Wednesday, 21 September 2016

The aid convoy which was bombed

in Syria was an almost inevitable target. 
Yes, I know that there was also an "incident" in which the Syrian army was targetted. We'll hear about "mistakes" and "collateral damage" and "unintended" and "regret" over that.
But the aid convoy? Apparently the Russians are now claiming that there was a "militant vehicle carrying a heavy mortar" with it.  I don't know. It was a UN/RedCross/RedCrescent convoy. They don't usually get accompanied like that. It's something worth thinking about.
Yesterday my work mail had one of those messages I dread - an urgent request for help for a child. They thought he might be about nine or ten. He was so severely malnourished it was hard to tell. He had been pulled out of a collapsed building with some severe injuries and he was completely silent. They had ascertained he could hear and see but he wasn't making a sound.  
It isn't the first time rescuers and aid workers have come across a silent child, a child too traumatised to speak. All we can do is give them a simple communication board and encourage them to use it until they are ready to try and say something - say anything at all. It is sometimes easier if you don't need to make eye contact with anyone, if a simple board with words, symbols, and pictures does that for you - if all you need to do is point silently. 
I don't know what will happen to that boy. I never find out what happens. Perhaps it is better not to know. What I do know is that the aid convoy which was bombed was heading in that direction. It might have brought some pain relief, some much needed medical supplies, some food and clean drinking water. 
It was carrying people, people who were trying to help. They were people with families too. 
I wonder whether that little boy would have spoken to any of them?

No comments: