Before I launch into what this post is about, please view the one-minute video below. It has far more impact than anything I could write. Then please click on any of the images, or the links embedded in the post and take 20 seconds to sign the ‘See the Child. Change the System’ petition. It’s also HERE.
It does not include scenes or imagery that are disturbing or gruesome. It does include imagery that is incredibly sad and should not be ignored.
Now that you’ve seen it, I’ll write a few words.
WHY I’M SHARING THIS
Since I unwittingly viewed a video of a baby being abused on Facebook – and consequently deleted my account with the world’s biggest social media network on discovering that Facebook itself puts the video out there every few months to increase its traffic, and that the woman in the video was arrested a year before it was first put online – I have wondered about the worth of social media and its use.
More than that, I’ve wondered whether I can use Little Lewes – which as a blog is I guess a form of social media – to some good, to help even in a minute way, abused and neglected kids. I look at my lucky, loved children and their lucky, lovely lives and I think that writing about the stuff we get up to should be punctuated with something…well…more.
This is a small blog, in name and in numbers (relatively speaking. I appreciate each and every person who reads it, and last week there were 1,000 of you. So it’s not a nothing blog!).
But until – and if – it grows bigger, I will park the money-raising ideas for now.
SEE THE CHILD
For the time being I would like you to join me in signing a petition online, for which the above video was made. And – if you like – joining in a hashtag campaign that is putting the power of social media to good use.
The campaign is called ‘See the Child. Change the System‘ and is a call to overhaul social care and mental health services for children in the UK. The website can give you a much better idea than I can of the power of your signature, but I will list just six of the many statistics from the depressing, devastating ones listed on the seethechild.org website.
- 3.5 million children in the UK are living in poverty (Barnado’s)
- Almost 1.5 million children in the UK experience neglect (Action for Children)
- Over 500,000 children are referred to Social Services as a cause for concern on a yearly basis (NSPCC)
- 500 children’s centres have closed since 2010
- 73% of social workers surveyed say they can’t do their job properly, leaving children at risk
- Social workers can have over 40 life threatening cases each
Here’s an edited version of the campaign mission statement from the See the Child website:
Children across the UK are suffering squalor, abuse and neglect. The system is not coping. Children can’t vote or make a fuss, so we need to be their voice. Use your power to create change. Signing will show you care and will help to support an independent task force to redesign children’s services so that every child who needs help can get it.
This campaign has been mounted by Kids Company, which was founded by child protection angel Camila Batmanghelidjh in 1996 to provide practical, emotional and educational support to vulnerable inner-city children.
WHAT TO DO (RIGHT NOW)
- Text I SEE to 63000 – this is a standard network charge, it is not a donation to Kids Company. The text will constitute a ‘vote’ for change
- Or, sign the petition at seethechild.org
- Also, if you’re on Twitter, post a photo of you as a child, with the following message: “Me as a child. Help 1.5m children suffering in UK, sign at seethechild.org or text I SEE to 63000″
- On Facebook (yes really, I know no one else has left, so you should USE IT for good) or Google+ please share your photo with this message: I am posting a picture of myself as a child in support of the 1.5 million children who are neglected and abused in the UK. Politicians say there are ‘no votes in vulnerable children’ but by signing this @KidsCompany petition at http://www.seethechild.org we are showing them we care and we demand change. Together we can See the Child. Change the System. #SEETHECHILD or Text I SEE to 63000
I could be late to the table with this because I’m not on Facebook. Maybe you’ve all been doing it for weeks. But any of the above will spread the word of the campaign, and get signatures on that petition.
Since this is my own little social media platform, this post is my contribution. Oh, and also this: