The photo that crushed our soul, and what you can do about it
Why has this simple photo sparked an international outcry?
At first glance, this photo shows a toddler in sweet slumber. But there is nothing sweet about the truth.
2-year-old Aylan Kurdi's body was found washed up ashore in a beach near Bodrum, Turkey by local coastguards. He and his family—father Abdullah, mother Rihan, and 5-year-old brother Galip—were part of a refugee group who fled from Syria, where Islamic State (IS) group militants fighting government forces are advancing.
The Kurdis, together with 23 other hopeful migrants, set off for the Greek Island of Kos for a chance at a better life. Instead, their only voyage to hope turned into heartbreak. In the early morning of Wednesday, the two boats they were on sank after being hit by waves.
Aylan, his mother, and brother, along with 12 others (five of which were children) drowned in the waters between Turkey and Greece. Abdullah may have survived the tragedy—but his ordeal is far from over. He tells CNN, "Everything I was dreaming of is gone. I want to bury my children and sit beside them until I die." His despair adds more weight to an already soul-crushing, unnecessary, and avoidable event.
There is something that can be done to save other children who, like Aylan and his brother Galip, were robbed of their childhood because they were caught between a war. International organization Save The Children offers people from around the world an opportunity to have an active role in coming to the aid of children in need.