Casia Wiliam’s poem to celebrate Save the Children’s centenary
On Monday 27 May at Eisteddfod yr Urdd Caerdydd a’r Fro, Casia Wiliam, Bardd Plant Cymru, published her poem Little pieces, big picture, which was inspired by Save the Children’s centenary celebrations.
Save the Children was founded on 19 May 1919 at the Royal Albert Hall by two sisters from Shropshire, Eglantyne Jebb and Dorothy Buxton.
Incensed by images she had seen of starving children in Germany and Austria following the First World War, Eglantyne Jebb went on to defend every child’s rights – whoever they are, wherever they are – by writing the Declaration of the Rights of the Child in 1924 which led to the creation of the United Nations Convention on the Right of the Child in 1989.
Save the Children started working in Wales in the 1930s helping families in the south Wales valleys during the Great Depression by opening open air nurseries in the Brynmawr and Dowlais communities in Merthyr Tydfil. The charity was also the first to offer free milk in schools before it became UK Government policy in the 1940s.
Today, Save the Children works in 120 countries around the world including here in Wales, helping families and children to thrive in their vital early years.
Casia Wiliam said: “On days when I’m not wearing my Bardd Plant Cymru hat, I work for a charity myself and I’ve been fortunate to have worked with colleagues from Save the Children in the past and have an insight in to the vital work that the charity conducts here in Wales and across the globe.
“It has been a privilege to have been able to commemorate the centenary in a poem, looking back on the charity’s past achievements and acknowledging that challenges still lay ahead. I hope that people will like the poem – it’s certainly close to my heart.”
Louise Davies, Head of Save the Children in Wales added: “We are so honoured that Casia felt Save the Children’s centenary was something she wanted to commemorate in a poem as Bardd Plant Cymru. Her wordcraft in the poem leaves us with no doubt, despite all the advances over the past hundred years, the jig-saw of life is still very fraglie. It would be easy to take a pessimistic view of the world today, but what we achieve as a charity both here in Wales and around the world, defending children’s rights gives us hope for the future. Thank you Casia for helping us see the Big Picture.”
Little pieces, big picture
A hundred years ago
she saw a stained picture.
She saw hot tears, a mother’s fear and hunger,
she saw small hands held out in hope
and she faced the fragility
saw in them her responsibility
her part of the answer
and set out to re-draw that picture.
Slowly the pieces came together;
a jig-saw of care and devotion from day one
A declaration, a promise,
the right to play
the right to blue sky and open air
the right to milk as cold as frost and warm arms
away from harm.
The right to thrive
and so much more.
Slowly the picture sharpened,
the tears dried a little and
bones grew strong.
that jig-saw is still fragile,
a faded picture
a missing piece.
Now it’s our turn to re-imagine and re-draw,
and fight for every little piece as she did before.
Casia Wiliam, Bardd Plant Cymru