We reach places which are difficult to find on the map

Jul 13, 2019 | Electrification, Great job, Medical assistance

Help in electric power infrastructure reconstruction is slowly becoming part of our permanent action program.

Providing access to electricity is very often overlooked by organizations that usually have much larger resources than us. But it is hugely significant to local communities.

Most foundations and organizations focus on ad hoc help, mainly distributing food and clothing.

There is no doubt that it is very important as well. However, we have to remember that currently helping the refugees to return home and reconstruction of damages should be a priority.

Great Job Project

The ‘Great Job’ project was born during one of our trips to Iraq in 2017.

There is a misconception that people living in camps for internally displaced persons (IDPs) are in the worst situation possible.

As we have many times described in the reports from our trips to those places, thousands of families live in the camps. They need to be given at least the most basic help because in such conditions they are not able to meet the most basic needs.

However, we cannot forget about those who didn’t find a place in the camps.

They live somewhere behind the gates or in wild camps, far from any kind of help. They would all like to go back to their hometowns and villages, start their lives anew and rebuild their communities.

Prowizoryczne domy w dzikim obozowisku

Numerous groups of refugees have found shelter in many small towns that avoided ISIS’ incursions.

The residents organized help themselves because many refugees came with as much as they were able to take with them.

The Avzrok village is difficult to be found on maps.

It is located between the Tigris River, well-known from history lessons, and the Kurdish Mountains range. Standing on a hill nearby this small village one can see both of its ends. Despite its small size, in 2014 its residents accepted over 200 refugees from territories occupied by ISIS. They gave them a roof over their heads making a small church, a school and their own houses available for the refugees. They provided them with clothing, bed sheets and food, and for three years treated them as their own people. To this day, most of those refugees have returned home.

Having in mind their resources, the residents of Avzrok achieved an incredible thing.

They showed amazing solidarity and helpfulness. Then, they found themselves in need of help too. The old electric generator which supplied the village during electricity shortages (in Iraq electricity is provided for several hours a day) stopped working.

Luckily, local craftsmen, who can often work miracles, were able to fix it.

Of course, new parts as well as a few days of work were required, but they succeeded. Now the residents of Avzrok have an uninterrupted supply of electricity again. The cost was around 2,000 dollars, or less than 8,000 zlotys.

Within the Great Job Project framework, we have recently opened a small hairdresser salon and a grocery store for a Shiite family.

Shiism is a denomination of Islam. Similarly to Yazidis and Christians, Shiites have become a target of ISIS. Talib’s family (in this case Talib is a name, which means “a disciple”; this term is erroneously used with reference to a terrorist organization active in Afghanistan) lived in Sinjar, among the Yazidis. Many Shiite families found shelter there during numerous Shiite-Sunni conflicts. They felt good enough there to stay for good.

Talib has four children. He fled from ISIS in 2014 during the invasion of Sinjar.

They spent two weeks in the mountains before reaching a safe place. They returned after the region was liberated, just to find out their house and shop they were running before the war were destroyed. Now the whole family can function normally again.

Moreover, last week the third part of the medical equipment was handed over to a medical center in the Nineveh Plains.

This time hospital beds, medical aprons, bed sheets, etc. were given to the University Hospital in Qaraqosh. It is a large medical center, however, it is not sufficiently equipped. Help will be also provided soon to IDP camps and small towns and villages in Iraqi Kurdistan.

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