Migrants are People Like Us, and Their Kids. They Need Our Help.

A small boy  has been on my mind all day, invading my thoughts, stopping me from doing anything else.

I can’t shake his image out of my mind. I’m close to tears thinking about him.

This boy isn’t one of my own small boys, he’s from a different part of the world.

The newspapers tell me that his name was Aylan. He was three years old and from Syria.

He’s famous now.

His little body was photographed, washed up on a beach in Turkey. In the picture, which has been circulated around the world, he lies face down on a beach in his red t-shirt and shorts, his little shoes still on, soles facing the camera.  He’s in a position that he could be sleeping, but he’s not.

Aylan was a migrant, a refugee, a small boy.

He died by drowning as his family fled Syria, his little life cut short. His brother Galip, and mother, Rehan also drowned.

The image of this small boy has finally made people start to react to the crisis at Europe’s borders.

This horrific photograph of this tiny child is all anyone is talking about. It’s tugging at heartstrings and causing parents all over the world to hold their children closer today, to fight tears back, count their blessings and finally think about what’s actually happening.

We are the lucky ones. We are all potential refugees. Refugees are people. Men, women, children.

We’ve been listening to the news about “the migrant crisis” for months. About truck drivers in Calais and fences. There’s been stories about borders closing and trains being stopped, our navy has sent a vessel to help the rescue efforts for those arriving into Europe from North Africa.

We see to have forgotten about the people.

People like us.

People who have paid for help to flee.

People like us, people who thought their only option was to get out and to take their children with them.

In another time and another place this could be us,  we could be the ones scaling fences, putting our children in overloaded boats, doing anything to give us all a chance at life. I know I’d do it.

There are risks to take. Aylan is just one of 2,500 migrants who lost their life in the Mediterranean this year. Thousands who made the ultimate sacrifice in search of a better life.

Seeing this small boy’s body washed up on the beach has stirred something inside us all that months of media coverage haven’t.  A picture tells a thousand words and his photo and his story finally seem to be making us realise the atrocity of the whole situation.

If a photo of a dead child is what it takes to move people to action, let’s act now, and make it count. Because, it could be us.

What can you do to help?

Sign the petition urging the government to take in more refugees than we’ve committed to , click here if you’re in Ireland or here if you’re in the UK.

Donate on any of these sites:  Médecins Sans FrontieresAmnesty International,  TrocaireDoctors Of The WorldIrish Red CrossGoal  or join this virtual coffee morning on Facebook

Take Part The Irish Parenting Bloggers have organised a virtual coffee (or tea!) morning t– check out and ‘like’ the Facebook Event page here   –  to help raise much needed funds for the Ireland Calais Refugee Solidarity Campaign. On Friday, September 11 just pour yourself a cuppa; go to http://www.irelandcalaisfund.ml/ and make a donation to the fund (we suggest €5 per person but please give what you can) and upload a screenshot of your donation plus a pic of yourself enjoying your cuppa to your Facebook page or other social media channels and tell your followers all about it. Then just link to this event to encourage your friends and family to take part too.

This post is part of an Irish Parenting Blogger link up #ReadFeelAct to help highlight the crisis.

readfeelact

To read more Irish Parenting Bloggers’ posts on the Migrant Crisis check these out (click on the blue frog for some great posts)


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18 thoughts on “Migrants are People Like Us, and Their Kids. They Need Our Help.

  1. Well said, it could be any one of us. It could so easlily be our nightmare. Being grateful for what we just isn’t enough. I truly hope that the world wakes up and helps these people flee with safety and hope x

  2. My grandfather came over to England after the war from Ukraine to avoid being killed he stayed I wouldn’t be here now. I 1st saw the picture and I wanted to cry. I couldn’t help but think of my son. I would do anything for him to give him the life he deserves and that what the little boy’s parents were trying to do. Well done on this post

  3. Lovely writing, and let’s remember; not so long ago, lots of Irish were in the same situation.

    Just one thing, they’re not “migrating”, they’re “fleeing”: they deserve their correct descriptions, refugees. The “migrant” title is perhaps what makes people afraid of them. These people have nothing&nowhere to back to (see Kobanî, Syria).

  4. As you say a picture is worth a thousand words but in the case it’s a million words and let’s hope it reaches millions of people. It’s time all the governments around the world not just Europe did something. These people need our help NOW

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