The writer has at times this week been unable to see much else when she closes her eyes, but images of drowned children… Clearly she is not alone in that. One possible response is despair, powerlessness, inducing a slide into apathy. We are heartened to see that many people are instead responding by seeking involvement, a voice, a part to play, in one way or another.
Here is a post from Oriah Mountain Dreamer – with gratitude to Catherine Wright, David Ho, and – above all – Warsan Shire for this extremely powerful poem:-
Here’s an excerpt from Warsan’s poem:-
‘no one leaves home unless
home is the mouth of a shark
you only run for the border
when you see the whole city running as well
your neighbours running faster than you
breath bloody in their throats
the boy you went to school with
who kissed you dizzy behind the old tin factory
is holding a gun bigger than his body
you only leave home
when home won’t let you stay.’
Here is a hopeful piece from a few days ago. In the end, it is not up to governments, it is up to us. It is the empathy and compassion of individual human beings, responding to each other, that makes a difference – and has the potential to support us in co-creating peaceful, loving, nurturing ways of living with each other and in our world.
Here is some useful information, about what each one of us can do to help. From The Independent:-
and this is cut and pasted from an email the writer received yesterday from SumOfUs:-
‘This is a different sort of email than we’d usually send to you, but the world is in a different sort of place to where it was just a few days ago.
Like millions of people around the world, the SumOfUs team have been deeply moved by the crisis unfolding around Europe and in the Middle East. And so we’re asking you to help.
The images of a three year old Syrian refugee, his mother, and his five year old brother washed up on a Turkish beach have echoed around the world. They all died to escape violence and in the search for a better life.
Those images of Aylan Kurdi and his brother Ghalib are deeply upsetting, but have reminded the world of the reality: human beings, including children, are literally dying to escape war and suffering.
Usually, we only campaign around abuses of corporate power, but we live in an interconnected world. The arms companies selling weapons to the Middle East and Africa, institutionalised racism that plays out in some of our largest media outlets, and the actions of many of our governments all play a part in this crisis.
Governments around the world are failing to act and so it’s up to us as ordinary citizens and as human beings to step in. That’s why we’re encouraging you now to do what you can to help out.
Here are three ways you can act now:
Make a financial donation
Save the Children: distributing essential items such as nappies/diapers, hygiene kits and food
Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) International: providing emergency health services and clean drinking water
Migrant Offshore Aid Station: dedicated to preventing migrant deaths at sea
International Rescue Committee: improving living conditions by setting up camps
The UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR): providing water, mosquito nets, tents, healthcare
Volunteer, donate, collect
Doctors of the World: providing care to vulnerable people, advocating for rights to health
White Helmets: volunteer recue workers who risk their lives to save families and children fleeing the violence
Avaaz.org: lobbying local councils, providing language support, housing refugees (UK)
Migrant Offshore Aid Station: dedicated to preventing loss of life at sea
Sawa for development and aid: working with Syrian refugees in Lebanon
An Amazon wish list has been set up for people to buy specific items such as shoes and sleeping bags to be delivered to Calais as part of the appeal #KentforCalais and #HelpCalais. The truck leaves on 17 September
Attend an event
European Day of Action for Refugees
UK – London – National Day of Action
Canada – several locations – Refugees welcome (Montreal, Quebec City, Ottawa, St Johns, Toronto, Victoria, Vancouver)
Australia – several locations – Light the Dark (Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide)
This list isn’t exhaustive — there are many more worthy organisations and events that can use support right now. Please be as generous as you can.
We’ve also placed all of this information on this webpage here, where you can link your family and friends.
Make no mistake — corporations operating for profit are complicit in this crisis, and we’ll keep fighting them. But right now, these are some of the best ways you can show your support.
Thank you for all that you do,
The whole team at SumOfUs’
SumOfUs is right – this is not an exhaustive list. A Google search will furnish many petitions and initiatives, and some of them will be local to you.
Finally, here’s a link to our post a few days ago about MOAS:-
We are all in this together. We can change everything.
Palace Gate Counselling Service, Exeter
Counselling Exeter since 1994