Supporting Kids: New England to the Middle East - Closed
Organized by: Christina Doe
I am a Social worker who has been working with elementary school children in Massachusetts for the past five years. About a year ago I decided that I would like to take a leave from my job and work with children around the world. The opportunity arose for me to go to Northern Iraq to work with refugees. Since the recent conflict in Iraq has grown they have become more desperate for counselors. I will be working with the children of many different ethnic and religious groups who have had to flee their homes in order to try to find safety. There are many Yazidi, Christian, and Muslim children and families who have been tortured and displaced from their homes. They have seen their family members and friends die in front of them, they have suffered from starvation and exposure in the extreme heat. I am going to try to help these people in any way that I possibly can.
I arived in Iraq 4 days ago, and I have had the opportunity to meet with many incredible people. I have been to the Yazidi Refugee Camp two times, and I have hear many stories of suffering and fear. The people in this camp are the people who were stranded on Mount Sinjar for 7 days without food and with very little water. They were forced to flea their homes in the middle of the night with only the clothes on their backs. After suffering on the mountain they arived at camp dehydrated, exhausted, starving, sick, and injured. They had nothing, and they still have very little. Some of the families have made make shift homes in the many unfinished buildings throughout the city, and others are ilving in tents provided by the UN. I have met with the doctor in charge of the camp, and he is overwhelmed with the amount of people there, and their great need. He said that the clinic sees 2,300 patients a day. The biggest risks are deydration, snake bites, scorpion bites, and most of all Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). I also met with The Directorate General of Health who is very concerned about the risk of disease that could have outbreaks in the community including Polio, TB, Measels, and Cholera. Many of these people have not been vaccinated, and therefore they are making an effort to get these vaccinations in order to prevent an epidemic throughout the camps.
I am looking to raise money for my living expenses, and the needs of the refugees in Iraq. When I had orriginally planned my time here I was supposed to be paid by the Department of Health, but at this time they are not recieving their budget from the Iraqi government, and therefore there is no money to pay saleries, and even if there was, I do not want to ask for money from a country that has so many people in need. I thank you for any support you can offer. Every small bit matters.
You can follow my blog at: ajourneytoiraq.com
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