Refugee Child: What future are we Creating?
In Native American cultures much value is placed on mankind’s ability to plan for future generations.
In fact this principle teaches that we must consider how every decision we make will affect our descendants, seven generations into the future.
I often ask myself, what more should we in our modern societies be learning from these ancient wisdoms?
How many generation’s chances, freedoms and futures are we destroying as the continual thirst for war is satiated?
I reflect upon the suffering of millions of refugees worldwide and the often insufficient responses to their anguish and plight and I ask, as a humanitarian and also a parent, what will become of these refugee children in ten to twenty years time?
Before I answer this, let us pause and think about just a few of the horrific circumstances that have ripped so many children from the arms of thier parents:
The last one sometimes promising a slim chance of a route out of hell.
Can you imagine for that bone chilling second, the decision to push your precious child into the arms of a stranger in hope of a better life, or just a life?
How bad would it have to be for you to make that choice?
How is that even a choice that any human being has to make?
They are thousands of totally vulnerable refugee children, unprotected from the ravages of hunger and disease, exposed to all manner of abuses as they are absorbed into the sex, slavery and drugs trades.
So I ask my fellow tribesmen and women, what future are we creating for all of the worlds’ children?
Ten to twenty years on, when these highly traumatised, abused and isolated children reach adulthood, they will probably have surpassed such extreme levels of hardship and desperation at such impressionable ages, that all sorts of anti social, destructive and psychopathic behaviors will be possible.
It is short sighted of us as a society to believe anything else.
Under extreme conditions sustained for long periods of time, all of us would be capable of unacceptable acts.
Would you steal to feed your starving child? I know I would.
I strongly believe that ten to twenty years from now we will label and criminalise these children, now adults, as social pests, terrorists, thieves, murders, rapists and indeed whatever else we are currently paving the way for.
Such frightening future outcomes are an absolute reality. Yet over time it is unlikely we will even remember that these children (to include the likes of little five year old Omran Daqneesh from Aleppo, sitting silently on the seat of that Ambulance this week) deeply affected by their abandonment and abused human rights, were once young children fleeing our bombs, desperate to find safety, protection, compassion and peace on our shores.
So what to do?
We feel powerless. Nothing feels like it’s enough… but we must keep the pressure up.
To donate to the life-saving work the White Helmets, a rescue team in Syria:
And/or sign this petition for a 72 hour no fly zone over Aleppo, in the hope that we grant these men, women and children safe passage and ensure that they get the essential supplies they need.
Written by the lovely Remi Olajoyegbe
To read the full piece, and more of her amazing writing, check out her blog here: