In this time of global crisis, my heart aches above all else for the disrupted lives of children. Children who live in safety with loving families will face uncertainties and confinement, but with the ebullience and hope that are gifts that children give us and, we trust, we give them, they may thrive and take lessons of pain and happiness from the experience that will endure through their lives.
But the millions of children who lack security and love are in great peril. That means children forced to migrate, living as refugees and internally displaced, orphans, street children, and too many others. It is our responsibility, collectively and individually, to put their welfare at the very top of every agenda, from the UN Secretary General, the G20 leaders, national leaders, and each citizen. That exhortation is obviously easier said than done.
Many children who suffer are not easy to reach in the best of times, much less in a disrupted world. Creativity, energy, resources, and love are all needed. But with concerted effort and constant focus, miracles are possible. Grandparents (I am one) may have special assets to offer, with our visions of past and present, but every person and institution needs to be engaged in the effort.
The miracle we need most now is to assure love, nutrition, shelter, health care, and education to the world’s children, each and every one. We need to work together to translate that hope into reality.
By Dr. Katherine Marshall
Senior Fellow, Berkley Center for Religion, Peace and World Affairs, and Professor of the Practice of Development, Conflict, and Religion, Georgetown University
Member, Arigatou International Advisory Group