FROM OREGON TO IRAQ: Support for refugees
“ISIS came,” tells, Basema, aged approx 11. “We went to one farm, then another, and then to the mountains. We left without a car. We took nothing with us.” In a northern Iraq refugee camp, Basema, tries to hold back tears. “Were you afraid?” a humanitarian worker, asks, arm around Basema’s shoulders. Between sharp breaths, Basema says she was filled with fear. She describes fleeing still further, past the mountains to a school, and finally to safety. The trauma was huge, though. “I always had headaches. I was always crying. I could have died had we not come here”. Several of the group did not survive the journey. One was shot by ISIS soldiers.
The trauma that refugee teenagers in northern Iraq have experienced is unspeakable. Living in camps, they need help recovering from the past as well as support for the future.
This year, Global Hand partner IRN made an offer through Global Hand of hundreds of pieces of school furniture. NGO Roads of Success supports such projects in Iraq. They saw the offer and got in touch. It was the beginning of a warm friendship between the two organisations. Soon, discussions were underway to ship 2 x 40’ containers of superseded, high quality school furniture donated by a secondary school in Oregon.
Now, Roads of Success has distributed the furniture in Iraq to a centre that serves 4,000 families of refugees and displaced people. That furniture will support its programmes providing counselling for refugee youth, English and IT classes, small business skills and more.
Some of the furniture has also furnished their free health clinic for refugees. More furniture is being used for classrooms teaching refugee youth and in support of their sports field for recreational activities.
Each side of this partnership was excited to find the other. “We owe Global Hand a great deal of appreciation for their involvement in the connection between our two organisations,” said Roads of Succes. “We think this new relationship will benefit all of us.” Global Hand exists for just this purpose: to bring together those with resources, and those in desperate need.
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