Recently I read this incredible article in The Australian newspaper written by a former colleague of mine, Stuart Rintoul, from when I worked on the World Vision Australia media team. I was cast into a sphere of silence and my body felt numb. I totally escaped my own reality as I was immersed into the surreal world these people are now living in. A tent city in the desert, escaping from the ISIL hold on their city of Mosul.
Read the article here.
It’s really easy to see the news alerts come up and click “delete” or “mark as unread” to read later. I knew this wasn’t an article I could just leave sitting there. Lately I’ve felt a little lost. What will I do next year, what clients are coming up, who do I want to work with? But my vague sense of self in the past few weeks has nothing on these people who have had to abandon their lives. This is after being in a state of limbo in their city – waiting for a time when it’s safe to resume life as “normal”.
The harsh reality is that for these people, there is no longer a normal. There is no consistency or routine. Each day will come and they will prepare for it in the best way they can. Can you imagine leaving your home and not knowing what’s next? Some of us call this an adventure – taking a leap of faith. That’s true! If it was choice. If you had any other option.
The video attached with the article, although showing a terrible humanitarian crisis and one of which we are yet to know its limit, it also shows a sense of hope. The reason these people left was in the hope of a safer life. Children have had no access to education or even been able to play during the ISIL hold on their city. Now, World Vision has set up Child Safe areas where kids can be kids. They are playing games, singing songs and laughing. This is what a childhood should be. This is their time to grow and enjoy being carefree – not worrying for their safety.
I feel a little silly talking about my existential crisis after relocating states. But my move and life change was a choice. I wasn’t leaving a violent and scary situation, only to enter the complete unknown. I cannot for one second put myself in these people’s place. I can cry. I can feel sadness. But I cannot empathise. I can, however, use my voice and share their story.
“Do what you can” – And what we can do is give money to organisations who know what these people need. Their most basic needs to be met – food, clean water, shelter and a safe environment for their family. We can give them that by giving to the emergency appeal.
I urge you to take a minute out of your day – put your day to day in perspective, and for a moment have some compassion for those in need.
Written by Emma Lovell.
Emma Lovell is the director of Lovelly Communications. Emma is a Blog Ambassador for World Vision Australia. She is also currently undertaking a contract with World Vision Australia on the Run India campaign.