Refugees continue to live in makeshift housing, hoping to find permanence, even after five or more years in limbo. Families strive to find food, medical care and clothing for children so they might attend school. Continuing needs have depleted resources in the communities they live. Many families hope to return home, but know there is nothing left and rebuilding will take time and money. We work to help each family as they seek to build a future either by going home, or transitioning well.
"They left us for two days without food and water in one room of the house. We were afraid they would starve us to death. At dawn, when they were sleeping, three of my friends and I escaped and ran toward a mountain. We stayed two days there without food and water." This is the story of one family, but is the same as stories of most of the refugee families in Northern Iraq or Kurdistan. Fleeing horrific terror, they live in abandoned buildings or old empty containers and tents, seeking help.
GHNI staff work with these families (mostly Yazidi) by empowering them to rebuild, providing counsel and offering food and clean water, shelter and clothing. Currently, we are providing tutors and school books to those who are too afraid to attend the local schools. Some families have been here for years, others have moved on to begin lives in countries not like their homeland. Equipping families with basic skills to rebuild will ensure they can contribute to their home wherever they land.
Long-term, families will be empowered and strengthened with skills like gardening, sewing and creating articles for sale so they might provide for their families without continued dependency on aid. Dignity is restored, hope is instilled and there becomes a strong belief in the future. Education for children leads to greater abilities and understanding for long-term growth as a community. These families will provide the foundation for generations who will become overcomers.