My beautiful baby looks up at me and smiles as she lays in my arms. Touching my face – her little fingers run over my lips, pull on my nose, and touch my cheeks.
She is perfectly herself – innocent and full of wonder.
She deserves peace, and kindness, and safety, and security, and support, and compassion, and so much love.
She doesn’t have to earn these things – they are her right.
As a child, as one of the most vulnerable people in our world, she deserves our love and protection. She deserves it, no matter what!
And yet, as I look down at her, tears fill my eyes. I let them fall as I think about the children of our world – the most vulnerable people on our planet.
I am filled with a sadness and despair that makes my heart ache. I clutch at my chest as I think of the abuse, the terror, the horrific treatment of our beneficiaries.
They deserve better. They deserve more than better!
Our indigenous children in juvenile detention; emotionally and physically abused, scared, humiliated. They deserve better.
Our children seeking asylum, detained, losing hope, longing for a life free from war and terror. They deserve better.
Our disabled children; dehumanised and abused in our schools and institutions. Ignored, preyed upon, taken advantage of. They deserve better.
Our children of colour; fearful, discriminated against, condemned. They deserve better.
All our children; in our homes, and schools, and communities; shamed, controlled, bullied, endured. They deserve better.
These children, our children, our successors on this planet, deserve better.
We can all do better. In our own homes. In what we say, in what we do, in how we treat each other.
We are the example. We are all responsible.
They deserve better.