No longer can humanity hide from the storm behind their bright coloured umbrellas,
splashing through overflowing puddles filled with your tears.
Alyan you are the lightning that finally gave the world the shock we needed;
forcing us to put our umbrellas away and for the first time feel your tears on our skin.
You have washed away the words ‘Refugee’, ‘Boat People’ and ‘Queue Jumpers’
and have replaced them with ‘Humanity.’
And for this you gave your life.
I am a teacher.
An individual who works day in and day out for the wellbeing and development of young people.
Teaching in a school of middle to upper class girls in Sydney, Australia,
where the biggest issue is internet connection.
I am also a mother of three beautiful girls.
Two who I get to hug and love each and every day
and one that watches from above with you Alyan.
Yes I have held a limp body like yours in my arms.
I have buried a child.
I have felt anger like thunder reverberating in my chest
and when I see the image of you,
I feel it again echoing over the mountains.
And because of this anger,
this thunderous roar,
I want to make you,
and all children who are fleeing their homes or living in war torn countries,
the following pledge.
I promise that I will teach my students and my children things that matter.
I will speak about the atrocities that take place in our world.
I will teach empathy, compassion, hospitality, integrity and respect.
The students that leave my classroom will leave as leaders.
Ready to make noise when noise must be made;
Ready to challenge when their peers need to be challenged;
Ready to speak up when no-one else has the words;
Ready to fight when others choose flight.
My students will see the similarity between the rain trickling down their arms from the sky,
to their own pain, welling in their own eyes.
No longer will they hashtag firstworldproblems, they will hashtag thirdworldprobelms.
I will speak to them about humanity, about humility, about being lucky
and in return they will spread the word, spread the light, spread the hope.
You see, your future is hopeless but their future is hopeful.
Hopeful that they can make a difference for generations to come.
For children to come.
For others to come and share our homes, our wealth, our love.
This is my promise. To empower the young people of today to be the heroes of tomorrow.
Ensuring no more children wash up on the shore in the midst of a great storm.