It is very rare for me to be in a situation where I have so much to say that I am too overwhelmed to say anything at all. However, whilst at the beginning of my attempt to curate an article regarding the refugees, I felt exactly that.
I wear my heart on my sleeve, always have, and I’ve never really felt as though it was a choice or that I knew any other way to live.
My family and I had decided to donate as much as we could to the refugees as soon as we had heard about the crisis. Feeling down on my luck, I selfishly felt that it might be an opportunity to gain a bit of good karma.
I sorted through all of my belongings, picking out the stuff that people were in desperate need of. Toiletries, shoes, bags, coats, you name it. We packed everything up and put it in the hallway ready to transport it to our nearest drop off point in Oxford.
Once done, I went back into my room and sat on my bed. Nothing has really felt the same since. I noticed that despite giving away some of my things, I still wasn’t going without. My room was packed with things that didn’t really need to be there and that someone somewhere would be in desperate need of. I felt guilty. Then it occurred to me, I didn’t need good karma and in fact, I wasn’t at all down on my luck. Compared to a lot of people in the world I am so incredibly lucky.
We have since put out a request online for the people in our local area to give donations to send to Calais, if they can. My mum decided that every time we received a car load, she would drive to Oxford to drop off the items to the people who transport them to wherever needed.
We received our first offer of donations today and I just wanted to say to the lady that was so generous, Thank you so much. You give me faith in humanity and every time I recall the moment that you insisted my mum take the money you were offering her for petrol, my eyes well up.
And finally, to Aylan, the precious little boy, not much older than my baby brother, who passed away along with his mother and sibling in a desperate attempt to flee their struggles, I am so sorry. I am sorry that nothing was done in time to help you and your beautiful family. Your image has left an incredible mark on the world and I will never forget you.