There is a folder on my laptop called "The Forgotten Millions".
Inside there are some 9000 photographs and each, in its own way, tells the tragic story of the Syrian crisis.
I look at that folder every day. So many faces. So many stories. The suffering. The hope. The children. They are the images of innocence caught up in a conflict.
There is, however, one image that I always come back to. It is an image that challenges me emotionally every time I look at it, and the more I look, the more it challenges me.
It is a photo of Najm, an Iraqi boy who now lives in a refugee camp in Kurdistan. His mother, Fatima, is holding his small body close to her, cradling him as if he is still a baby. And he is, really.
Najm is 16 and his tiny, tortured frame has been twisted and crippled by cerebral palsy.
He looks in pain. His head is pushed back, his mouth open in a silent scream, and his knuckles are pushing at the tight skin on his small, bent fingers.
Fatima's hand gently cups his cheek and her face is warm and smiling. She says we are mistaken if we think he is in pain. The expression on Najm's face is one of happiness, she says, and that is why she too is smiling. He loves to be carried outside the tarpaulin tent that is now his home and held with his face to the sun. This, she says, is Najm at his happiest.
Fatima is a widow and somehow, in the chaos of fleeing Isis, she managed to gather Najm and her three young daughters together, and reach the Kurdistan border.
Najm has never walked. He has been confined to a wheelchair for his entire life, but Fatima says before the conflict she could easily wheel him around his home in Anbar, and push him through the streets to the market.
She doesn't have that same freedom in Kurdistan. It is impossible to manoeuvre Najm around the pot-holed, uneven paths of the refugee camp they now call home.
The ground is still muddy from the winter snow, and large, heavy shingle has been trucked in to make it easier for those on foot.
Fatima can still carry Najm's tiny body, but only just. She says he now spends large parts of the day inside their windowless tent. It is warmer inside in winter, but come summer she hopes she can place him outside the tent in his chair, sitting with his face to the sun.
He needs daily medication to ease his pain and discomfort, but there is no money for healthcare.
Instead, Fatima must use some of her monthly refugee food allowance (US$19) to fund his prescription from a local Kurdistan Government hospital. She doesn't complain. She says all of her children are alive and there are many people who are far worse off than she is. She says she finds happiness in the moments she snatches with Najm in the sun. She is surrounded by poverty but somehow she sees richness and hope in the smile of her crippled son.
Najm is one of millions of children who are caught in the middle of a conflict they didn't cause and can't fix. He is one of many innocent children caught up in the mess of a civil war.
This is the biggest humanitarian crisis since World War II. There are almost 13 million people in need of life-sustaining aid in the Middle East and the sad reality is that this crisis won't go away any time soon. There is still no political solution. The fighting rages on. Yet there are so many people in great need of help.
They are people like us. People who had lives and careers and a good standard of living. Mothers. Sisters. Fathers. Brothers. Grandparents. Children.
It is not a problem of New Zealand's making, but that doesn't mean we can't do anything to help.
And help, we have. So far, through this campaign, Kiwis have donated almost $300,000 and of that we can be enormously proud.
The world continues to focus on the war, the men with guns, the atrocities that are being committed every day. Somehow, the stories of the millions of Syrians and Iraqis who are caught in the middle of it all, have been lost.
That is why we called this campaign "The Forgotten Millions".
That is why this is now the crisis of our generation.
And that is why I will continue to look at my "Forgotten Millions" folder every day.
Lest I forget. Lest we forget.
• Rachel Smalley is a host on Newstalk ZB.
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