It’s a beautiful drive up to this remote mountain camp. Wind up a smooth mountain road from Duhok, the nearest city in northern Iraq, take the turn towards an area where the wealthy build large private estates, and you’ll find them. Right across from the boundary of those luxurious estates, a small community of pale tents crouch, fending off the glare of the day.
The 40 families that make up this camp are from Sinjar. They fled, along with thousands in the towns and villages surrounding Sinjar mountain, when ISIS came to annihilate them and their neighbors. These families are Muslim Arabs and Yazidis, and unlike official refugee and internally displaced camps, there was nothing on this land when they came here—no electricity, sewage, or water infrastructure.
But the human spirit persists. This mountain camp is a long way from the nearest town, and it would take hours of walking over steep terrain to get anywhere, for those who don’t have cars. Despite the setbacks, over the last 5 years this little community of families built themselves a life in their remote mountain camp, found jobs, and somehow turned a dirt patch in the mountains into a home. And you helped.For the past 5 years, you’ve been giving $400 a month so these 40 families have clean water to cook, drink, and wash with. That’s $10 a month a family. It’s a small amount—the equivalent of 2 coffees—but without having to struggle to find vital water supplies, it has meant that families are able to get on with the other essential functions of life: work, school, and trying to make each day better than the one before.
When war destroys everything, giving families and communities a stable base, even the most basic elements of survival, like water, cannot be underestimated in starting the step-by-step process of rebuilding.
The residents of this little community are currently in negotiations with the government to move to an official camp for displaced Iraqis, later in the year.
Winding down our water deliveries to these Sinjar families, in view of this move, means that we can reroute these resources elsewhere: to an official Syrian refugee camp in the same province. A large block of the official camp is undergoing infrastructure repair of its water lines and needs help funding 2 months of water deliveries to hundreds of families in the affected block.
You said “yes” to bridging that gap. Whether for a tiny, remote mountain camp, or a large organized refugee camp, having secure access to water—a basic necessity for life—is absolutely a step to helping refugees and displaced people begin the process of rebuilding their lives, and consequently, their nation.
This is what your monthly donation and your trust does—bridges gaps to vital services that support thousands of families who are struggling to regain normalcy after being devastated by war.