When I started Freedom Tree I was driven by one passion; that mums will not die in the process of birth and children will not die prematurely. I am convinced that when we see children dying en mass at a rate higher than average in society it is because there is an alternate evil agenda trying to prevent those particular children from reaching their destiny. What carries no potential will not be threatened.
My conviction is no different for the First Nations Communities of Canada. Last week 215 remains of First Nations Children were found at one residential school in a mass grave. To date it is estimated that thousands of children have died due to abuse at residential schools all over the country. Those children were daughters, sons, sisters, brothers. They would have been mothers and fathers, teachers, nurses, doctors politicians, musicians. We will never fully know who they were to become.
Now imagine the impact of these deaths and loss on the families left behind. Imagine the grief, the sorrow, the pain and the questions. How do you get over it? How does a parent ever get over losing their child? If you’ve ever experienced this type of loss then you know that you can’t. You can’t get over it. You never forget.
The impact of this ugly part of Canadian history can be seen today in the fragmented nature of First Nations Communities and the parallels to the work we do in Sierra Leone run deep.
A society that looses babies and children is a traumatized and fragmented society. It is one that has lost the most valuable… and so the future looks bleak. We do what we do at Freedom Tree so that the future looks different. So that the future looks bright and instead of mourning what could have been that we celebrate a future with hope.
For every child we prevent dying prematurely, we add another needed pillar to our world.