Imagine fleeing your home..knowing the dangers that lie ahead, with the fragile life of a child inside you.
Imagine making the hardest journey of your life, carrying that baby.
Imagine having the life of a child forced upon you by a people smuggler, as payment for your safety.
When I imagine having a child, I envisage innocence, delight, and purity. I know for women worldwide, this image is pretty unanimous. And yet, sorting through kids clothing in the Women’s Centre in Dunkirk, the stark reality of the situation was evident.
Holding tiny, stained, holed garments, it was a stark comparison to the habitual, exciting practice of getting everything ready for the arrival of a child.
For us, we think about whether we should paint the walls pink, blue, or yellow…
For refugee mothers, the question remains whether they try the treacherous crossing to safety before or after giving birth.
Whilst we’re consider pushchair choices, refugee mothers fret futures.
Whilst we talk about breastfeeding or bottle options, refugee mothers worry about harsh winters protected only by tent walls.
What do these women imagine for their children?
Where do they envisage them growing up?
What will the future hold?
Will they be playing safely in the front garden of a home, or on the dusty floor of a refugee camp?
A child in a camp today is far too familiar with borders, separation, injustice and disappointment.
I’d hope my child would grow up with unity, choice and equality.
Doesn’t every child deserve that?