This is the image that says childhood to me. The sun is shining, the children are wearing clothes which suit their style but which have seen their day. Those clothes are an invitation to play; everyone came home dusty and scruffy that day. The sun hats show they are loved and that someone has taken care of their health. The bag has water and snacks in it. I might not be in the picture, but I’m taking it because the six of us are together, having fun, having a day out. And it’s a daffodil day, so Freddie is peeping out at us too in this picture, in the daffodils, in the space between Fran and Max, where a one year old might have been toddling, holding hands with them.
Maybe that is why this picture means so much to me. What is present in this photo is not that childhood is always perfect but that love and care and togetherness counts for a great deal. Childhood in England and the developed world is not made by things, nor even by getting through it untouched by grief or pain. We may not always be perfectly protected from pain but if we are loved, safe and part of a caring family, that gives us an amazing start. In this picture are the things upon which a childhood is built; memories, family, food and water in plenty, joy, play.
In West Africa, children are losing their childhood before they have a chance to enjoy it. Hunger and poverty are robbing them of the chance to go to school, smile, play, see their siblings grow up, expect their parents to always be there. It seems incredibly unfair that a childhood could be lost for want of things my children might moan about – while my girls moan about doing their maths, children wish for school, while mine complain about drinking water not juice, children are losing their childhood because they need to dig all day for water.
WorldVision have until the 30th August to make the most of their matched funding from DFID. Every single £1 will be doubled by the government. It’s a great time to donate some money and know it will go to funding long term projects that will rescue lost childhoods and put hope into the future of West Africa. We need to raise awareness and get people putting just a few pounds into that fund and make the most of the matched funding.
What you can do. Blog!
Find a picture that says childhood to you, from your childhood or your own kids and blog it. Add words about what childhood means to you if you wish.
Add it to the bloghop below and feature the bloghop code too if you wish.
Make sure you tell people about the matched funding opportunity at DFID and include the link
We’re trying to double the impact, so tag two people to join in. You don’t have to wait to be tagged to join in though.
Tweet, Facebook share, Pinterest, G+ and use the hashtag #LostChildhood if you can.
All entries will be pinned to the WorldVision Pinterest Board and the best entries will feature on their blog too.