Many weeks have passed since a 6.8 magnitude earthquake struck Morocco’s High Atlas Mountains, just seventy kilometres from the city of Marrakesh, and the devastation is beyond anything that most of us could even conceive. The earthquake was the strongest in Morocco’s history, powerful enough to destroy entire villages, killing and injuring thousands of people. And survivors will forever live with the memory of the world around them splitting apart, decimating their homes, stripping them of everything they own, their livelihoods and security.
But how might this feel for a child? So reliant on others, whose world is small and sits comfortably within the safety of their home, their classroom, and the arms of their loving parents. Where is there space to simply be a child amidst such tragedy and fear?
In the clamour to donate the basics of food, clothing and shelter, we must remember that children need learning, play and imagination. They are essential to their development and mental health. The ability to ‘be kids’, despite violent upheaval and chaos, may just be what is needed to help the scars heal.