This Photo May Not Change The World But It Moved One Mom To Act

August 22, 2016

The headline of a recent NPR’s story about Omran Daqneesh, a little Syrian boy who was rescued in Aleppo, asked: “Can One Photo End A War?”

This “one photo” may not end a war tomorrow, but it has made me aware of the devastation happening every second in Syria. And it has prompted me to take action to help end the war today.

Just a few days ago, I did not know the extent of the war in Syria. I had to Google “Aleppo,” “Syrian refugees,” “what can we do,” and so on. Maybe it’s because I have a son now — he’s 2 years old — and when I see other children suffering, I am drawn to help.

And in this case, I want to take action, not just “like” or put a “sad face” on a social media post.

So far, I have made donations to provide food and supplies to the refugees in Syria. But will they get them with the roads blocked? I even sent a letter to President Obama — I have never done that before. But will that help? And I find myself checking the news every hour to see the updates on the air strikes in Aleppo. I am praying, to the point of tears, that Omran is safe.

If donations have been made and letters to higher powers have been written, what else can I do? What else can we do to keep Omran alive? Omran’s brother Ali was killed yesterday in an air strike. How can I keep the rest of his family safe? Where are they sleeping tonight? Did Omran ever get shoes and clean clothes?

These humans don’t deserve to live every moment looking up at the sky for the next bomb to fall on them. Omran should not have to worry about going to bed at night and waking up buried under his home. No child, parent, brother or sister, deserve the life of war. Especially when they are trying to escape it.

I am a nobody. I’m just a mom who lives for my son. I work a normal job and make an average income. What I do have is a passion for this issue. And yes, this passion started about 4 days ago, when I saw that photo of Omran. Now I’m one more person who can hopefully make a difference for all Syrian children.

Marisol Andino, 38, lives in Costa Mesa, California.

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