A PICTURE surfaced yesterday of a little boy washed up on a beach in Turkey after the boat he was travelling in with his family capsized.

His name was Aylan Kurdi and he was three years old. His family is Syrian and they were fleeing the war in Syria, a conflict which has already claimed millions of lives.

I’m not going to post that picture here – he was somebody’s little boy and it’s not my place to use his image. Instead I’m going to post a picture of another little boy on a beach.

My boy.

Beach blog Sean 1Beach blog Sean 2









Holiday blog S on beach

This is Seán. He’s almost the same age as Aylan and he associates beaches with sandcastles and seashells, with paddling and splashing.

By accident of birth and geography, Seán lives a happy, safe, sunny life. A beach isn’t a place of horror to him. It shouldn’t be a place of horror for anybody. Children shouldn’t be washing up on beaches, they should be playing on them.

I don’t have any of the answers. I don’t know the ins and outs of what’s happening in Syria or other devastated parts of the world. I don’t know the politics or the complexities or the details of treaties and regulations. I’m not a politician or an economist or a world leader. I don’t know how we’re going to solve all of this. I don’t know very much at all.

All I know is that when I saw that heart stopping picture of tiny Aylan, I saw my boy reflected in him. And I almost couldn’t bear it.

There are however some things I can do to help those in need; some practical things that might help to ease their suffering. And if you can, these are things you can do too.

I donated here, a nationwide campaign to get some supplies to refugees at Calais, with surplus being sent to other border countries such as Hungary.

There are local Facebook pages associated with this campaign for Dublin, Cork, Clare and Armagh.

I signed this, asking Enda Kenny to increase the number of refugees Ireland can take in.

Other organisations such as UNICEF and the Red Cross are also asking for donations to help refugees coming into Europe and also those still in Syria.

It’s not much, but it’s something and it might make a difference. Please give what you can.

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Members of The Irish Parenting Bloggers network have come together in a blog-hop to share their thoughts on the current crisis and to let people know what they can do to help. Click on the blue button below to read our posts and please feel free to spread the word by sharing on social media platforms using the hashtag #ReadFeelAct.

Please share our posts with the hashtag #ReadFeelAct and do whatever you can to help.
As well as writing about this issue, members of the Irish Parenting Bloggers network have also organised a virtual coffee (or tea!) morning for next Friday, September 11, to raise funds for the Ireland Calais Refugee Solidarity Campaign. Details of the event are here. It’s a public event so you don’t have to be on Facebook to take part. And because it’s virtual you don’t even have to leave your couch. Please click the link, read more and take part.