It’s hard to avoid news about some of the awful things going on around the world, that are affecting the lives of many people. Wars, famine, weather conditions that force people from their homes, with nowhere to go, and you only have to glance on social media or the news to see that whilst we think we have challenges in our life, there is always someone somewhere else that needs help and is struggling to deal with life issues that mean they may have no home, no safe place to sleep, nowhere to house their children, no clothing, or literally what they are wearing, no access to medical care or education, and reliant on others for food, shelter and care.
Places like Yemen, Syria, and other countries come up often and the reality is that thousands and thousands of people are suffering and do not have the basics that every human has the fundamental right to have. People who have fled their homes due to worldly conflict. People seeking refuge because they are scared for their lives. Men, women and children.
I myself spent some time in Greece, a year or so ago, working with refugees from Syria and other countries who have landed in Greece as their first port of call to finding safety because the life they have left behind is just so unsafe and dangerous and they have nowhere else to go. It was eye-opening and a taste of reality for me, because whilst you can watch what’s happening on the news, or read articles on social media, you actually have no real idea of what the people you are hearing about have actually gone through, and who they are and why they are asking other people to help them.
Meeting families, with small children, who lived in the refugee camps, sorting clothes and items for them, providing food for them, holding babies whilst their parents spent hours being interviewed to see if they qualified for help and aid and where they would end up, talking to children who have probably seen more traumatic things in their short lives than I can ever imagine, realising that they have come away from the life they know, with nothing and are now totally reliant on the kindness of strangers, was a real reality check for me. It made me realise how fortunate I am, and that life for the people living every day not knowing where they will call home, or if they will ever be able to go back home, is harder than anything I will probably ever know. I came away impacted by the people I had met and the teams of people working hard with very limited resources, trying to help them.
It’s something we all are aware of, but not everyone does anything. We all have our own lives, and things we are dealing with, but even a small piece of help is something that makes a big difference to someone somewhere who has less than us, or who has been through a hellish experience and now has to ask for help to be able to survive. People don’t want to leave their countries or homes, they don’t want to be forced to rely on strangers for basic kindness, but they have to.
We can all do our bit to help, and it doesn’t need to be as dramatic as doing what I did and taking a plane to Greece to see for myself and get practical. Not everyone can do that. However, you can help by choosing a charity that provides proper support and care. It’s pretty simple really. You can donate to charity and know that you have done something, to help those in desperate need.
No one asks for their lives to be torn apart by war, weather, famine or disease. When we watch what’s happening on the news, or Facebook, we feel sad, and we want to help, but often we don’t actually do anything, but making a donation, can and does help. For me, the plan is to return to Greece more regularly to offer practical help, but as a busy wife and mum, that isn’t as easy as I would like it to be, being able to support charities that help people from countries in need, is doing something. It’s worth thinking about what you can do, to help those who are asking for help, and have nowhere to go, and need all the support they can get, to be able to get their lives back.