When we first met many of our refugee friends in northern Iraq, they were desperate. They had barely escaped genocide at the hands of ISIS, and they were asking us for food rations, formula for their babies, and money for medical expenses.
Then you showed up. Now, thanks to your partnership and their hard work—making soap, farming, and knitting—many of them are well on their way to independence again.
When we recently stopped by to pay our soap makers for their work—passing on the income they’ve earned from your purchases on our store—we witnessed a simple yet beautiful moment that drove home why we do what we do.
As we sat down with one of our Kinsman Soap makers, one of his kids ran over and [loudly] whispered, “If she is here to give us money, can we go buy a laptop?”
Everyone laughed, but the significance of that child’s question is absolutely huge.
See… these kids are no longer worried about where their next meal will come from. They’re no longer afraid for their lives. They have moved on to dreaming about fun technology and asking for gadgets their parents aren’t going to buy for them… just like my kids do.
Our work creating jobs for refugees is about so much more than helping people make money. “Rebuilding lives” doesn’t just refer to the material aspects of life, because life is about so much more than stuff.
This is about restoring dignity damaged by war. It’s about rebuilding relationships that were strained by conflict. It’s about easing stress so people can be healthy.
Ultimately, it’s about creating a new normal so kids can be kids again.