If I were a refugee, how would I feel if I saw my children sleeping on the bare earth, cold and hungry?If I were a refugee, how would I feel if the land of my birth, which I love, is now a place of terror and hatred from which I had to flee with my babies to a hostile land where I am seen as human garbage?
If I were a refugee how would I feel if I was a Doctor and was now treated like a worthless nobody? If I were a refugee how would I feel if I had to give birth on a roadside with no midwife, no pain relief and nothing to wash myself or my new baby with.
I’ve just spent the whole day at the chequerboard by the Angel centre in Tonbridge collecting aid for refugees in Europe. Held at the borders of umpteen European countries, thousand upon thousands of desperate people are waiting. Waiting for refuge, waiting for help, waiting for compassion, waiting for the people who know best, to find a solution.
After a day of moving and transporting bags and boxes of clothing, food and other very necessary items I arrived home feeling exhausted. My nails are all broken, my back aches, I look dreadful and smell worse but I feel great.
There is so little we mere mortals can do to help the thousands we see each night on our TV screens, but the people of Tonbridge have responded in an amazingly generous way. OK, there were some who brought stuff which was wholly unsuitable, to be honest most women would think twice about starting a journey of several hundred miles dressed in a sequinned top and high heeled sandals, but many many more brought the things that are desperately needed like, rice, tinned food, baby food, nappies, and tents.
As I lay soaking in my lovely soapy bubbles, easing my aching back, I thought of the many men and women, my fellow human beings, my brothers and sisters of Mother Earth, who would give anything for the luxury of a bath or a shower.
Tonbridge has reached out today and said “you are still something and we care”. Well done Tonbridge.