Help is needed immediately
I will start the second part of the report from our visit to Iraq by completing the previous article.
In a few words, I will tell you a story of one of the families which last year received livestock from us. Gawri and her children – two daughters and three sons – currently live in Khanke, in a small house on the outskirts of town. A tragic story of her daughter Shahad circulates in the Yazidi community as a symbol of suffering and despair. The girl was for months held hostage by ISIS terrorists. One day she managed to escape from the house of the terrorist who kept her captive. She was underfed and sick, but she made an attempt to get back home, to her mother and siblings. She knew she could pay for this with life. After few days of walking, she got back with her family. Unfortunately, she spent merely several hours with her beloved mother and siblings. Extremely exhausted, she died in a hospital.
They should not be here.
Apart from the main reason behind our trip which I mentioned two days ago, we had several other places to visit. We already provided help to two of them. We went to see the results, and in the Zawita Camp’s case – which I will write about in a while – also to help again. During Bartek’s last stay in Iraq, doctor Krzysztof Blecha (from Children Help Foundation in Zywiec) financed the purchase of cleaning products for the families that live there. He also left the funds for the purchase of 28 fire extinguishers used for example for fires caused by electrical equipment. Tent fires, often caused by overheating and a generally poor condition of installations, are very common in camps for internally displaced persons (IDPs). It is enough to recollect a situation from May last year when in one of them in Khanke a 17-year-old girl died. There have been several fires this year again, and in the largest one 19 tents were burned down.
The sight of the crowd of women with their small children was one of those I will remember for a long time. I was happy that we brought them help. I am aware that fire safety measures are extremely important for families living in camp tents. However, I was really sorry because of what I saw. I felt guilty for the situation they have found themselves in. Not personally, but as a person from Europe – this same Europe which on any occasion tries to prove that it fights for minority rights and equality for all. But will anyone ever speak up for these people?
Even though I am not a journalist, I need to report the details of the whole action of supplying the camp with fire extinguishers. The camp’s authorities and our friend Ramy organized everything perfectly. The firefighters arrived to provide training on how to use the extinguishers. Then each family received a piece of equipment. We only hope that they will never find themselves in a life-threatening situation and that they will never have to use them.
They helped others, now they need help themselves.
Before our visit to Zawita, we went to Avzrouk. It is a small village not far from the border with Syria, where in 2014 two hundred refugees from, among others, Sinjar and Bashiqi found shelter. In one church in Avzrouk they were offered a hall and a presbytery in order to allow them to live in decent conditions. Many were taken under the roof of local families where for more than three years they were treated like family members. When their towns were liberated and the situation allowed, they went back to their homes. But the generator which was the only source of electricity for the whole community got overloaded during those three years and broke down.
Give a hand and help to get up off knees.
We also visited several other places where our little contribution helped people spread their wings. The first one was a stationery shop in Duhok. It is difficult to categorize this place. Apart from books, notebooks, markers and pencils it also provides mobile phones, chargers and other such things. It is some kind of a kiosk which is located in a stationary building. It looks great, as you can see yourself in the pictures.