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29 October

Another reason why it's more than just a shirt...

Ben recently sent this email which although sad, highlights once again the power of giving something as simple as a football scarf or shirt to those who have very little

Finally, I have a picture of some of the aid you have given being distributed.  Some of the football scarves you donated were distributed along with more of our winter aid on Friday in the Dohuk area in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq.  In Iraq there are currently more than 8 million people in desperate need of humanitarian assistance, and we are also sending to Syria as well now.

 This is a family of 13 people (mother, father, grandmother and ten children), but it wasn’t that size last year.  They all fled from Sinjar when IS came and started shooting people.  Thousands fled to the Sinjar mountains and in the chaos four of these children lost their father.  They don’t know what happened to him but assume that he was killed along with many others.  Once in the mountains, many people died of exposure and dehydration as they were trapped up there by IS waiting at the bottom.  The mother died, leaving four children aged between 4 – 15 years old with no one to care for them.  The mother and father in these pictures took in these four children to care for when they didn’t even have enough to feed or care for their own children or themselves. 

 When hundreds of thousands of people were displaced by IS last summer, people were reduced to living in all manner of awful situations because there was nowhere to shelter.  This family have moved into the only place available.  An animal shed.  You can see that there is no door on this building, just a tarpaulin.  Winter is arriving now in the high altitude area of Dohuk and they will soon have snow.  They also have a newborn baby, and this accommodation does not offer them the protection they need from the harsh winter to come.  The roof is not watertight and water leaks in when it rains.  They have no income as there is no work available for the displaced people as there are too many of them.  They are not cared for by any of the aid organisations. 

 One Christian women in the area has taken them under her wing and is giving them what she can, but she too was displaced last year and is struggling to get by.  Clearly  her love and compassion have touched this family deeply as they have named their newborn baby after her.  In any culture this is an honour, but for a Yazidi to name their child after a Christian it takes this to a new level as they are likely to face criticism from their Yazidi community as a result.  We have given them winter clothes, shoes and bedding.

 I have made a commitment for Samara’s Aid Appeal to provide food for this family every month as I have been moved by their seemingly hopeless situation, and the love they have shown these four children by taking them in when they don’t have enough for their own children.  There are many other families in situations like this, and I will be starting to raise support so that we can help feed more of them.  Please follow the link below to see a video of this family.

 https://www.dropbox.com/s/1bsismn041lz9hv/20151023_124834.mp4?dl=0

 Over the coming weeks, more will be distributed, but I wanted you to see this as soon as possible.

 Please feel free to share this with your supporters who have kindly donated the clothes you have sent to this appeal.  We will be sending more this winter.

Thanks again to everyone for your support, without which, stories such as this, wouldn’t be possible.