Only you haven’t deceived me
In the last two articles, Bartek reported, among others, on his visit to Iraq, including the Khanke and Shariya centers where he delivered board games.
I will only remind you that the aim of the project is to support children development through educational games.
You can read more about it here: Board games as an educational support. Has the project been successful? And We are here to help.
Bartek also mentioned in a few words about requests received from people that he visited in other places. In Alqush, Teleskoff, Khanke and Karnjook he met with families whom we already helped and with those who asked to meet him through our local volunteers. Here I would like to write more about these requests.
Not many organizations visit these places so it was the only chance for their residents to ask for help. Villages such as Karnjook are difficult to even find on a map. Its inhabitants mainly do farming which is the only source of livelihood for most families. Two years ago, we purchased goats, sheep and hens for some of them and built crofts for the animals. Now, the mayor of the village has requested a new electricity generator because the old one has been fixed many times and is on its last legs. Karjnook has access to electricity network, but it is delivered for merely several hours a day. Electricity cuts are one of the largest problems in Iraq. The infrastructure is insufficient while the extremely high temperatures lead to constant breakdowns. ISIS has decided to use this situation to their advantage and for some time now it has been carrying out sabotage actions aimed at power plants and electricity poles. There have been hundreds of such events reported over the last months.
The residents of Karnjook need a working generator that will provide electricity to several dozens of households. The cost of its purchase with transport and installation is around 7,000 euros or around 33,000 Polish zlotys.
Only you haven’t deceived me.
In Khanke Bartek visited a man for whom we bought livestock in 2018. Selim is an experienced farmer and was getting on with his herd very well. When we visited him one year later, he already had ten goats and often gave away milk to his neighbors with small children. His biggest problem at the time was the lack of information about his relatives that were kept captive. After many months, Selim’s son Dawood returned. The boy underwent a months-long verification process in the Syrian al-Hol camp where the Yazidis captured by ISIS are kept together with the terrorists’ wives and children. We can say that the victims and the perpetrators are held in one place because many of those women contributed to tortures and abuse experienced by women and children enslaved in their houses. Luckily, Dawood got back under his father’s wing and it seemed that the family had a chance to come out of the woods. Unfortunately, over the last months Selim has got seriously ill and was forced to get rid of his herd. He lost everything again and his mental health has significantly worsened. His story is even more dramatic as he and his family were deceived by a charity foundation that promised to build a house for them in Sinjar. Instead, they built one unplastered room. Selim lost any trust for humanitarian organizations entirely and he spoke to Bartek only because, in his own words: ‘Only you haven’t deceived me.’ We decided to do whatever is in our power to help him and his family again. Right now we are trying to estimate the amount needed to build a house for Selim and to recreate the herd that would allow him to make his economic situation better.
A request to build a school
We received a request from one of our friends to build a school in the village of Zomani in Sinjar. The locals turned to him because no aid organization is active in that region. Due to large distances between the villages located in the mountains, in the past every village used to have its own small school and a teacher. Unfortunately, the school in Zomani was destroyed. Most probably it was blown up by ISIS after it took over the region. In June this year, some families that fled in 2014 returned to the village. The residents found ruins of the building they built eleven years ago. They wanted their children to learn how to read and write.
The nearest school is 15 kilometers away from Zomani. Considering there is no public transport here, children are unable to reach it. By walking, it would take them a minimum of three hours one way. Additionally, a walk back and forth through the mountains and in the heat would be a challenge for an adult while we are talking about children from 7 to 14 years old. We do not know yet what the entire cost of rebuilding this school will be, but we can assume it will reach around 30,000-35,000 Polish zlotys.
These are only three examples but we are working on many more similar projects. They require large financial means which we now need to acquire. It won’t be easy, but we will not give up. A while ago we started building the second bakery in Sinjar. The construction cost will reach more than 40,000 Polish zlotys. We have already sent nearly 30,000 for the building’s foundation and for the purchase and delivery of a container in which the machines for dough mixing as well as the oven will be kept. The first bakery was built in Duhola last year. Three houses are also under construction for the residents of Sinjar who returned to their home towns and villages. Luckily, here the entire required amount has been transferred and the works should start off at any time.