This is a guest post from Alison Wallace, CEO of SOS Children’s Villages UK.
“We have far more in common than that which divides us,” so said Jo Cox MP in her first ever address to Parliament. In this spirit, we invite you to join our Walk a Mile march and Great Get Together in Cambridge this Refugee Week and show solidarity with child refugees around the world.
Half of all refugees are children. They are travelling hundreds of miles in search of a safe place to call home, yet all too often they are received with prejudice and distrust by the countries they turn to for sanctuary. SOS Children’s Villages UK, part of the world’s largest charity working with unsupported children, is campaigning to change this. We want to acknowledge the courage of refugee children, fight for their right to be reunited with their families and show them they are welcome here.
On 23rd June people will gather to Walk a Mile in the shoes of a child refugee and consider what it is like to be a young person fleeing for their life. We hope you will join us, and then stay for a Great Get Together in memory of Jo Cox MP.
Bring a picnic and make a day of it – meet and talk with other marchers and learn more about the child refugee crisis from guest speakers Daniel Ziechner MP and SOS Children’s Villages UK CEO Alison Wallace.
As you march, consider what it is like to be a child who has lost everything – your home, your friends, to see your school closed or destroyed in conflict, maybe even lose your family in the chaos, or to bombs and bullets – all the parts of a young life that make you feel safe and comforted.
And then imagine setting out on the most dangerous journey of your life – across countries and borders, into camps, wondering where the next meal or helping hand might come from, never knowing what the next stage of travel will bring or who you can trust. All the time wondering about home and your family, traumatised by the violence and devastation that forced you to flee in the first place.
SOS Children’s Villages is working to protect and care for refugee children around the world – in refugee camps, and along the world’s key migrant routes. Now we need your help to improve the lives of some of the world’s most at-risk children. Together, we can be a force for change.
You can find out more about how to get involved with the Walk a Mile campaign at www.sosuk.org.