Iraqi families are close. Donate-a-kidney close.
These bonds will likely loosen over time, just as we see happening in most of the modern world. But the vast majority of today’s adults in Iraq were raised in a culture where your family are your neighbors, your mentors, your social circle, your safety net.
Sundus grew up next door to her cousins. They celebrated together at holidays. They fasted together during Ramadan. The children played together when they had free time and fought when they were over-tired and needed naps.
When Sundus grew up, she married one of those cousins. (Cousin marriage is common in Iraq.) They had known each other their whole lives. They thought they knew exactly what they were in for.
Sundus’ husband worked to provide for their sons, but he was never able to earn enough somehow. They always struggled financially.
He was killed two years ago in the war with ISIS, leaving Sundus and their boys in a terrible situation.
They lived in a house that was just a raw concrete shell, they had no savings, and she couldn’t afford their modest living expenses.
When Sundus felt most alone, family stepped in—and you stepped in with them.
Two of her brothers got together and renovated the main areas of her home, so Sundus and her boys would be safe and comfortable. They provided for their daily needs.
When I sat down with her, Sundus was frank about those first months after her husband died: “I have no idea what would have happened to me if I didn’t have family to help me.”
But Sundus needed a way to support herself and her sons for the long haul. You made that possible.
You provided the funds that allowed Sundus to start a shop in their town. One of her brothers offered to partner with her in the venture, taking care of the logistics of running a shop, and providing more funds to invest in product.
Together they decided to open a shop offering mobile phones, accessories, and repairs.
Mobile phones are essential in Iraq for basic communication and safety. Daily newspapers aren’t available here like they are in other parts of the world; many rely on their smartphones to know what’s going on. Social media channels are the most efficient means for communities to keep up to date with both the joys and dangers of life in Iraq.
Their choice of shops proved to be a smart decision. Their business is a success!
Sundus earns enough from the shop’s profits to pay for her household expenses, as well as her children’s schooling. She even manages to take part in a “savings club,” which is helping her to grow a little emergency fund—so if tragedy strikes again, she won’t find herself in such dire circumstances.
Your investment helped Sundus build a base to live the rest of her life. You are helping her support her boys until they are grown. And you gave this help in a way that preserves her dignity.
This is the transformation you make possible for families in Iraq when you become a monthly donor. Start giving today—and help women like Sundus secure their families’ future.