BY VIVIAN COLOMBO
Children running between bombs, children hiding in the alleys of death, children with a blank stare as if to ward off the pain that crushes their hearts, children with blood on their hands as they hug their mother or father killed by an unjust war, a war they cannot understand.
Children whose little bodies have been reduced to a skeleton for lack of food.
Malnourished children dying while nobody seems to notice or care.
These are some painful images of children that every day break our hearts if we even just look at them, though in the end we say: how lucky my children are to live in a different reality where war and poverty don’t exist and don’t affect us personally.
Unfortunately, children often have to fear another kind of war that can be much more dangerous because it is hidden, it is something you can’t see and that is difficult, if not impossible, to hide from: a war that is named paedophilia. A war about the sexual abuse of children that threats to violate their innocence and mark their lives since tender age.
Children, always the victims of wars. Always the victims of a world and a society that tramples their innocence, burns their childhood. Children who must act like adults or even take over their role after they lose their parents in a war and are left alone to take care of younger brothers or sisters. Children who do not know the meaning of words like love, peace, joy, but only hatred, violence, death, blood. Children whose innocence has been abused. Children who remain silent and quiet while in their hearts they carry many unanswered questions.
Yet, their silence is our silence. The silence of a world unaware of such strong pain and that continues to wage wars to pursue its own economic, territorial or vindictive goals. It is our silence too. The silence of those who stay in their own homes not knowing that even a small gesture of help together with that of the others can save innocent human lives. The silence of those who think they don’t have much money forgetting that there is always food on their tables while those children are often left with no food at all. The silence of those who sit comfortably in their armchair and think that it’s someone else’s responsibility to solve the problem.