Bennett's Blog

War Child Canada needs You

Bennett R. Coles | August 20, 2011

I had the opportunity, during my fifteen years in uniform, to see a lot of the world. Certainly the most moving experiences were when I was a UN Military Observer in Syria, and then in Lebanon. Our job was to stand between the Israelis and their Arab neighbours and say "Don't shoot... Or I'll tell!" We had mixed success.

I think what impacted me the most, however, was driving through the Golan Heights villages in Syria, seeing all the smiling children as they ran alongside our cars. These kids were truly happy, in that innocent way of the child. But as I looked past them and saw the adults in the villages who struggled to grow food, who burned their precious kerosene either to cook or to provide light (not both - there wasn't enough fuel), my heart ached because I could see the dismal future that was in store for these smiling kids. They didn't realize it yet, but their future was already set, and it was grim.

Being raised in poverty is bad enough. But to have no hope of every escaping that poverty is horrific. Places like Syria, which are under the thumb of a brutal dictatorship and bordered by enemies, are not kind places to children. Those kids I saw years ago, running with care-free abandon, are old enough now that they're working hard to support their families: childhood is over for them, stunted and short because of the terrible world they had the bad luck of being born into.

I support War Child Canada, www.warchild.ca, because their whole mission is to help the children in parts of the world like Syria. War Child has made it a cause to help the forgotten and the helpless in war. While others talk, the folks at War Child get out and do.

I support War Child. I humbly request that you do too.

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