The cost of conflict

This beautiful little girl is three and a half years old. She is the same age as my youngest son, but she is Syrian.

Her nationality shouldn't matter or make a difference. But it does.

The place a person is born and the passport they hold shouldn't shape the outcome of their life, their opportunities or their rights as a human being to safety, protection or a future. But it does.

A few months ago, this precious little girl was injured in a devastating bomb attack carried out by IS in Syria. This bomb claimed many lives, both those who were killed, but also those whose lives have been changed forever.

One of our medical teams cared for this little girl, I feel I should say at the most difficult time of her life. But I find myself wondering whether it was the most difficult time of her life, or whether that is still to come?

What can anyone say to this amazing little girl now, about the reason she was injured in such a horrific way? Is there a reason? How will her guardian explain to her why she has to grow up with no parents? How will he explain to her why she looks so different to the other people she sees every day, why she may never get married or have children of her own, or why she can't even hold a pencil to learn to draw or write?

Before I had children, I used to be an A&E nurse. Dealing with serious traumas is always disturbing, but there are some patients you deal with who are written on your heart for life. This little girl is one of the many, many patients written on the hearts of our medical teams in Syria who risk their own lives and the safety and future of their families to care for little children like this.

The pages of their hearts are full now. They are filled with the faces of the multitude of traumas they have dealt with in the last five years in Syria. I hesitate to use the word conflict to describe the situation there because it sounds so clinical and detached from the reality of the other world that exists in Syria, which looks so different from our own.

But this is not unusual in Syria, this is everyday life. It is just another bomb. Just another terrorist attack. This little girl is simply one of the 1.2 million people injured in Syria in the last five years.

I'm sorry to share such a heart breaking picture with you, but how long can we continue to close our eyes and hearts to the suffering that exists? We may not be able to do everything, but we can all do something. We may feel helpless when we see images like this, but we all have something to give. If you don't feel you have money to give then give your time. That is my gift and I'm grateful to have this precious resource to give because many, many lives are being changed through our work.

Because everyone helping our cause here in the UK is a volunteer, it enables us to channel every penny we raise to the cause we raise it for.

This is our world, our global community and these are our brothers and sisters. This is our daughter and our niece; she is part of our family.

There are 11.5 million people in Syria in need of urgent healthcare provision. Nearly 60% of the hospitals in Syria have been destroyed or are functioning at a reduced capacity. So when little girls like this are injured, access to urgent and essential medical care is very limited and in many areas the journey to reach emergency medical care is too long and many lives are lost on the journey to hospital.

We have just opened a new emergency hospital in Syria in an area where there was no medical provision because all the hospitals have been destroyed. We are in the process of establishing a mobile hospital which can be moved to the areas it is needed most. We have also made the decision this week to open another hospital in an area where a community of committed Christian Syrian doctors and nurses are willing to staff this hospital as volunteers to serve their people.

Could you help us fundraise to support our hospitals and medical teams working on the frontline in Syria? Could you host a coffee morning, a dinner, a bridge afternoon or a concert? What we need most is to raise support in the form of monthly standing orders so we can cover the monthly operating costs of our hospitals. If you would like to find out more about helping us fundraise please CONTACT me.