WAR-TORN: Eastern Aleppo residents wait  to be evacuated from the war-torn city in Syria, on Thursday.  Residents  are starting to board buses and ambulances as the long-awaited pull-out from the last rebel enclave   gets under way.
WAR-TORN: Eastern Aleppo residents wait to be evacuated from the war-torn city in Syria, on Thursday. Residents are starting to board buses and ambulances as the long-awaited pull-out from the last rebel enclave gets under way. Uncredited

LETTER: 'This is my last moment to either live or die'

REMIND children how fortunate they are this holiday season

It is heartbreaking to see news reports of civilians being killed in eastern Aleppo, Syria, particularly of children caught up in this deadly conflict. On December 13, 2016, a Syrian girl tweeted from inside the war zone: "My name in Bana. I'm 7 years old. I am talking to the world now from East #Aleppo. This is my last moment to either live or die.”

The only solace was that Her words were re-tweeted 42,000 times. The world was listening, and as futile as it seemed, people cared and they were trying to help.

Although it is good to shield our children from images of war, we can't lie to them about the bad things happening in the world. It is difficult explaining conflicts and death, but it's not hard to remind children of how fortunate they are to live far from war. We want our children to grow up to be smart and ambitious, but we also want them to be empathetic and caring to those less fortunate. Besides, life can change so quickly.

As we approach Christmas, and children get excited about presents, delicious food and loved ones they'll visit, it is important to remind them of how fortunate they are. Not all children have the same freedoms, toys, food aplenty and opportunities for play. This is not a suggestion to instil guilt, but to prompt gratitude, and to raise children who strive to help and care for others no matter where they live.

Ian Wishart,

CEO, Plan International

Australia



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