Thursday, September 3, 2015

Take my hand

I lay awake for hours last night. Curled up in bed beside my little boy who tossed and turned as I held his hand. 

I lay there in the dark picturing another little boy, a little boy I don't know, a little boy that we all now have etched in our minds.

I lay there wishing so hard that I could have reached out to him in the darkness, told him to take my hand, so that I could have pulled him from that cold water and hugged away his fears.

'Mama' my boy called out.

'I'm here darling'

'Mama, I have a blocked nose'

'I know you do sweetheart'

'Can you die from a blocked nose?'

The poignancy of the question raised a sad smile - for these are our gentle realities. 

I wonder if that other mother heard her little boy call out to her that night. I wonder if she was able to tell him that she was there for him. I wonder how many other mothers are listening to their children calling for them in the darkness, allaying their fears with empty words and promises they can't keep. 

And then I have to stop wondering or the tears will never cease.

The more you see and read about the refugee crisis the more you want to turn away. I understand that. But what I've noticed is that whilst people like us are trying desperately to find ways to help these people, most governments are grappling to find reasons to keep them away. 

Why are they not listening?

Iceland hit the news this week because over 10,000 of their citizens have pledged to open their homes to a refugee in need. Wouldn't you do the same? Wouldn't you want to reach out and help that poor little boy? Meanwhile their government says they can accommodate just 50.

In the UK David Cameron has taken a hard line stance but is coming under mounting pressure to reverse it. His answer so far seems to be to build higher fences and employ more people to patrol them.

Germany thankfully is leading the way in the other direction. Under Ankela Merkel who says that 'To receive them well is not only in our interests, it is fundamental to an idea of what it means to be human" - they are welcoming them in. In fact one town sent so much help and goods that they had to be told to stop - and yet they still kept it coming. In the past 12 months Germany has received 300,000 asylum claims.

And Ireland? Ireland needs to step up to the mark. 600 people over two years are who we have offered to help. I'm actually embarrassed. Horrified and embarrassed.

What can we do?

Please sign this petition to Enda Kenny to tell him that as a country we choose to offer more. Then share, share and share again. It is only by people power that a difference can be made. Be one of those people that chose to make a difference. Take the hand of that little boy. 

Irish Parent Bloggers all over the country are staging an online blog march in support. You can read some of their post below. 

You can also join us on a world wide virtual coffee morning to raise much needed funds. Join up here and encourage your friends to do the same. 

If you feel you can and need to go further here are some more links to way and campaigns you can help.

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