A campaign to raise money to project the faces of children on Nauru onto the sails of the Sydney Opera House has raised more than $100,000 in just three days.

The crowdfunding campaign, on chuffed.org, was created on Wednesday by Simon Holmes à Court. 

In just 24 hours, $50,000 was raised.

Holmes à Court created the campaign after NSW Racing sparked outrage by using the Opera House sails to promote the Everest Cup. 

“On Tuesday night, our iconic Opera House was turned into a billboard for a horse race. I’m asking for your help to secure Australia’s “biggest billboard” to help get the #KidsOffNauru.”

Holmes à Court wrote he was “sick of feeling helpless and ashamed about what Australia is doing to children under our care. No human deserves to be treated as these children are, and it is totally within our power to end the suffering.”

I have approached the Sydney Opera House about using their wonderful canvas to raise awareness of the children in detention on Nauru — a much more important issue than betting on ponies.

I hope to work with the Sydney Opera House to show the faces of children stuck on Nauru and to direct people to the #KidsOffNauru website. (The children and their parents have already given consent. I will work with refugee advocates to ensure that this is done professionally, sensitively and with the utmost consideration for the children’s welfare in mind.)

At the time of writing, the campaign has raised $106,000, $6,000 more than its original $100k goal.

According to #KidsOffNauru, launched by World Vision Australia, 85 children are still in detention on the island. The campaign aims to bring these children and their families to Australia by Universal Children’s Day on November 20. 

On October 10, international healthcare organisation Médecins Sans Frontières (Doctors Without Borders) revealed they had been ordered to leave the island by the Nauruan government.  The organisation had been providing mental health services to the refugees.

During her eleven-month tenure on Nauru, Dr Beth O’Connor recounted her experience with the children describing their symptoms as that of Traumatic Withdrawal Syndrome. 

“Gradually they started to deteriorate. They became more depressed, and they withdrew socially,” Dr O’Connor said.

“When I went to visit these children in their homes, they had taken to their bed. They were no longer eating or drinking sufficient amounts to keep themselves alive.”

If you would like to donate to the #KidsOffNauru campaign, click HERE

Source: SBS
Image: KidsOffNauru