Street Lawyers & Hope Buses for Iraqi Kids

by Iraqi Children Foundation, Inc.
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Street Lawyers & Hope Buses for Iraqi Kids
Street Lawyers & Hope Buses for Iraqi Kids
Street Lawyers & Hope Buses for Iraqi Kids
Street Lawyers & Hope Buses for Iraqi Kids
Street Lawyers & Hope Buses for Iraqi Kids
Street Lawyers & Hope Buses for Iraqi Kids
Street Lawyers & Hope Buses for Iraqi Kids
Street Lawyers & Hope Buses for Iraqi Kids
Street Lawyers & Hope Buses for Iraqi Kids
Street Lawyers & Hope Buses for Iraqi Kids
Street Lawyers & Hope Buses for Iraqi Kids
Street Lawyers & Hope Buses for Iraqi Kids
Street Lawyers & Hope Buses for Iraqi Kids
Street Lawyers & Hope Buses for Iraqi Kids
Street Lawyers & Hope Buses for Iraqi Kids
Street Lawyers & Hope Buses for Iraqi Kids
Street Lawyers & Hope Buses for Iraqi Kids
Street Lawyers & Hope Buses for Iraqi Kids
Street Lawyers & Hope Buses for Iraqi Kids
Street Lawyers & Hope Buses for Iraqi Kids
Street Lawyers & Hope Buses for Iraqi Kids
Fun activities at the Hope Bus
Fun activities at the Hope Bus

One candle doesn't make a huge difference but a thousand candles can light up the darkest world of forgotten Iraqi children. 

In 2020, you brought light to orphans, street kids, child laborers, displaced children, and the disabled.  Across ICF projects, more than 1,200 packages of food and hygiene supplies provided critical support during COVID-19 as parents lost jobs, and schools and Hope Buses closed.  In 2020, the Street Lawyers, social workers, and Hope Buses also cared for hundreds of children* like these:

  • Nadia (15) was forced by her father into early marriage to a 37 year-old man.  After 6 months, Nadia was found wandering the streets and eating from the garbage.  She was sent to a homeless shelter, social workers were called in, and she began to get psychiatric help.  The social workers learned that her husband had severely abused her and when even her family refused her help, she left with nowhere to go. The Street Lawyers filed for her divorce and filed charges against the husband for beating and torture.  Although her divorce was granted, the court dropped the abuse charges for lack of evidence.
     
  • Mohammed (9) is one of a few Hope Bus students who still have to work, collecting cans at the dump. He got an infectious skin disease from work so Hope Bus staff took him to a doctor and got him medication so he could return to class healthy.

  • Noor (7), a Hope Bus student, started missing classes. Soon, staff learned that her mother, who lost her job, was taking Noor to the streets to beg.  The staff then contacted a woman who runs a beauty salon who agreed to hire Noor's mom.  There was just one condition:  she wouldn't send Noor to work anymore.  Now Noor has returned to classes at the Hope Bus.
     
  • Five children were left without support when a widowed nurse got infected with COVID-19 and was hospitalized.  The 15-year old daughter took over care of her siblings but needed food and other items so social workers brought them supplies while they quarantined.  After the quarantine expired, all children tested negative and the mother recovered and returned home.

For each of these children, the lawyers, social workers, and teachers who care for them are - like you - candles in the dark.  We are so grateful for their courageous service and for your support.  Join us in making 2021 an even brighter year for Iraq's children!

Gratefully,
Cindy

P.S.  Until the clock strikes midnight tonight, there is time to make a final gift to invest in Iraq's children.  And for those who are not yet monthly donors, what a great way to start the New Year!

--
Cindy Fogleman
Board Member
Iraqi Children Foundation
www.iraqichildren.org
703.963.3832
cindy@iraqichildren.org

*Names changed for privacy and protection.
Hope Bus kids draw about their life story
Hope Bus kids draw about their life story
Street kids get food/hygiene support during COVID
Street kids get food/hygiene support during COVID
Doing school work at home when Hope Buses closed
Doing school work at home when Hope Buses closed
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Gathering at Hope Bus 2 for food, hygiene supplies
Gathering at Hope Bus 2 for food, hygiene supplies

Dear Friends:

You are the wind at their backs.  Listen to their stories:

  • Zeena* (15), is the daughter of a widowed mother with 5 children.  The mother fell ill with COVID while working as a nurse at a local hospital.  After she was hospitalized, the children were quarantined under Zeena's care because no relatives were available. Government medical staff visited the home but it was your generous support that provided food and other supplies for these vulnerable children.  Thankfully, the mother recovered and returned home, and all five children escaped infection.
  • Noor* (8) is a student on Hope Bus 1.  When COVID struck, her father lost his job.  Stuck at home, he beat his children and their mother, and refused to allow Hope Bus teams to visit.  Although one of the Street Lawyers went with local police to the home, the mother refused to take action against the father.  Police left the home with a strong warning to the father.
  • Many parents of Hope Bus children lost their jobs when COVID hit.  To support their families, 15 Hope Bus children were sent to the streets to beg.  After receiving large packages of food and hygiene supplies you funded, all 15 children stopped begging, stayed home, and enjoyed school lessons from visiting Hope Bus teams.

You made the difference for all of these children.  Along with other donors, you have funded more than 1,200 large packages of food and hygiene supplies for children and families in Baghdad, Basra, Mosul and Erbil. 

Even as COVID touched our partner's families, they continued to work hard to care for at risk children. For these staff, you are the wind at their backs too.  

Want to do more?  Sign up for our first virtual event: "Road to Baghdad"!  Join us in travelling the 6,202 miles from Washington, DC to Baghdad, Iraq.  You can run, walk, swim, roll in a wheelchair, or whatever.  Just be with us.  And if you can do more, donate - even $10 helps - or start your own Road to Baghdad fundraiser

For all you do, the ICF team thanks you from the bottom of our hearts!

Cindy Fogleman| Board Member
Iraqi Children Foundation - CFC#95191
Mobile: +703.963.3832

PO Box 233  Falls Church  VA  22040-0233

* Name changed for privacy

Toys to cheer their hearts during COVID
Toys to cheer their hearts during COVID
Learning how to wash hands at outdoor basin
Learning how to wash hands at outdoor basin
Join the "Road to Baghdad"
Join the "Road to Baghdad"
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Learning about masks
Learning about masks

Dear Friends:

COVID-19 is just the latest of so many hardships for Iraq's most vulnerable orphans, street kids, and child laborers.  But YOU are there for them, providing support in the face of a new challenge.  Just check out what your gifts are doing for these precious children and their poor families! 

Hope Bus staff have visited students while schools and the Hope Buses are closed. They are following up on school work at home and teaching children good hygiene.  Volunteers from one of our corporate supporters, Khudairi Group, have donated food for the kids and families of the Hope Buses.  They have also volunteered to deliver food and hygiene supplies to vulnerable children and families in other communities.

We hope these pictures will bring a smile to your face and warm your heart, knowing that even from afar, you can reach out and lift these children up with love and support!

Thanks for being a part of the ICF Team!

Cindy

Learning how to properly wash hands
Learning how to properly wash hands
Hope Bus staff doing home visit with school work
Hope Bus staff doing home visit with school work
Gifts of food, hygiene supplies to kids in Basrah
Gifts of food, hygiene supplies to kids in Basrah
Life is extra tough if you are a disabled child
Life is extra tough if you are a disabled child
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Science experiment on density using an egg
Science experiment on density using an egg

Dear Friends of Iraqi Children:

March 8th is a great day to celebrate the girls and women in Iraq!  On International Women's Day, we think of the vulnerable Iraqi girls you support with legal protection, tutoring, health care, nutrition, and help in stopping work or avoiding early marriage.  Just as important, they are getting inspiration, confidence, and hope for the future!   What else can fuel a little girl's audacious dream to be an astronaut or the first woman president of Iraq?  But yes, that is what they told us. 

We also think of the Iraqi women ICF has worked with.  We think of our friend Hala, a Fulbright scholar and public health expert with whom we worked on a clinic for babies, children and families who fled ISIS.  We think of three amazing women lawyers - Aliya, Eman, and Fatima - on the Street Lawyer team that protects and defends young girls from trafficking and exploitation.  We think of the teachers at the Hope Buses - like Sarah and Rania - who have poured their hearts into teaching poor orphaned and working girls to dramatically change the trajectory of their lives.

Don't be surprised, but on this day for women and girls, we also think of men.  Yes, men here in the US who provide significant leadership and resources to protect and educate young Iraqi girls.  And men in Iraq - like Firas, Ahmed, and Yasir - who are on the team of lawyers and social workers defending and supporting girls at the margins of society.  These men challenge the cultural, legal, and social barriers young Iraqi girls face and we are proud of them for it.  

Last, take a bow yourself!  All of you - the men and women who support Iraqi orphans and street kids - are making some pretty dramatic changes for the girls who are at the bottom of the ladder of Iraqi society.  We are proud of you too!

Gratefully,
Cindy

*   *   *   *   *   *   *   *
Cindy Fogleman
Board Member
Iraqi Children Foundation
ICF Facebook page
CFC #95191
701 W Broad St., Suite 301
Falls Church, VA 22046
cindy@iraqichildren.org 
703.963.3832 mobile
A little brain damaged girl gets health care
A little brain damaged girl gets health care
Class time on Hope Bus 2
Class time on Hope Bus 2
From places like this, come big dreams
From places like this, come big dreams
Time to have some fun
Time to have some fun
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Learning about teeth and hygiene
Learning about teeth and hygiene

Dear friends:

It's hard to compete with news headlines and major geopolitical challenges in Iraq.  But we encourage you to close out that favorite news app or lay down that newspaper.  We have heartwarming news to share!  And it is all because of you and your kind support for the voiceless, vulnerable children of Iraq.

Looking back over 2019, we have reason to smile with you:

  • The Street Lawyers handled 492 legal representation cases (447 completed and 45 ongoing) involving charges ranging from stealing and vagrancy to prostitution, drugs, and other criminal charges.
  • The Street Lawyers also helped 335 children get their legal identity documents, opening the door to school enrollment and access to government support and reducing the need of children to work.
  • Social workers helped 259 children with social services to address medical needs, trauma, re-entering school after release from juvenile detention, visiting a parent in prison, autism and mental illness, and registering to get government benefits. 
  • Two Hope Buses served 243 children (full- and part-time), providing tutoring to approximately 100 students each school day and serving more than 20,000 nutritious meals in 2019. For the first time, a young girl who was paralyzed and couldn't leave home was given a wheelchair so she could come to the Hope Bus too. 

Numbers never tell the whole story.  We have so many favorite stories of children who got truly life-changing help in 2019 because of you: 

  • the 5 year old girl  who was tied to a wall at home because of severe mental disabilities is freed and given neurological treatment.
  • the girl found at the dump, who is a victim of repeated rape by adults, is brought to a shelter and given medical and psychological care. 
  • the 17 year old boy whose uncle tricked him to travelling to Erbil for a "job" but was secretly planning to sell the boy's kidney until police uncovered the scheme and prevented a case of organ trafficking
  • the 13 year old girl who was rescued from early marriage after her family was persuaded to let her continue her studies instead

There are so many more children and stories to warm your heart.  We are so very grateful for your partnership with us and hope that - together, as a team with you in 2020 - many more stories will be written of lives changed with love and hope among these children at the margins of society.  We are deeply committed to this cause and hope you will stay the course with us!

With much gratitude,
Cindy

P.S.  GlobalGiving is once again offering a 1-month match for new monthly donors up to $200.  Great time to start a small monthly donation if you are not already on board!

The first Hope Bus student in a wheelchair
The first Hope Bus student in a wheelchair
Time for handicrafts!
Time for handicrafts!
Time for a science experiment
Time for a science experiment
ICF team visits Hope Bus 1
ICF team visits Hope Bus 1
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Organization Information

Iraqi Children Foundation, Inc.

Location: Falls Church, VA - USA
Website:
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @IraqiChildren
Project Leader:
Liz McRae
Falls Church, Virginia United States
$224,513 raised of $250,000 goal
 
2,040 donations
$25,487 to go
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