Like the one about the primary school children in Disovery One in the Cashel Mall. Their internal staircase was being repaired from the September earthquake and so they were using external, scaffold "stairs". After the terrible shaking on February 22, their teachers somehow got all those little children down those stairs, I can't imagine how terrifying that would be while they were still shaking. Then they walked all those little children to Cathedral Square. It's hard to imagine a more terrifying walk. Then they were forced to walk them all the way down to the gardens to wait for their parents and caregivers. I can't even imagine how a little child processes that.
There were the kids I know, who went to Unlimited, also in the Cashel Mall. Their teachers were striking that day, so lots of them were scattered about the mall. When the shaking started the teachers ran from the Town Hall down to school to try and collect the children together. The kids were alone in situations no one can imagine dealing with. All of them thought they were going to die that day. I know of teenage boys who still can't sleep without with light on, who take drugs and drink to try and get to sleep, who can't get the screams and faces out of their minds, who are just now beginning to ask for help.
I know of a little girl who can't sleep alone. Who can't go to the toilet by herself because in the earthquake the door fell off and she knows it's not a safe place. She is a school aged child, but is forced to wear nappies at night because otherwise she has an accident every night.
When I read this morning that some kind people are going to make hotties for the children of Christchurch, my heart was cheered. My heart breaks for the children I see every day, whose lives have forever been changed by what they experienced. A lot of them are still broken, they are only now reaching out for help. I do hope some of them can get a hottie made with love to keep them warm this winter, and maybe that love will help them to sleep.
Please support this. Please. It's important.