We’re only two months in to 2019, but you are already remaking home and hope for our refugee friends in Iraq and Syria. Here’s a just a snapshot of what’s been going on:
Bringing health to hard-to-reach places
We traveled to a village in northern Iraq to administer healthcare to refugees who are still unable to return to their homes. These families have spent the winter living in shelters without windows or doors, their only protection from the elements being the blankets the hang. We treated coughs, diabetes, hypertension, and scabies.
You are helping vulnerable people receive medical care they otherwise would not have access to.
When heavy rains in Iraq left bridges flooded and unable to cross, these medical team members showed up for work at the clinic anyway—arriving by boat through the high, cold water!
Your gifts ensure people have access to healthcare. They help pay the salaries of our dedicated medical staff. Literally come high water, they will still be working to bring hope and care to those who need it!
Protection from the winter cold
People lined up in Syria to receive scarves, hats, boots, and rolling beds. Most of these refugees live in concrete homes, which retain cold.
Temperatures have been dropping below 30℉ at night, leaving homes bitterly cold. This is particularly dangerous for children and the elderly, but it’s a hard situation for anyone to endure. Your winterization gifts help make the cold months safer and more tolerable.
Creating beauty in the midst of devastation
Inside the Friendly Center, where you’re providing therapeutic play for refugee kids, there is a women’s art hive, where mothers gather for community while their children learn and play.
One woman told us, “I defended my family against ISIS, but later, we had to leave our house.” They ended up in a refugee camp in Iraq. She loves coming to the Friendly Center to knit because it helps her to relax, to get away from all the conflict and trauma she and her family has endured.
When she’s knitting with other women, she says, “It gives [us] time to think and be happy. I have informed many women inside the camp about this center; it is a place where they can have some rest, relax, and learn new crafts. There are some women who like to teach others how to knit or make beadwork; we are cooperating with each other.”
The Friendly Center recently held an art exhibition, showcasing work created by children at the Friendly Center, women from the art hive, and employees.
Life, art, and color being remade—even in a refugee camp.
Across Iraq and Syria, in refugee camps and across high waters, you are bringing new life and hope to families devastated by war. You are remaking home for each of them, allowing them to reclaim a life of health, safety, and beauty.