Syria, Germany, and The Angel Of The Migrants

 

boy-in-palmyra-B&W
Boy In Palmayra, Syria

It is the people who have no say in making wars who suffer from the consequences of them.
– Philippa Carr

 

I am not really a political person, and I find all of the middle East issues incredibly complicated. The only thing I can say I know about this is that any human being that is suffering should be helped if possible. No matter where they are from, what economic background or religion. Under every circumstance we should give of ourselves in the ways that we can. I do care about what goes on in this world. I am in shock at the horrendous situation that is still going on and worsening in Syria. I may compose a song about it at some point, but for today I spill on my MacBook.

Syria’s crisis, which began in March 2011, has killed more than 250,000 people and wounded more than 1 million.

A few facts about the Syrian refugee crisis. (From World Vision)

  • Nearly 12 million Syrians have been displaced by the fighting — at least 7.6 million within Syria, and more than 4 million as refugees in neighbouring countries.
  • Increasing numbers of refugees are attempting to reach Europe.
  • About half of those displaced are children.
  • Children affected by the Syrian conflict are at risk of becoming ill, malnourished, abused, or exploited. Millions have been forced to quit school.

 

Europe is faced with a major struggle with all of the migrants that are in need of a place to safely settle. Over 6,000 Syrian refugees have flooded into Austria and Germany over the last few days. Both Austria and Germany opened their borders to the escapees fleeing the civil war in the tumultuous Middle East. Many more refugees are to come.

This is quickly becoming the worst refugee crisis in recent history. Austria and Germany have stated that they will allow thousands of refugees in, but other countries are not as enthusiastic. Some other European countries see it as way too big of an issue to handle, but German Chancellor Angela Merkel has shown her advocacy for helping Syrian refugees and asks other EU members to take more refugees into their counties. She as been quoted stating that there should be no limit to the number of migrants they would take, as they are a secure and financially strong country and will do whatever is necessary. The U.S., on the other hand has agreed to allowing 8,000 total. Even though the US and EU are leading in support for the crisis world-wide, the U.S is far beneath the European support. Compared to Germany’s commitment to 800,000, 8,000 is not really going to cut it. Australia is on board slightly, but also not enough. It really will require a proactive stance from ALL economically sound countries to help one of the biggest humanitarian crises ever known.

This week, the Prime Minister of Australia, Tony Abbott told a press conference he was moved by some images that have been in the media that are putting ” a human face” on the crisis. He said he was prepared to accept more refugees from Syria, but not raise the overall yearly intake.  Australia’s overall yearly intake of refugees which stands close to 14,000 total. Abbott wants Australia’s focus to be on families and women and children, especially of persecuted minorities. Apparently most of the refugees are christians fleeing from ISIS. Last year Australia allowed more than 4,400 people from Syria and Iraq to settle in the country. The overall refugee intake will increase to 18,750 by 2018. This is better than nothing, but we still could do more, surely.

What’s happening in Syria now for those that are left behind?

The ongoing humanitarian crisis in Syria is only adding to the already massive crisis of child labour and hindered education to the Syrian children. Many of the children are, in fact, the main bread winners of the families, and have no other choice but to bring in income and forfeit their education. We know that child labour is wrong across the board, and the despicable conditions in which they work only adds extra anguish to an open festering wound worldwide. The children are often beaten and abused both verbally and physically. We have so many heart breaking issues across the planet to tackle, so where do we start? Syria is potentially at risk of losing an entire generation of children due to this crisis, so it seems we need to be focusing on that first and foremost.

PeaceDove
The Dove And Reddening Sky

On a more positive note, there is one particularly beautiful woman and her friends that are doing amazing, heart centred things to help these people in dire need. Nawal Soufi, a Moroccan-Italian woman has been called the “Angel of the Migrants.” Together with a group of friends, she distributes baby food, clothes, and kind words of loving encouragement to migrants as they land on their shores of Italy. She inspires and gives hope to the immigrants by telling them that she loves them all, and gives them God’s blessing to live their dreams. She calls them her family.

Hope and a future vision of peace is still out there when hearts and countries decide to get involved and help the suffering.

Thank you, Europe. Thank you, Angel of the Migrants. Thank you everyone who is doing anything, no matter how small it may seem.

Let’s see if we all can step up to the plate now and bring what we can.

You can financially give aid to this crisis from these reputable charities.

 

Thank you for taking the time to read and share this post.

Peace.

Go Sober In October

Drink GlassOcsober is a fundraising initiative that encourages people to give up alcohol for the month of October.

I think this initiative is a good cause. Any alcohol awareness campaigns that target young people can only be beneficial in my opinion. Also, what I like about the idea of Ocsober is that the “grown up” who is participating will undoubtedly benefit from this clean living month also! Even those who have no issue with alcohol, per se, still may from time to time have a few too many. Or perhaps it is just a bit more of a habit or ritual than one would like. I feel this is a personal knowing in yourself to how you line up with this topic, and what you, personally, may get out of it.

So, for the person who thinks this is a great idea for someone else to commit to a dry month (this person is possibly the same person who thinks running a marathon for charity is also great for someone else) can still help a lot by contributing on the financial front. The goal is to raise ‘$700,000 to empower 700,000 children’ to make safe and healthy life choices.

So any and all of us can support the cause by either signing up ourselves, or as a group, or by financially contributing for someone who has signed up for the sober month of October. Cool huh?

And, it may also be a good incentive for someone who is wondering about their own drinking to take a look at it and take the challenge for themselves.

Even if you don’t drink, you still can join the campaign and continue your sobriety through it,  showing support and encouragement to those around you by sharing your experience of what living a wonderful, fulfilling life without the need for alcohol looks like!

Here are some facts about the devastating effects of alcohol on us and on our adolescents:

  • Every 24 minutes an Australian dies through either legal or illegal drugs
  • Alcohol related harm was responsible for 5,554 deaths in 2010 and same year 157,132 people were hospitalised due to excessive alcohol consumption (Alcohol’s Burden of Disease In Australia, 2014)
  • Teenagers who start drinking before age 15 are five times more likely to become dependent on alcohol than those who don’t start until they are 21
  • Nearly 50% of 16-17 year old drinkers say they intend to get drunk most times/ every time they drank alcohol
  • More than 20% of 14 – 19 year olds consume alcohol on a weekly basis
  • Alcohol is involved in 13% of all deaths among 14–17-year-old Australians.
  • One Australian teenager dies and more than 60 are hospitalised each week from alcohol-related harms.
  • Drinking contributes to the three leading causes of death among adolescents – unintentional injuries, homicide and suicide.

So, all in all, the main point of Ocsober is to help our young people. But I see that it can have powerful effects on the adult population as well.

Think about alcohol and your life. How often do you feel you need a drink? There are many tests out their on the internet that clarify quickly if you indeed have a drinking problem. One of the main problems with an alcohol problem though, is denial. It sneaks up on people, and is quite cunning in its ability to justify a big night. Again, only you can be the true judge of what effect alcohol has on your life, and what role modelling you may be presenting to your children. I think it is a valuable dialogue to have with each other.

Alcohol is such a crutch in society as a whole, and it is excused so much more readily than illegal drugs or smoking, yet is just as harmful, just as fatal or more. The glamorised alcohol campaigns by alcohol companies is atrocious and really sets our young people up for binge drinking and problem drinking early on. The seductive bottles, fancy wines and the indulgent lifestyle depicted by attractive, rich and successful people who seem to “wine and dine” all the time, with no repercussions whatsoever.This is not accurate at all. We all know that, right? Alcohol  does a lot more harm than good for anyone who drinks (I know what they say about a glass of red wine) but the dangers far outweigh the benefits, no matter what demographic you come from. We all have a liver, blood cells, and a pancreas, and no matter how much money or prestige we have, the effects of alcohol don’t seem to really give a stuff about what income bracket we find ourselves in. The alcohol industry is not that different from the fast food industry in that it sells itself through very misleading advertising. The main victims of this advertising are our young people who are not yet developed enough to make responsible decisions. The seductive advertising and social pressure is enormous. I speak from personal experience, as I fell deep into this trap myself in early adolescents. I have been on both sides of the drinking game. From seduction to destruction. Fine line. I’m sure I am not the only one. Anyone else feel like being candid?

The main reason I chose to write about this topic was to be a voice to mysSplitShire-0061elf and other parents about how our own choices affect our children. What we do, our behaviours, are far more influential than what we say. Children imitate us, and there is generally no differentiation between what behaviours they imitate. They just do what we do. We make choices every day that will impact the rest of our lives, and those around us. We have more influence and power than we think. We don’t have to buy into the masquerade of society and be brainwashed anymore. We can make conscious choices to live wide awake. Individually when we delve into our self- understanding we can determine how this applies to our lives, and collectively we can support each other in passionately wanting to give our children the best chance for their life. Both adults and children having clear heads, healthy bodies and courageous hearts….

So check out the website for the Ocsober campaign for more thorough information and how to sign up.

It seems like a win-win to me.