on Children in Need!!!

How in whatever world you live in is it ever ok to leave over a thousand children and young people all alone on a chemical waste site with empty containers to live in??  Then, just to make it more difficult, you turn off the drinking water and start bulldozing all around them.  To add to the torture tease them with talk of buses that never arrive, or of a new start with relatives that love them, and then never follow it up.  Then to rely on ordinary people, grassroots organisations to feed them and keep them as safe as they can.  Then make that more difficult for those trying to help by restricting their access to the children and leave a few armed police around to guard them.

I cannot say just how angry I am feeling about this.  It is a national and international disgrace.

Imagine just one of the young people you love being treated in this way.  Imagine they have seen their family and friends killed, drowned in the sea, as they survived travelling for hundreds of miles, in flip flops, walking, carrying all they own. Imagine your nephew being targeted by gangs, being beaten by truncheons, falling from the top of a lorry while trying to get to you, his family, in the only way available to him.  Imagine then him being left behind, on a chemical dump. Imagine that.  Your sister’s son, your brother’s boy, left behind alone.  How would you be with that?

You see these are not statistics, they are not faceless numbers, they are real people, with real lives and people who love them.

So, to all those people who think it is not your business, who suspect that they are not quite what they seem, who believe the racist rhetoric in the media, wake up and see what is happening in front of your eyes.

Or don’t.  It is your choice.  Keep believing you are making Britain great again.  Keep spouting the same old stuff about job robbers and terrorists.  Go on, you do that.  Heaven forbid that you may actually show some compassion, you might actually want to save the children.  Keep writing on your social media about checking dental records, just in case we accidentally help someone who is slightly older than eighteen years.

This month you may go off and sit in a bath of beans for the BBC, a nice safe British charity, raise money for people like,  you, go on you do that, I am sure you feel great doing your bit.  You know the one, marketed as  ‘your BBC’, while constantly broadcasting just the one agenda.   Meanwhile a few miles from blissful Britain, children are left, abandoned and you don’t care.

Why is it you don’t care I wonder?  Is it because they have different skin colouring to you?  Because they may chose a different God to worship than you do?  Maybe it is because you think they should have stayed and fought a war they could never win, albeit one your government created and finances to this day.  It must be a lovely space in your world, where you are right and there is no harm done.

I will never ever understand this.  I don’t know why my MP hasn’t even replied to my email.  I don’t know why we are not all out on the streets demanding action.  Maybe my take on the world is the wrong one.  Maybe I should content myself with supporting Children in Need while just ignoring those who actually are.

on being human in a sometimes inhumane world

I think it has been three weeks since I first saw the film on the news about the camp in Calais. In that time the people there have been on my mind in a way I cannot remember ever before. I was particularly taken with a young man, I think he was fifteen years of age.  All alone with no family around him he was surviving until the day he could get to the place where people knew him.  As he stood outside his tent, I was overtaken with passion to help. This boy was the same as my boys once were.  He needed someone to care for him and help him.

I pondered, I talked endlessly to my family, to my friends.  All were sympathetic and were trying to understand why I was so taken with this human tragedy happening just over the Channel.  I dithered, I wanted to collect equipment for the camp but I didn’t know where to start.  I trawled the internet and found people helping, this gave me hope.  I still did nothing.

Then this week and another news reel, this time it was a photo which once seen was never going to be unseen.  Another boy, not yet grown lying in the waves on the shore.  His journey had ended.  Again I cried, and cried, but crying doesn’t help anyone.  This time other people were ringing me, wondering what we can do. I still did nothing.

Enough was enough I had to do something so that night I made plans to travel to Greece to do whatever it took to help.  By morning I had reconsidered, I was being selfish.  The money spent getting me there would help many more people if used another way.  I was still doing nothing.

Talking with a friend who was involved in gathering supplies for Calais in another town, made my mind up, this I could do.  So, three weeks later than I should have, I did something.  In the twenty four hours since setting up a group we have had donations and promises of more, we are in touch with others who have vans, who can get things to where they need to be.  It felt good to be acting not talking. Turning up at strangers homes watching as they filled the car with blankets, with coats, with shoes, encouraging words, good luck!  I hope it helps! I realised something, we really are all in this together. For every negative word there is a positive, and seeing strangers giving with gladness filled my heart with hope.

What we are doing is a tiny drop in a massive ocean, but there are many more drops also doing the same.  If someone who is cold gets a blanket, someone who is hungry gets fed and if someone who believed no one cares, feels looked after, then that is enough.

We cannot all solve everything alone.  Together however we are mighty powerful.  Together we can change some of the world and reach out to those who need help.

There is much to do in this world.  Governments need to be held to account, arms need to be replaced with love and peace.  Money must not be worshipped at the cost of humanity.

The boy in Calais, the boy on the beach, the families clustered at ports, the people at railway stations scared, frightened, clinging to their babies, holding each others hands,they are at once all our sons, our daughters, our brothers and sisters, they are our global family. No matter what governments say, no matter what the cynical press print, we are human and we can help, and we will.