By the end of the year, 180 families will have received livestock

Nov 16, 2019 | Livestock

At the end of September we started the largest project in Eaglewatch history.

Until the end of the year, we will have built crofts and provided livestock to 180 families from Sinjar, Bashiqi, (Iraq) a wild campsite in Khanke as well as Karnjook (Iraqi Kurdistan). Many of the beneficiaries are single mothers who survived ISIS’s captivity.

It is a continuation of the project that we carried out last year. 80 families received support at the time. The current project, just like the previous one, has been co-funded by the Chancellery of the Prime Minister of Poland with the support from the Department of Humanitarian Aid.

Most of the crofts are finished. Thanks to cooperation with local foundations the work is in full swing. The most time-consuming part of the project is building the crofts. They are built of air-bricks, while the roofing is made of tilt or aluminum angles and tinware. The whole area is fenced with a mesh fence. Some crofts will be made into little farms shared by several families.

Before the implementation of the project began, the above-mentioned foundations organized construction teams made up of refugees. Instead of hiring craftsmen from external companies, we decided to offer livelihood to those who are in need of every penny. Thanks to such an approach we will help not only these families that will receive livestock, but their neighbors as well.

They do all the works by themselves.

The first families have received the livestock: two sheep, two goats and four chicken each. Based on our last year’s experience, we have given the families a possibility to swap sheep for goats and vice versa. It is easier for people with no previous farming experience to look after sheep. Others prefer goats whose milk is very calorific and is excellent for cheese-making. To start off, every family receives a supply of forage. Around a ton of fodder is usually enough for around four months.

In the article “What results does the Good Work bring?” I wrote about Mohammed who makes the roofing of crofts that are being built in Bashiqa. The equipment he uses has been provided as part of the support we offer under the Good Work Project. The partner organizations we cooperate with for this project have been free to choose the suppliers of materials and services. They know the local market better than us. They know how to negotiate prices and whom to hire. Considering the above-mentioned example, they do it very well.

We are glad that we have set this in motion and we have already managed to achieve some goals. Thanks to the Good Work Project families have received a chance to become self-reliant. I am confident they will use the chance given well, therefore I would like to ask you to support our crowdfunding for this purpose. Every penny and every post share count.

Support the reconstruction of workplaces

Will they succeed?

Many families that received support in such form have experience with animal husbandry. Before the ISIS takeover, they owned herds, some of them as large as hundreds of sheep and goats. In Sinjar farming as well as milk, yogurt and cheese production were an economic base for a large part of the population. Families that have never owned livestock receive help and advice from their neighbors. What is also significant, apart from economic importance, is the psychological aspect of the project. Animal care creates a sense of duty and introduces daily routine. Children learn responsibility. Women who lost their husbands receive livelihood for themselves and their relatives.

In October I visited a family which last year received our support in the form of livestock. It was supposed to be a short visit, but in such a fantastic company time runs fast. Experienced shepherd – the head of the family – resold sheep and purchased goats instead. Currently, he has a herd of ten. He supports his neighbors giving them milk and runs cheese production as well. A week before my visit, his son Daud returned from Syria. Since 2014 he was held hostage in the hands of ISIS. After the collapse of the caliphate, he was transferred to the al-Houl camp, where terrorists’ wives and children were kept as well. Riots were commonplace in the camp, and there are videos on the Internet showing them praising the Islamic State. It is very difficult to stay in such a place, especially for the Yazidis.

The boy keeps pigeons. They are his only joy helping him forget traumatic events from the past.

The purchase of livestock is not the only large project which we are currently carrying out. In Sinjar construction of 65 houses has began for refugees scattered around Iraq. They dream of going back home. Soon we will provide medical equipment to the Children’s Oncology Center in Duhok in Iraqi Kurdistan. It will be supplied with cardiomonitor, ultrasound, vein finder and X-ray generator. Little patients are treated there, many of them children living in camps for internally displaced persons (IDPs). Both projects are co-financed by the Chancellery of the Prime Minister of Poland.
Among large-scale activities, we do not forget about ‘small’ projects. We are focusing on rebuilding workplaces and providing help wherever it is needed. We are unable to apply for funding for most of our activities. In order to keep going, we need your help.

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