To dream of children is to dream of beauty;
Fair of face, lithe limbed and very healthy.
Fair in the sense of beauty and not colour
For the rich dark skin,white teeth of Ethiopia
Are as lovely as the creamy pale skin of Asia.
When we gaze upon the loveliness of our children
No doubt we feel that so does every mother gaze.
Her hopes fulfilled. her dreams come true at last.
Alas life is not a pretty story if you are born
Into a world that is desolate. drought stricken
And poor. Your child will be wrinkled or bloated,
Your child usually will have stick like limbs,
Your child will go to sleep badly malnourished,
Your child will not go to a bed, but bundled anywhere.
So few the miles that separate US from sad THEM.
Because you have cared enough to send a donation
A woman can come to a clinic with a very sick child –
So often her sorrow a little later turns to joy
As the sick child recovers, laughs and gurgles at her.
Clinics in remote places, logistically impossible,
But staffed by a nurse or a doctor who is caring;
Staffed by indigenous people who know and who care
And offer loving sympathy and professional help.
A malnourished child, too sick to cry and oh so weary,
A worried mother, a kind helper and the right food
Fed by mother to little sick child and daily a miracle.
The child begins to notice, to laugh and cry and eat
And slowly grow sleek and well – a child saved.
Because you have cared enough to make a donation
Children can be immunised against the killer diseases –
Diphtheria, whooping cough, tetanus, tuberculosis,
Measles, polio are feared no longer by US for children
In many places mothers no longer fear them
For their children – so they say thank you for a life.
It should be possible and an accepted norm –
That every child everywhere is immunised from birth.
The tragic after effects of all the ‘childhood’ ills
Should no longer scourge the children of the poor alone.
Fair is fair, and only the odd accident of birth
makes us US, and sadly also makes them THEM.
To them surely we who have owe a life and a duty
To put in their path the ways and means to survive.
One is privileged beyond one’s worth
When a mother unswaddles a child to show
With beaming smiles how well her baby is.
And as you both smile the special smile of women
At a tiny baby, you know you are both sisters.
You have both known the pain and the pleasures
Of bringing forth a child into an alien world
And you have forgotten the pain and the sorrow
As you have gazed at the face and form of your child.
Or she looks with dumb despair and shows her tragedy,
A baby who looks so tiny, shrivelled and hungry
That you fear the morrow will bring but death.
Yet both place blind trust in the caring young nurse
Who is so calm, assured and oh so confident.
And so often on the morrow hope springs again.
Another night passed; another day of special food
And extra special caring. A day gained is good,
And every day brings more hope that life will triumph.
It only do so in these strange corners of the world
Because people have cared enough to do something positive.
Yes, we live in harsh economic times and reality is hard,
But never so hard that it can ever drive out compassion.
Our love and our care for our fellow human beings
Must not and cannot falter or we are indeed nothing.
We have become the sounding brass and the tinkling cymbal
of those without charity or love in their hearts and deeds.
Please will you be positive thatour hard times
Do not mean hard times for those who have JUST NOTHING.
Please give so that we at SCF can go on helping
To Save the Children all over the world.
Pam Barrington MBE