You’ve written a children’s book to raise funds for refugees…
Yes, it’s titled Ten Thousand Bowls of Soup. All profits will go to Médecins Sans Frontières (Doctors Without Borders) who are very active helping in the migrant camps. They will also use the money to help volunteers such as the ones in the story.
What inspired you to write this book?
My son spent 2016 studying in Turkey and in the holidays helped out in migrant camps in neighbouring Greece as a volunteer. He told me some stories that were heart-warming and brought home to me how hard the camp residents struggled to live with dignity in the most testing circumstances.
How should parents or teachers discuss the refugee crisis with pre-school children?
Very gently and positively. The book quite consciously allows parents to engage their child at whatever level they feel appropriate with the issues. Naturally the maturity of pre-school children varies across a huge spectrum, and only the parent can really judge how best and at what time to introduce their child to such worldly conversations.
What’s the message you want to spread?
Really just two things. First, that when you see the migrant camps on the news, try for a moment to think of the people you see without using collective nouns such as migrants, refugees or asylum seekers – instead think of them as individuals just like us who have fallen on incredibly hard times. Secondly, be happy that there are people in the world like the volunteers described in the book who do reach out and try to help, and everyone can think about whether there is anything they can do.
- The book is available on Amazon in paperback and audiobook formats