Within minutes of his door closing, Little Mister was fast asleep this evening. He’d gone through his usual routine of un-tucking his bedclothes & wrapping himself tightly with his sheet, pulling his soft, blue blanket next to his face and tucking Panda and Rabbit underneath him. I love how he wants total possession of his two best friends at night.
He knows he’s safe in his bed, in his room, in his house. Every night.
This evening, watching him I had an overwhelming sense of sadness & helplessness. Not for him but for the thousands of displaced children in places like Aleppo, Mosel & in refugee camps across the channel in France, Greece & Italy who aren’t afforded this basic sense of safety.
As a parent I couldn’t imagine my boy going to bed without his Panda, and this seems so insignificant when I think of the parents who have no choice but to watch their children brave the elements and sleep outside with nothing.
The world news is overwhelmingly sad at the moment, and as much as I hate to say it but I just can’t look at some of the images from war-torn cities or refugee camps. I’m not turning my back, but I just feel so sad watching or listening to it.
It’s claimed there are over 250,000 refugees & vulnerable people in Europe now*. In Calais it’s estimated over 1,000 unaccompanied children are living there – that’s children separated from both parents, for whatever reason.*
The number of unaccompanied migrant children currently missing in the EU* is 10,000. That’s just shy of the total population of my market town.
I’m no politician, I don’t have answers. I just know as a parent all I want to do is protect my child, give them stability and keep them safe. I’m sure that’s part of the DNA of any parent in any language.
Then I got chatting on twitter to the lovely Jo @JellyRockPR about the CalAid Wish List on Amazon. It’s a charitable organisation that’s ships tonnes of warm clothing, shelter equipment, toiletries, medicine, cooking equipment and food to people across Europe & the Middle East since 2015.
Just like you would buy anything for yourself on Amazon, you can purchase specific, highly needed items too like sleeping bags, warm jackets, waterproof shoes & soon to be added educational tools & books for children, which are then distributed directly into 7 refugee camps around the world.
Prices range from £1.21 for a foil survival blanket, £16 for a First Aid kit, to £50 for a men’s warm waterproof jacket.
This time of year money is always tight – I have four birthdays plus Christmas all within six weeks of each other! But I know as I turned up our radiators, that winter is a bitter time of never-ending coldness & I just couldn’t imagine us, as a family, out in the cold.
It’s a non-political charitable organisation supporting displaced persons, migrants & refugees in need. CalAid operates & distributes WishList items in 7 camps – in Athens, Lesvos, Chios, villages in western Syria, Idomeni, Calais and Dunkirk. It also funds schooling, safe solar lightening & kitchens, where possible.
*The House of Lords report on Unaccompanied Minors (published 27th July 2016). http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/ld201617/ldselect/ldeucom/34/34.pdf
I'm Tracey, nice to meet you. Mummyshire was 'born' three years ago after we moved from London to the Oxford countryside. Here I chart our journey adjusting to our new lives, the challenges of being in the countryside & surviving parenthood.