children from their toys and friends, from their homes and relatives - they have taken nothing of their lives with them when forced to run with no notice, piled into over-crowded boats, and risk all on the terrible sea journey, many never making dry land, except for terrible memories and physical injuries that do not get the appropriate ongoing care, in most cases.
They have lost their lives and are now merely in waiting.... for......for what? for re-unification, for news of their loved ones - their lives are on hold. They are forced to live in camps in tents reaching impossible temperatures in the day - eat food that is barely edible - live a life style that is totally alien and rely on charity which none of them are comfortable with.
Pregnant women giving birth and forced to return to tent living with a vulnerable newborn, and oft times after a c-section. It is beyond cruel - I have witnessed this myself and let me tell you it makes me sick to my stomach.
Atrocities happen all over the world and have happened for decades passed and will happen for decades into the future, but this - THIS is a disaster of epic proportions and we COULD have stopped it - we CAN stop it, yet we haven’t and we don’t appear to be even wanting to.
Have we seriously learned nothing - have we lost the ability to talk and then take action - it all seems like empty rhetoric with NO action at all - none with the bombings and none with the Refugees - yes there are things happening regarding some people and a few families but it all takes far too long, and it is NOT enough - there are too many vulnerable people suffering right now. Our Government response is shameful and I remain deeply disappointed I cannot have a Refugee family live with me because of a law (which could be changed if the will was there) and a few people with selfish closed attitudes, and I know others feel the same.
Why do I do what I do for Refugees? well let me tell you exactly why......I am ashamed, I am ashamed to be British, I am ashamed that we are complicit in the bombings that are occurring on a daily basis producing the type of scenes of the dear little innocent child mentioned above, I am ashamed of the people who say we should not help, I am ashamed of the people who ask WHY the men don’t stay and fight? fight what exactly? Assad? Isis? who are you kidding - why would ANYONE do that?
What have we become? where is compassion and common sense? It seems to have disappeared off the face of our sad sick world. Well I for one will pay my penance by working till I drop to try and do a little to counter the sick minds that think this IS ok - because it is not - nothing about it is ok.
Shame on the policy makers, shame on the governments who are complicit in this massive disaster of human suffering and deep abuse of human rights.
Sarah Griffith MBE Founder of Bridge2