"During my life so far, I have never lived through times when the world has been so unsettled and as dangerous as it is today. We see millions of refugees and migrants moving in mass exodus from east to west, risking life and limb to secure a safer and more prosperous life for themselves and their families. We, here in the west are naturally concerned about the changes to our own lifestyle, standard of living and way of life that having so many newcomers to our shores will bring, not least of all, easier access to the terrorists who hide among the crowds of walking innocents. Here in England, Scotland and Wales, as a small island there is naturally a limit as to how many immigrants we can properly assimilate, but there is no limit on the capacity of our hearts to embrace their problems, understand their situations and help in the best way we can.
I have always believed in all countries taking in their share of the world's refugees, along with operating manageable levels of migration. I believe in richer countries giving free trade to poorer countries instead of placing them in the economic shackles of unfair commercial practices which prevents them exporting their country's natural produce all over the world. The latest winner of The Nobel Prize in Economics argued that Foreign Aid does more harm than good to the countries it is supposed to help and that engaging in free trade market agreements would be infinitely better and more long term.
However much our own National Health Service depends upon the help of doctors and nurses from overseas to keep it functioning, I will always feel that we here in the west are allowing our wealth as a nation to wrongfully attract doctors and nurses who are needed more in their own country than here! We cannot even argue that we are simply borrowing them for a few years, training them up and seeing them return to their country of origin better skilled. No! We recruit them, we tempt them away from their own land with the promise of richer pickings here and finally, once they've come, we do all we can to keep them here forever more!
Meanwhile, as a nation, we are growing fewer in number year upon year of nurses, doctors and consultants born here. Why? I cannot believe that there are so few of the indigenous population wanting to enter these professions. Go onto any hospital ward today and see that it cannot exist without nurses and doctors from overseas, supplemented by agency nurses at three times the cost of the usual nurse. Just as many unemployed persons have unwittingly over the years, been encouraged to become more and more welfare dependent, so our hospitals have also become too dependent upon staffing from overseas sources instead of training and using home grown stock!
I know not the answers to all these problems, but I do know that if we counted every refugee and migrant currently on the move across the globe, along with every nurse, doctor, consultant, teacher from overseas working in Britain, they would still number far less than the vast millions of people in the world today who do not have clean water to drink between daybreak and sunset!
Now here is an area where the ordinary man and woman can significantly help the poorest people in the world with a modest contribution from their purse. Here is an area where we can all make a difference to the life of an entire village of poor people. For as little as £2 a month to the charity Water Aid or £24 total, a rainwater system for an entire African village can be made possible for needy people without the absolute basics. If this is too large an amount to give, every pound given is doubled by the Government.
Love flows and spreads its influence to everything it touches, just like water cleanses the body and sustains it through life. It takes the hardest of hearts to see a poor child stoop so low to survive on earth's impurities while living in the comfort of our homes. I make no apology to appealing directly to your better nature this Christmas time as you prepare for the festive celebrations because you are the person you are; that is why you are my facebook friend. Merry Christmas all. Peace and love. Sheila and Bill xxxx" William Forde: December 23rd, 2015.
www wateraid org uk