Amidst reports of over 120 thousand reported dead, there are many hundreds of thousands of children who have survived. Most, of course, are local children, but a few are tourists. Most have someone surviving in their immediate family to cling to, so they can return to some semblance of their former life. Some, unfortunately, do not.
Karl Nilsson is a seven year old Swedish tourist, who went to visit Phuket, Thailand, with his parents and brothers. He was swept out of his hotel room by the tsunami, thus separating him from the rest of his family, and was found wandering alone in the aftermath.
Hannes Bergstroem, another Swede, is only about two years old. Amazingly, not only did he survive, but just recently he's been reunited with his father, though his mother is still missing, presumably dead. But in times like these, this is miracle enough to be thankful for.
You can read the details of these kids at the links below, or by Googling the news for their names. But all you really need to know is in Karl's mournful, exhausted eyes, as he holds up a sign begging for word of his family. Family which, local workers believe, likely all perished in the waves.
Remember that for USA citizens, it's not yet too late to donate to certain charities and receive a tax break for 2004, but time is absolutely of the essence. The front page of Google now lists several relief organizations, and I'll make a pitch for another one, Mercy Corps at www.mercycorps.org, if you remain undecided. Some progressive airlines will even let you donate your unused mileage points, so if you have some that are expiring soon, all it will cost you is the five or ten minutes' time it takes to call your reward program and ask.
Hannes is going home with his father. Karl, on the other hand, like countless other children in Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, Myanmar, Bangladesh, India, Sri Lanka, Maldives, Seychelles, Somalia, Kenya, and Tanzania, may have no one to take him home. Please lend whatever support you can.