“There is no such thing as other people’s children. We will fight for these kids like we’d fight if they were our kids. Because they are.” – Glennon Doyle
I was driving in my neighborhood recently and passed a sign that said, “Drive Like Your Kids Live Here.” I immediately slowed down. Why did I do that? Why would I not have been driving just as carefully before?
If my kids lived on this street, I would have instinctively been paying close attention, driving deliberately and slowly.
Proximity inspires action. The closer we are in proximity to the actual people affected by injustice, abuse, or harm, the more we are impacted and the deeper we engage. Sometimes a human rights issue seems “far away” or feels like something that happens “over there.”
The past week has seen some horrific news about children come to the surface. We’re hearing that 1,475 unaccompanied children are unaccounted for after coming to the US. We’re hearing that children are being forcibly separated from their parents at the Mexican border by US officials. Many of these are children who were trying desperately to escape unspeakable violence, and upon coming to America found themselves even more vulnerable, traumatized, and at risk.
What if we lived and acted as if they were our children? We know that for these children, the path to freedom, healing, and family will be no easy road. “Driving slowly,” in this case, means paying attention, being thoughtful and doing whatever we can to help provide safer passage. It means that a path can be lit up for them to walk on, and that they have the support and love they need for the journey.
Love146 has spent the last 15 years working to make a safer world for children, and we are gutted when we see children who are put in situations where they are more vulnerable to trafficking, exploitation, and harm. Our Survivor Support team in the UK has worked with children and young people who’ve been trafficked and exploited after crossing many borders on their journey in the search of safety. Our trafficking prevention curriculum, Not a Number, is used around the US to decrease vulnerabilities and equip children to stay safe; it’s been used heavily in Texas and other communities with migrants and new arrivals to the US. Love146 may not be serving the particular children you’ve heard about in the news this past week, but we still want you to care, to get emotionally involved, and to be part of a response. One practical solution we appreciate is being led by Glennon Doyle. You can read about her efforts here.