Editorial by Andrew Cates
I love Easter and spring. But looking at what is going on in the world today, it is hard to say that this is a going to be a good Friday or a good Easter. Very locally in the UK the weather forecast looks grim, spring still has not really arrived, the economic outlook is not exactly rosy and people are struggling. More broadly across the globe, Israel has just bombed multiple sites in the Gaza strip which is densely populated and full of deeply traumatised children, Haiti is still largely rubble and despite our best efforts providing food for 40,000, helping traumatised children there and providing a safe haven for 498 children who were left alone from the disaster we are left feeling we are scratching the surface. SOS Children has raised some $12m (across Europe) for Haiti but we could easily spend $80m on worthwhile cost-effective work in Haiti alone. And whilst Haiti and Gaza is in the news, and whilst Chile has had major earthquake damage the problems of Aids Orphans have got worse, not better. It is fine to congratulate ourselves on progress towards sorting out a family life for a million children by 2016-17 but Malawi alone has more than a million orphans on the streets. Each child has their own feelings, their own sorry and their own need of love, but Malawi is one of 45 African countries where we work surrounded by need.
I am reminded of a poem I learnt as a child "Easter is definitely not for children", and as a religious festival despite the egg hunts and chocolate Easter always has a complicated side of unimaginable suffering before an eventual triumph. Lent will soon be over, Christianity's hope of Resurrection will be seen on the streets and here in the UK most of us will enjoy eggs, families, the long weekend and chocolate. Paul Potts will have finished his amazing sponsored walk from Port Talbot to the Albert Hall for us and thousands in the Albert Hall will have heard him sing (tomorrow night, tickets still available) along side a host of stars to raise funds for our Haiti appeal. Our national spirit of optimism will soon return.
But perhaps today on Good Friday, before we start we should spare a moment thinking about people elsewhere who have a lot more to complain about than cold weather and lack of spring. Any perhaps, living in Europe where the total spend in ice cream is more than it would cost to provide a loving home to everychild in Africa, Good Friday is an occasion to make one last sacrifice for other people and sponsor a child and help give children alone hope for a better life.