The sun beamed down hard as we stepped out of our 15-passenger van, stepping foot on the ground of a refugee camp. Men passed by in groups, perhaps completing their day’s work or just passing time. Young boys played soccer on the dirt, creating their own goals out of rocks and sticks. The scent of fresh bread filled the air, as mothers were probably cooking away in their humble “homes” for dinner.
The Internally Displaced Peoples of Northern Iraq
We are often afraid of the unknown.
Cultures. Places. Religions.
Some of our fear is justifiable. Our world is in turmoil. We watched the Arab Spring from afar, at first in hope that a corrupt regime would be overturned. But the abscess of war left a gap for jihadists to fill. Offensive and defensive mixed together like spilled ink on paper, becoming muddled and unclear. Sporadic terrorist attacks plague peaceful nations, and people seeking asylum have flooded those same nations by the thousands. Despite officials stressing that most refugees are peaceful and law-abiding, there has been a notable rise in violence and rape amongst areas sheltering young men.
Mother's Day Campaign Story
As you enter the camps you see families in need and children acting out. Sons and Daughters who don’t seem to have a father and a sense of lawlessness can be portrayed. The occasional rock, sandal or jacket ripping may occur. Although as you begin to understand their stories and what they faced you can’t help but be filled with compassion.
Can you imagine having a baby in a refugee camp and trying to raise your children without a house or the comforts of your home? This is the reality of thousands of courageous mother's in Northern Iraq. These mothers have been forced to flee their homes from ISIS, leaving everything they owned behind and now must find ways of taking care and protecting themselves and their children living in refugee camps with limited resources. There is estimated that 5.2 million people in Iraq are in need of humanitarian aid and that just over 50% of those who are displaced are female.