Photo by Lucy Aulich, World Vision
Lately, I’ve been feeling really overwhelmed with all the negative comments about the possibility of the 12,000 increase in the intake of refugees.
Like many of you, I watched the news when little Alan Kurdi was found deceased and washed up on the shores of Greece. Like many of you, my heart cried out, for he is just a little boy who had done nothing wrong to deserve this. His story is alike so many others worldwide, who are fleeing their unimaginable situations, to seek a better life for their families. Alan Kurdi’s life is just one amongst thousands of individuals who have tragically passed away too young, too soon.
Though this story has only been released for just over a month, it’s already become ‘old news’. For some Australians who have never extended their borders outwards, it can be difficult to imagine what it would be like for a family to cross another border to seek refuge. Rather, it can be much easier to give their opinions as to why Australian shouldn’t be taking in more refugees. For some people, it’s simply a case of looking after our own people first. For others, it’s a case of the Australian vs. “the other”, believing that our lives in Australia are worth more.
I find myself constantly asking this question:, how can some people believe that their own lives are more important than those fleeing their home, war-torn countries, seeking safety? We are all people, not one life is worth any more or any less than another. At the end of the day, all we want is for our families and loved ones to be safe… but when you see a child on the news that has died whilst fleeing their home country, how can we say that our “Australian” lives are worth more than theirs? That child is someone’s son, someone’s best friend; that child is a human being. How can we shut open doors when people are looking to create a better life for their children?
Within the last year Australia has taken in 13,750 refugees. According to the United Nations, at the end of 2014, there were 19.5 million refugees worldwide. Additionally, 51% of all refugees worldwide are children. Children who never had the opportunity for a safer life.
All I’m asking for you is to consider this, what if that was your child? It can be difficult to even try to put yourself into someone else’s shoes, but when we unite to say that something needs to be done to protect these 19.5 + million people who are fleeing their situations, then they won’t have to flee any more. When we sign petitions, when we write letters to our government leaders, donate to appeals, or even when we write a post about this on social media, we can make a tangible difference in this world. We can make our mark and say that when the world was falling apart, we helped to unite it again.
World Vision is working in situations throughout Jordan, Lebanon, Iraq and Syria to overcome this issue. So far, World Vision has helped 2.1 million people in these areas through providing access to clean water, classrooms for the children, and supporting those in refugee camps. If you’d like to support this appeal you can donate here.