Making sense of senseless deaths by Nick Baty

On Thursday evening, a 12-year-old girl went into Liverpool City Centre to see the Christmas lights switch-on. Then came a scuffle and what the police describe as “catastrophic injuries”. A few hours later this young woman was declared dead at Alder Hey Hospital.


In the coming weeks we will find out more about little Ava White. All we know at the moment is that she was a “much loved” and “incredibly popular” student at Notre Dame Catholic College. We know she received a “Peace Ambassador” award from a charity which promotes peace.


We also know that Ava died on White Ribbon Day, which is part of a global campaign to end violence again women and girls.


We still don’t know much about the 27 migrants who were drowned in the English Channel on Wednesday. But they were parents, sons and daughters. As Cardinal Nichols said: “Every one is a child of God, with an innate dignity and worth.”


Yesterday, we learned the name of one of them. Maryam Nuri Mohamed Amin was messaging her fiancé when the dinghy began deflating.


Maryam's father, Nuri Hamadamin, told the BBC: "The whole world talks about Europe as a place that is calm, that is pleasant. Is this what calm means? Around 30 people dying in the middle of the sea?”

These senseless death are, surely, the result of the UK's attempts to cut itself off from the rest of the world.


Now, more than ever, we need to be kind to one another. And the SVP is appealing for us to “give the gift of kindness” this Christmas.


The appeal, which starts on “Giving Tuesday” (30 November) and runs throughout December, will raise money for the SVP’s work at grassroots level.


SVP National President Helen O’Shea said: “Every Christmas many of us spend time searching for the perfect gift to give our loved ones, and all too often end up giving them something they don’t really need, or perhaps even want.”


CAFOD is also suggesting that, instead of giving gifts to those who may not need them, we help those who have nothing. As Becky Such suggests, instead of creating more waste, we could exchange gifts which will help people living in poverty across the world, rather than leaving our loved ones with “yet another pair of socks, or some bubble bath when they don’t even have a bath!”.

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