I have been thinking how fortunate I am.
Nehad Makhadmeh’s presentation at a seminar this weekend and listening to Angelina Jolie about her visit to Lebanon have been the catalysts for my thinking.
Angelina shared a video story on SBS of meeting Hala, aged 11, and her brothers and sisters fending for themselves in a refugee camp in Lebanon.
It is estimated that there are one million Syrian refugees in Lebanon, a country the size of the Australian state of Tasmania. Under Australia’s Humanitarian Program in 2011-12, 13,759 visas were granted to refugees.
Nehad’s city of Al Ramtha in northern Jordan has seen an influx of 200,000 refugees in the last three years.
Sitting in a local cafe in Braidwood with our two grandchildren was a powerful reminder to me of how fortunate I am. Seeing Hala’s life in Lebanon I am left wondering about the scale of my good fortune.
Sunday is the International Day of Sport for Development and Peace. I will be thinking about Hala and the millions of displaced persons whose lives might be enriched and transformed by the kind of play in Braidwood it is all too easy to take for granted.
Ivy and Jolyon at the playground (Keith Lyons)
Frame grab (SBS)
At Dee’s (Keith Lyons)