I wonder what it is about the current humanitarian crisis in Haiti that seems to be resonating with children at the moment? Of course, the much publicised achievements of seven year old Charlie Simpson (£145,000 at the last count, including a £5k donation from Mr Moneybags Cowell) are a clear winner, but the BBC also showed some footage on today’s lunchtime bulletin relating to schoolchildren undertaking fund raising – without in any way referencing why the children are so moved, which is the aspect which I find fascinating.
Is it the sheer volume of deaths and impacted lives which means that our children are appalled and want to do something to help make a difference? Is the 24/7 media culture contributing to their awareness? Has it (thankfully) been a while since there’s been a humanitarian disaster of this magnitude? Or are we perhaps seeing the emergence of a new generation of globally minded children who have a more keenly developed social conscience? Perhaps it’s a mixture of all of the above.
Of course, one of the many reasons as to why Young Master Simpson’s campaign has done so well is because it went viral – he set up an online charity fund raising page, people shared it, he raised tons of cash, then the media picked up on it and hey presto – £145k and rising. Excellent!
However, by way of a low-tech contrast, here are a couple of photos which I snapped whilst out walking this morning and which triggered my thoughts around children in the context of Haiti.
Eve, Imogen, Olivia and Grace (sisters and a couple of friends) are baking and selling cakes from their front garden this Saturday afternoon – and to raise awareness, they have made posters and stuck them to trees in the streets near their home. I don’t know these small girls at all – but I am very touched that they want to make a difference and help, and I’ll be calling in on Saturday afternoon.