On a visit to one of the hundreds of tented refugee camps in Lebanon, UNICEF ambassador Tara Moss discovered a horrific development: the sale of displaced Syrian girls as child brides.
My daughter is too young to use the internet just yet, but like the majority of children today she is already very aware that her parents have devices they talk into and navigate with their fingertips.
I remember watching her at a relative’s house touching a TV screen for the first time and seeing if she could make the pictures on it move with her fingers. It was then I realised that children today will be acquainted with technology in ways none of us could have anticipated just 10 years ago. On a recent trip to Syrian refugee camps I watched as doctors used iPads to log important patient data in the most remote locations. Many refugee families had fled with little more than the clothes on their backs – and their mobile phones. Across continents, cultures and the extremes of human experience, technology and connectivity are all but inescapable.
Australian author and UNICEF Child Survival Ambassador, Tara Moss has just returned from Lebanon where she visited refugees from the Syrian conflict.
What she saw in the camps and informal settlements has had a deep impact on her.
Tara is particularly concerned that the plight of Syrian refugees has slipped off the news agenda.
“I can’t turn away. We can’t turn away” she said.
Tara speaks to Sunrise about her time visiting refugee camps in Lebanon where millions of Syrian refugees are living, having fled from the violent conflict in Syria, and why she is raising money for UNICEF’s work.
I am sitting cross-legged on a concrete slab in a home that is not a home.
This is a makeshift shelter of corrugated iron and plastic sheeting, about the size of a parking spot, and it accommodates a displaced Syrian family with three young children. There is no door. Directly outside the open entrance is the dust and weather of the Bekaa Valley in east Lebanon, bringing extreme heat in the summer and sub-zero temperatures in the winter. To enter this home, you walk between makeshift dwellings, ducking beneath cobbled-together electrical wires which are shared between shelters as their only source of power – when they can get any power…
Amanda Palmer knows all about asking. Performing as a living statue in a wedding dress, she wordlessly asked thousands of passersby for their dollars. But she finds there are important things in life that she can’t ask for and she learns that she isn’t alone in this. In her new book, she explores and discovers the emotional, philosophical, and practical aspects of the Art of Asking
Highlights of the Art of Asking. Presented by the Sydney writers festival and recorded live at the Enmore theatre, 20th January 2015:
Featuring Tara Moss, Amanda Palmer, Neil Gaiman and Sxip Shirey.