“EMERGENCY” they say: “EMERGENCY” they scream and show horror –
Children dying of starvation, too weak to cry for help,
Adults mourning and sorrowing: as days and nights run together
They look for help and hope from a suddenly caring world.

Emergencies come and also go, flood, drought, famine –
And ordinary people go on living their ordinary lives.
Appalled by infant mortality rates, forty thousand children daily –
We try to stem this dying with long term mother/child health care.

The most exciting thing one does is this long term health care
For that is a lasting difference to many people’s lifestyles –
How to do the things we thought were ‘doing what comes naturally’,
Only to lots and lots of people it is a lesson to be learnt.

Little brown toddlers in India ‘children of slum dwellers’ –
And what an awful word ‘slum’ is – who look up, laugh and giggle,
Girls coyly ducking heads, glancing up to flirt with the camera.
Oh darling child – the world really should be good to and for you.

Caring people with their creches, kindergartens and expertise
Who get on and do what needs doing, even if ’tis the proverbial drop.
It is all this good will and all these drops that point the way ~
To what must be done if this world is to survive and have a future.

The children are the future, my child, your child and their children –
Probably their children are the most important – there are more of them,
And they shouldn’t die, not fourteen million little children a year –
That enormous figure breaks down into forty thousand children every day.

The death of a child, one child is a terrible and sad tragedy,
The deaths of forty thousand must be tragedy compounded on tragedy,
And it is, if we remember that the figure is made up of individual children
And we have little comprehension what would have been for the future.

By whatever name Save the Children calls its help to children,
It looks like Long Term EMERGENCY care when one sees and cuddles the babes
And one’s heart will break with sorrow that there is so little for them
In a world that to me seems to be overflowing with milk and honey.

Will you share the little or the much that you have with children?
Will you give us a portion of your share of the good things in life?
Will you join the caring people all over the world who give?
Will you make a difference to one little child out of millions?


Pam Barrington MBE

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