Ayan’s body lying lifeless on a beach is a tragedy – but it is not a surprise – well it ought not be. Syria, has been in chaos for the greater part of five years, more than 140,000 innocent people have been killed, including thousands of Ayan’s.
Way back in 2013 we were shocked when over 1500 Syrians in Ghouta, Damascus were gassed by Assad in one day.
Today approximately 4 million others have been displaced and remain at risk. It does not take a genius o realize that so long as these people are at risk, they will continue to flee to seek asylum.
Children die at sea as an alternative to dying on land.
The image of a child lying dead and alone on a beach is horrific and wrong by any definition, and may, I hope serve as a call to action and a call to compassion on the part of Australians. It is for this reason I am writing this post…. Over the last 48 hours I have been asked numerous times how one might assist the crisis in Syria. How do we stop more babies dying unnecessarily.
(1) KNOW AND LEARN
Nothing will ever change unless we are informed and unless we spread the world.
Here are some links which you can share which will help others understand the plight of the asylum seeker:
(2) STEP TWO – Look inside, change yourself
Once we are informed about an issue – we can examin ourselves and see how it is that we feel about it, and decide how we would like things to change. By understanding our place in relation to the situation we are better able to fight for change.
- Do I buy a cappuccino on the way to work everyday? Do you realize that if you spend $5 per day on a large coffee, that is $25 per working week, and equals $1300 per year. Maybe I could have a $3.50 coffee instead, and donate the $390 I saved to a worthwhile cause? Would I even notice the difference?
- Can I write, can I paint, can I vote? Do I have a skill I can share? YES YOU DO.
- Maybe, I know that as an individual I am influential within my circles, but I do not use this influence to create change – perhaps I should?
- Am I a teacher, or do I talk to many people through my work as a sales assistant? Do I have a large online presence that can spread information which may support the cause?
- Am I unconsciously supporting a business which is profiting from the suffering of those I wish to assist – for example, did you know that the minerals from your i-phone come from the DR of Congo? This means every time we buy a phone, we are helping to support a war which kills 3000 people every month – so maybe we don’t ALWAYS need the newest phone…. use the old one until you HAVE to upgrade.
- Did I vote for a political group that could do more to help?
- Is there anything I am doing, can be doing, shouldn’t be doing, should have already done that could fix this situation?
- Can I volunteer for, donate to or promote a cause?
(3) ACT NOW.
Now you know the issue – you know your skills and you what you want to see happen.
Oh, do what? ANYTHING. Make some noise, jump up and down and DEMAND that the world take notice of the issue.
Demand that we take responsibility for the lives lost at sea.
Demand that we take responsibility for the lives lost in detention.
Demand that we take responsibility for the lives lost due to our failure to act sooner. Remember – Syria, this conflict, these deaths, they have been along time coming. It is not a sudden onset disaster. We have known for a long time. Our government has known, and hidden information for a long time in relation to our involvement in torture and human rights abuses in detention centres…
Write a letter to your local government representative.
Write a letter to the Prime Minister.
Here are some of the addresses for Tasmanian and Australian politicians and leaders.
Tasmanians you can contact Andrew Wilkie – you could even give him a call and arrange a meeting with him!
Mr Andrew Wilkie MP – 188 Collins Street, Hobart, TAS, 7001
GPO Box 32
Hobart, TAS, 7001
Telephone: (03) 6234 5255 Fax: (03) 6223 8560
Here are some templates you can print off and sign.
Letter to Tony Abbott
Letter to Local MP
Want to write another and say more?
Follow some tips on how you can do it!
Want to find another letter/sign another petition?
TAKE MORE ACTION
All over Australia we are rising up and standing together to take a stand against our nations current response to Asylum Seekers ….
COME ALONG. Make a stand. Do not be too busy. Do not think it won’t help.
The more people that stand up, the more people will be counted.
Do not leave it to someone else to speak for you.
Are you in Melbourne? Stone the Boats Boats. They carry hopes and dreams, seeking freedom and fleeing despair.
AT WORK/AT SCHOOL
Organize a morning tea, BBQ, or other event at your school or work place to draw attention to the lives lost, and the lives we can still save. Show a movie, a youtube clip, or bring in an expert (make me a coffee and I am there 🙂 ) to talk about the issue.
Money raised can make a difference to individuals.
Minds changed – ideas developed – can change a nation.
Welcome, care for, cherish and protect those most vulnerable within the community.
Contact a local organisation and ask them what you can do to help:
Join a Welcome to Australia Dinner – I heard this will happen soon in Hobart – anyone else want in? I do!!
GIVE WHAT YOU CAN
There are now 4 million Syrian refugees in Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan, Iraq and Egypt. Some are now living in desperate conditions in Hungary, from which they hope to enter the European Union, Australia, the USA – anywhere else where their children are safe.
It’s too late to help Aylan, but you can help other children like him by donating to these charities:
The UN Refugee Agency: Provides cash for medicine and food, stoves and fuel for heating, insulation for tents, thermal blankets and winter clothing.
Save the Children: Supplies food for Syrian kids and supports education in Syrian refugee camps.
Médecins Sans Frontières/Doctors Without Borders: MSF is operating three rescue ships in the Mediterranean Sea that can carry hundreds of people to land.
Unicef: Delivers vaccines, winter clothes and food for children in Syria and neighboring countries. The agency is working to immunize more than 22 million children in the region following a polio outbreak.
International Rescue Committee: The group’s emergency team is in Greece, where nearly 1,000 people are arriving per day.
World Food Programme: The agency says it is struggling to meet the urgent food needs of millions of displaced Syrians.
Mercy Corps: Refugees are most in need of clean water, sanitation services, temporary shelter and food, the agency says.
Aylan Kurdi & Syria’s Child Victims of War: A new fund named after Aylan himself. Money goes to “Hand In Hand For Syria,” a U.K. based organization that works with the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.
CARE: Reaches Syrian refugees in Jordan, Lebanon, Turkey, Egypt, Yemen and those displaced inside Syria with food, hygiene items and emergency cash. It’s also helping refugees crossing into Serbia.
(4) DON’T GIVE UP
Change takes time – but it happens. It was not so long ago that the Apartheid was legal and supported by the Australian government – it wasn’t much longer ago that we had a White Australia Policy.
Yesterday I heard a high school student from St Mary’s College say “We have fought injustice before and we have won – now it is time to fight again, and win again.”
Such powerful words, and so true.
Another student said that she likes to subtly education people on issues – and often recommends “The Kite Runner” by Khaled Hosseini to people. Let us to more of that – let us all read such books, watch the movies and never forget to be compassionate.
On this topic – I am selling copies of my book A Reason to Live for $25 (either from Computers + More, 19 Main Road Moonah TAS) or online …. these are educational “Factional” stories about refugees and asylum seekers and in September 100% of all profits will be donated to UNICEF. This is something I can do with your support.
Not everyone will support you today – but they might tomorrow.
Meanwhile, there is plenty we can do today.
And finally… if you do nothing else – be kind… teach your kids to be kind, and to accept others. The world will change.