I don’t usually watch the news.
There’s too much suffering, heartache and pain for me to handle. As one of life’s feelers, I know that watching human suffering on the news and reading it online impacts me intensely and affects me to the core.
For the most part, I’m quite happy to stick my head in the sand and potter along in my own merry little world.
There is one major news event that I haven’t been able to ignore recently though. It’s the story of asylum seeker baby Asha.
As I was driving in a lovely air-conditioned car to South Bank in Brisbane last Saturday afternoon, all dolled up ready to meet friends for drinks, I witnessed groups of protesters outside the Lady Cilento Children’s Hospital.
‘What are those people doing?’ one of the girls had asked me as we pulled up at the traffic lights opposite the protesters.
I remained silent as I read the protester’s signs ashamed that I had no idea what was going on. Ashamed that I didn’t have an intelligent answer, any answer, for my girls.
‘Let them stay,’ read the signs. ‘Free the refugees,’ said others. ‘Refugees are people’. ‘Don’t let them go back to hell’.
A quick google search unveiled that a one-year-old girl, Asha, was at the centre of a refugee rights row.
While in a detention centre in Nauru, Asha sustained burns to her body and was transported to Lady Cilento Hospital in Brisbane for treatment. Doctors at the hospital refused to release her to immigration authorities until a suitable home environment was identified, that is, not back to detention in Nauru.
Since witnessing the protesters fight for baby Asha in the middle of a blisteringly hot day, I’ve become obsessed with all news relating to this story and asylum seekers on Nauru.
I have not been able to stop thinking about what this poor family must be going through. As a mother I can’t help but wonder and worry what baby Asha’s mother is feeling. Seeing your child experience pain is one thing, but to then be faced with an uncertain future is another. She must be terrified of what will happen to her child and family, living in fear of being taken from the hospital and deported back to detention in Nauru.
Baby Asha and her family were released yesterday to community detention within Australia, but for how long? I cannot begin to understand how it must feel to be so uncertain of your family’s fate.
I have friends and parents of friends who have escaped war torn countries and let me tell you their decision to seek asylum was not made lightly and not without massive risk.
Can you imagine how desperate the situation of these asylum seekers must be in order for them to risk their lives in the hope to build a better life for themselves and their families?
These people are no different to us and yet we struggle to recognise that. We were just fortunate enough to be raised in one of the lucky countries.
It’s all too easy to put on the blinkers and to not see and not want to see what is happening outside our own little world.
I will continue to follow Baby Asha’s story and keep her and her family in my prayers along with all of the other asylum seekers facing their own battles.
I don’t attempt to know what the answer is for the asylum seekers and for Australia. I simply know that surely there is more we can do to help.
Do you watch the news regularly or do you tend to stick your head in the sand?
Linking up today with Essentially Jess for IBOT.