Keeping innocent children in immigration detention is something that many people find unacceptable, and a grassroots campaign called ‘Jump Up&Down 4 Kids’ is proving that we can all play a part in helping to get them out.
On 7 August, on the oval between Holy Family Primary and Aquinas Catholic College Menai, X Factor finalist Jacinta Gulisano, 1100 students, teachers and parents, became part of the filming of a music video that is being created to coincide with the release the song ‘Jump’. The song is set to become the anthem for the campaign.
A Facebook page called ‘Jump Up&Down 4 Kids’ is also receiving very strong support with the page already attracting more than 1,100 ‘likes’. Principals and other Catholic education leaders have been quick to jump in and support the campaign since it started late last year.
Holy Family Principal Karen Richards said that the children loved being part of a music video but she also wanted them to understand why they were taking part.
“Children know when things are not fair,” Mrs Richards said. “When we went back to class [after the video shoot], a number of the children said to me, ‘Mrs Richards, it is not fair that those children can’t be free like us’. I don’t think there is much more to say really.”
Aquinas Catholic College Principal James Corcoran is also deeply committed to the cause. “An image that has stuck with me is the artwork of children in detention centres like Nauru. They were like the works of art from other young people, except that each image had no name, only a number – the child’s detention identification number. This lack of simple humanity indicated to me the despair that detention centres develop in the hearts and minds of all detainees, and the most vulnerable of all – children – are detainees.”
Sydney CEO’s Leadership Team is jumping to say that refugee children should never have been placed in detention, and should not have to live in conditions that place them in real danger, and to which we would never place our own children.
St Francis Xavier’s Lurnea Principal Mrs Bonanno is a strong supporter of the campaign. She is encouraging her community to support the release of children from immigration centres by jumping. “There are still over 200 children in detention. This is a tragedy! No child should be locked up – these kids are suffering.”
Adam Nolan, Principal of St Therese Primary Denistone, agrees.
“We are one of many Catholic schools jumping up and down for kids,” Mr Nolan said. “We are called to action, not just in Catholic schools but in the broader community. We, as are school, are investigating the best way to make our community aware to this issue.”
Earlier this year, on behalf of the Catholic Education Office Sydney, Dr Dan White, Executive Director of Sydney Catholic Schools, signed a joint statement called ‘Never again: Let’s end the detention of children once and for all’. More than 200 Australian organisations signed the letter calling all members of the Australian Parliament to take action to end the detention of children.
Why not join the campaign?
You can! Just ask as many people as you can to jump up and down. Then post a video or photo of the jump on Twitter using the hashtag #jumping4kids, (You can follow at @Jumping4Kids) and/or share it on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/pages/Jump-UpDown-4-Kids/1504561866496496 (or just google ‘Jump Up&Down 4 Kids Facebook’). It’s that easy!
Stay tuned for the release of the campaign song and the video. There are 1,100 Menai students who are hanging out for that!
No child should be robbed of his or her dignity and hope…these are their rights as children of God. We would be outraged if it happened to our own children.