My 9-year old daughter and husband have been busy making candles for the last few weeks. All handcrafted from natural beeswax, they smell divine and look beautiful. We took them to the Primrose Hill Designer Sale on Saturday and did good business, making £40 profit which we donated to charity. We wanted it all to go to Syria but we also wanted to support Medecins Sans Frontieres and there wasn't an option on their website to select exactly where the money goes. So we gave £20 to MSF and £20 to the Guardian's Christmas appeal, which supports groups helping refugees.
When my daughter and husband started making the candles, the idea was to earn some pocket money. But then she and I were watching C4 news one night and looked on in horror as a little boy, a bit younger than my daughter, lay dying from a bomb attack, his distraught brothers weeping by his side in what more closely resembled a shed than a hospital.
The report finished with shots of a tank doing the tank equivalent of wheelies and handbrake turns in a deserted, devastated Aleppo street. All thoughts of pocket money disappeared from my daughter's mind and we determined then and there that the money would go to Syria. Opening the MSF website to make the donation today, I was confronted by a report proclaiming that 2016 has been the most deadly yet on the Mediterranean. I've copied the link here so you can read the shocking statistics for yourself: https://goo.gl/vA9BWt. But we've been reading this stuff for over five years, haven't we, and still nothing changes. As a normal citizen with a normal job and a normal life, I am suddenly incandescent with rage that this horrendous war has been allowed to continue for so long. Although, hang on a minute, it hasn't just been allowed to continue, has it? It's been aided and abetted whether by active military intervention or total apathy, throughout this whole time. And now the end seems to be nigh, it is of course only the beginning. How will people ever rebuild lives, communities, homes and businesses?
I look at my daughter and think, we're going to have to make and sell a hell of a lot more candles to fix this one.
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