New projects and new challenges – That is how we started 2019
Despite the fact I have not written about our activities for a while, that does not mean we have slowed down. New projects are being implemented all the time.
Now the time has come to finally present some of our latest achievements. We are developing and it makes us glad. We have gained the trust of the Iraqi people, and so there are more and more people requesting our help.
We have been trying to successively rebuild workshop after workshop, shop after shop as well as to finance medical treatments and to support new projects.
Doing all this, we need to remember about our obligations as a foundation. And it happens that sometimes, regardless of our goodwill, these obligations turn into real mountains to conquer. To give you the most recent example, the preparation of our 2018 public fundraiser’s financial statement took us much longer than expected due to the website’s technical problems.
But despite the difficulties in fighting with documentation and completing formalities, we are operating at full speed. At the end of last year and at the beginning of this year we already opened several new workplaces, and one was transferred to a more suitable place.
We have twice supplied the residents of resettlement camps with the heating fuel.
I will start with the last one, as in that case our activities were noticed by… a TV station Suroyo TV (located in Sweden, but broadcasting to, among others, the UK and Turkey).
At the end of last year, we provided heating fuel to 40 families from a Christian Odrana camp.
We visited that place in December during our last trip. It turned out that Christians from the Qaraqosh neighborhood are living there.
They would like to return home, but at the moment it is impossible. Their houses were destroyed or burned down as a result of fighting and terrorist activities. On Friday they received the second supply which will hopefully be enough until the end of winter and will help them to survive it in decent conditions.
The recently opened shops and workshops include such places as an electric shop, a tool rent shop and a cosmetic store.
All of them were built from scratch at the speed of lightning. What always pleases us most is that the only thing the new projects require from us, from an idea to completion, is financial support. All materials and tools are available locally. That is why we do not buy or bring things from Poland (apart from LEGO bricks, which we collected last year as part of an action). All materials and equipment can be bought locally, at the same time supporting local retailers.
The cosmetic store opened a few days ago is particularly impressive.
At the beginning of our activities in Iraq, one of the first people helping us was Rania, a student from Sinjar. She and her sisters were volunteering in a charity organization. They were living in terrible conditions, in a rented room, but they were still trying to work for others. Rania told Bartek that once their father got paid less than 50 dollars for a two-month work. After the opening of the cosmetic store, we are hoping they will manage to earn much more.
All these examples are the achievements of the last two months (and several other workplaces were created during that time). What about our next plans?
Well, it is difficult to tell at the moment how everything will go. We are trying not to set specific goals, as life and situation usually verify them. For sure we would like to widen the project of the purchase of livestock and to continue supporting the educational center in Khanke. We will also try to build new houses for some families from Sinjar.
Maybe there will not be many of them at the beginning. For sure there will be less than those who would like to return home. But at least we will try to show that it is possible to do and also how to do it. We will continue rebuilding workplaces as it brings great results. We will also continue traveling around Poland, as we have done so far, and informing you about the situation in Iraq. Some interesting external publications will also appear, but you will for sure hear about that.