Our team on the ground in Erbil work really hard to make sure all our projects and distributions run smoothly. They spend a lot of time on the ground in various refugee camps. They get to talk to a lot of displaced people and get to know what the highest needs and priorities are regarding humanitarian aid and programs. Often during these conversations they hear the personal side of the situation and get to connect with someone and the communities we serve.
Last week one of the conversations happened to be with Ahmad* in the Qushtaba Refugee Camp in Erbil where over 1900 Syrian families are currently living after fleeing from war and violence. Ahmad is 36 years old and comes from the Alaska area in Syria. He is married and has a young daughter. After he graduated in the fine arts he worked as a wedding, party and event photographer. Just like many others he and his family had to leave everything behind to find safety and came to the Qushtaba Camp in Erbil in 2014.
He told us more about his life and then about his current situation. He explained that living in a tent isn’t easy and sharing a kitchen and bathroom with 8 other families isn’t easy. There is a huge lack of privacy which is a big problem. They recently suffered from a few fires in the camp as well as a result of heat and bad placing of gas pipes. He then told us how hard it is to keep his family healthy because of the lack of health care and mental care and that one of the other big problems is the lack of education. He wants the best possible future for his daughter and wants her to succeed, grow, develop and be happy in life. But that’s nearly impossible without education. And with him the 1900 other families in this camp face these difficulties.
He did see a big difference in opportunity and facilities once organisations arrived in the camp. Organisations like Bring Hope Humanitarian Foundation. Ahmad really feels that there are people out there who want to help and can help and ensured us that it is making a big impact for many many families who need help. Whether it is practical help with aid that is needed, emergency help, and long term projects such as educational projects and other help.
Help like that makes sure that he can start dreaming again. His dream is to go back to Syria and provide his daughter with a secure and safe future but that might not be possible seeing the current situation in Syria. However he does feel it is possible in Erbil and will work hard to make sure his daughter and wife have the best possible life. What he really wants is to open up his photography shop in Erbil and being able to provide for his family by doing what he loves.
We’re happy that he dreams and that he is hopeful and sees a future for him and his family. That is one of our goals. Making sure people feel hope again and can imagine a bright future. And until then we help them where we can and where is needed. This time we did that by distributing over 3700 blankets that were highly needed in the camp to make sure people can get a good night sleep again without being cold and can properly tuck their children in at night wishing them happy dreams.
*We don’t use people’s real names out of respect for their privacy.