January Daily Dip- 24 down, 7 to go
The January Daily Dip challenge started as a whim, a silly text to friends, “I’m swimming everyday in January, outdoors, with no wet suit to raise money for UNICEF, who’s in?”. Not exactly a battle cry, but Jemima and Clare are warriors and they said yes; a big committed, enthusiastic YES. Boy, I’m glad they did, because I don’t think I could have kept going without their support and bravery. We’ve swam through snow storms, gales, ice, sleet, rain, mist, mud and there was that one strangely mild balmy soft swim in Oxford…
Since 2011, I’ve experienced panic attacks; actual, physical waves of horror in response to seeing the Crisis unfold in Syria. The bombing, the mass panicked migration, the babies washed up on beaches, the starvation- it is the stuff of apocalypse movies and it is playing out in real time to people just like us.
Worst of all, and to my disbelief, the world’s media has now turned away and day-to-day overlooks so many opportunity to shine a light on the atrocities carried out by Assad’s regime and others. How dare anyone publish the earnest “Never again” rhetoric of Remembrance Sunday and then ignore what is happening in Syria. It’s the worst humanitarian crisis since WW2 and yet so few people in our community really understand the politics and violence that has wiped out an entire country. Syria, the heart of civilisation, is ruined forever and we are in danger of loosing a generation.
So, it looks like we are close to raising over £5000, which means as patrons we get to decide how the money is spent. UNICEF work all over the world but our fundraising will be spent on emergency medical aid for children in Syria. It’s a drop in the ocean of need but has given me a sense of propose. We will continue to lobby MP’s, support the peace movement and fundraise.