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?
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.