Mission of Hope - Iraqi Orphans
Updated: Oct 4, 2018
Mark and I are on a mission to help the helpless, those left in ruins by ISIS' devastating occupation of Mosul, Iraq.
Last year’s bloody battle to liberate Mosul from ISIS leveled half the city, and in the process left 13,000 children orphaned in this one city. Officials estimates say there are anywhere between 800,000 and 5 million orphans in the country of Iraq, whose population is 37.2 million.
ISIS has only been gone one year and the needs left behind are unfathomable. As many of you know, we are headed to Iraq in September along with Chris Byrd, a member of our board of directors for Reach | Teach | Love International. We are bringing aid, with your help. The country can barely start providing services let alone tend to the orphan crisis.
The purpose of our trip is to extend love and resources to the many thousands of displaced Iraqi's living in Iraq, and to help in the process to meet the physical and spiritual needs of approximately 13,000 orphans and countless widows left behind by ISIS in Mosul. Many parents were murdered, and their children were left behind to fend for themselves. "When he was 8 years old, Amir says, he watched as fighters from the Islamic State dragged his father from their house in Mosul and shot him dead on the street."*(NYT) Many women in Mosul were taken as slaves, raped by ISIS terrorists and became pregnant. The shame and dishonor that comes with rape in this culture leads these mothers to abandon the babies. In Iraq their are orphans, who deserve care, and there are ISIS orphans, who are considered to deserve nothing. Everything combined has left behind an orphan crisis of heartbreaking proportions. Even those few orphans who are taken in are often-times mistreated and abused. There are countless widows throughout Mosul as well. So many people were wounded and killed. It's an area of utter devastation and they need our help.
There are an estimated 17,000 children begging on the streets, according to a May 2018 article by The Telegraph, UK*. The Telegraph interviewed at the orphanage where we will be going. “…some of the children who arrive each month are infants with mothers from the Yazidi minority, whose women were raped and enslaved by Isil on an industrial scale. One Yazidi woman who was kept as a slave and had two children by a Daesh fighter did not want to keep them once she was freed,” said Sukayna Mohammed Ali Younes, the head of the local government’s Office of Women and Children, who oversees the running of the orphanage. “Her husband, a Yazidi, would not allow them into the house. “She was made to feel great shame for what had happened and felt she had no choice but to give them away.” “Some of the older children ... were found wandering around an abandoned fairground near the banks of the River Tigris that runs through Mosul, eating scraps of food from the dirt.*"
Many of the youngest children born in ISIS territory have no birth certificates or have not been officially registered. No birth certificate means no ID card. No ID card means they can’t receive a graduate certificate from school, they can’t work, vote, apply for a passport or even receive medical care. This effectively makes them non-citizens. The desire to help those who are products of rape is almost non-existent in so many countries. Most of the culture in Iraq considers them “devil’s spawn undeserving of even basic care.*”
These things shouldn’t be happening in our world today. The needs in the world are vast and have drawn our hearts to go, with your help, and make a difference. Imagine the ongoing issues that come from being an orphan in Iraq. But we consider them God’s creation deserving of utmost respect and love. Won’t you join with us in bringing not just aid but acceptance and God’s love to “the least of these”?
Mark and I are forever grateful for your donations. When we go, where we go, you go with us. We will be in Mosul, Iraq shortly, and will use donations to purchase food boxes for distribution to as many orphans and widows as possible. We will personally purchase the food, create the boxes and hand deliver them to those in need. While distributions are necessary we emphasize sustainable food through gardening and micro-farming for long-term solutions. Land has been purchased and we will be focusing on sustainable solutions. Donations will help cover our travel costs for fall 2018 to bring resources, food boxes and training to Iraq and other third world countries. You make serving the U.S. and the world possible through your gifts and we can't thank you enough.
Reach | Teach | Love International is a small non-profit charity with a big heart. No amount is too small.
TO DONATE: Go to https://www.reachteachlove.org/donate and select the "DONATE" button to make a one-time donation. In the "special instructions" section please write in "Mission in Mosul".
You may also make checks payable to RTL International and send them to:
P.O. Box 790042, San Antonio, TX 78279.
A heartfelt thank you to those who have given. <3 Read our next blog to find out what happened.