With the images on our screens and newspapers of devastation and suffering in Syria it needs to be remembered that those who witness and suffer these type of atrocities suffer physically, emotionally and financially for many many years after the fighting has stopped.
Actress Sarah Alexander visited Sierra Leone, a country recovering from a civil war. She said:
“Children in conflict are at the forefront of everyone’s minds due to what’s happening in Syria. I’ve seen with my own eyes just how devastating the effects of war are long term on generations of children. Please help us to give everyone the right to a happy childhood.”
Giving youngsters a happy childhood is fundamental to this campaign. Since my last work with ActionAid, we were inspired to sponsor a child in Rwanda. It's an honour to receive letters and photos from him and hear news from his community. As a family we very much look forward to hearing from him and seeing his drawings, and of course sharing stories about what we are up to.
I hope writing letters and sending pictures across the sea to him will very much be one of my daughter's memories of her childhood.
ActionAid are encouraging everyone to share their childhood memories today. My own childhood was a very happy one - sure I wouldn't describe it as idyllic, I wasn't skipping through fields of buttercups all the time. There were squabbles and arguments as in any family. But I was bought up in a loving, safe and supportive home with my parents and brothers. I attended great schools who tried their best to give me a good education, even if I didn't appreciate it at the time. I remember long happy summer holidays hanging out with friends and peals and peals of laughter. I remember camps and dens in the garden, climbing trees in the park so high I got stuck and my brother had to go and get my dad to rescue me. It was just normal, like I think my daughter's is.
But that's the thing isn't it. Normal is relative. Our normal is not the same as other's normal.
If you believe, like I do that every child has the right to a safe and happy childhood, please support this campaign. Share this post on social media, join in with the #REBUILD conversation, take a look at the sponsorship campaigns.