Diapers For Refugees

For: Christian refugees in Iraq
United States
Organizer: Religious Freedom Coalition
Diapers For Refugees (Christian refugees in Iraq)
of $1,000 goal
44% Complete
Raised by 5 donors

The Story

Christian families in areas of Iraq controlled by the Islamic State were forced to flee their homes with infants in their arms and unable to take anything of value with them. These Christians who fled the Nineveh Plain and Mosul have little hope of returning in the near future and need our help. 

While gifts of food and donated clothes are often adequate, the need for diapers has been largely unmet. Some mothers have used donated clothing in place of cloth diapers due to the extreme need. However, the lack of clean water and soap to wash these diapers has led to outbreaks of disease in babies and their families.

Our first truckload in March gave nearly 300 families a large supply of diapers.  Our second  distribution in  June delivered a shipment of  160,000 diapers of different sizes at seven different locations. Currently the Diapers for Refugees program is delivering 160,000 diapers every three months. The cost of a single shipment is $18,000 or just 11 cents each.

Our next scheduled delivery is in September!

Find out more at our website: www.diapersforrefugees.org!

Fundraiser Updates

Posted on September 22, 2016

Posted on September 22, 2016

With Fiscal Year 2016 at a close, President Obama far surpassed his goal of admitting 10,000 Syrian refugees into the United States. As of September 12, the total number of Syrian refugees in the United States for Fiscal Year 2016 reached 11,491. Only 54 of these refugees were Christian. 11,410 of the were Muslim.

Many Christians in the Middle East wishing to seek asylum are too afraid to enter United Nations camps, where one must go to request refugee status, in fear of being attacked, killed or raped. As a result, members of these Christian communities, many of whom came from middle class families and attended college, are forced to live in slums or old abandoned buildings.

Even those Christians who manage to escape the horrors happening to them in the Middle East must overcome more challenges when they reach Western nations.

In an interview with Russia Today, Sarmad Ozan, an Iraqi Christian deacon who fled the Islamic State and its executioners in Mosul (where many of the families we help are from!) and sought asylum in the United Kingdom and was denied, meaning he must go back to Iraq.

In the interview, Sarmad Ozan describes the horrors he witnessed as he watched ISIS take control of the city he called home. ISIS first took control of Mosul in June 2014, but they didn’t kill anyone, claiming they only had issue with the government. However, that changed as the power of the Islamic State continued to grow.

As Ozan described, one month later:

They announced in the mosque three options for the Christians inside Mosul. They say you should convert to Islam, or pay jizya, that’s like a heavy tax, or be killed after this 24 hour. So every Christian family left Mosul that day… They made checkpoints at the borders of Mosul where they checked identity cards, because your religion is on your identity card.

“So whenever they see a Christian they grab everyone from the car and they take everything. So we left with nothing. We walked all that day towards Erbil. All the Christian families were walking that day. We arrived at night. Young people slept on the pavements, some people in tents, the church halls. We stayed in different places. Then we found a place in a church hall.”

Ozan continues:

“They are killing them day after day, 10 people in one day. Or maybe they will bomb a church. From 2003 until 2014 they used to bomb churches inside Mosul. They killed bishops and priests inside Mosul and even Baghdad and everywhere in Iraq. And the government cannot do anything for them.”

“The situation there is unsafe and unstable. Even the Home Office admit that it is unstable inside Iraq and don’t advise anyone to travel to Iraq, but they want us to go back.”

To read the full interview and watch the video, click here.

Our year-round Diapers for Refugees program gives aid to these refugees in a simple but impactful way. For just 11 cents per diaper, displaced families are given a three-month supply for disposable diapers to help cut down on disease growing in these communities. But we can’t do this without your support. Learn how you can help and please continue to keep these Christian refugee families in your prayers.

Posted on August 30, 2016

Posted on August 30, 2016

Diapers Update:

Over the last two years, thousands of Christians in Iraq fled their homes in hopes of escaping persecution from ISIS. Christians have faced the worst that the Islamic State has to offer – crucifixions, beheadings, gang rapes, sex slavery, beatings, and robbery – it is rare that the mainstream media reports this fact to the public. When news articles do appear they are watered down.

Since ISIS took control of Qaraqosh, the largest Christian town in the Nineveh Plains, these Christian families were forced to move into refugee camps in the Kurdish region of Iraq, while others fled to other countries, including the United States.

The Iraqi army has laid out plans to retake the city of Mosul, which is now controlled by the Islamic State. If the country’s army is able to retake the militant-held city, thousands of Christian refugees would be given the opportunity to return home. However, these Christians fear that even after Mosul is recaptured by the Iraqi army, they still won’t be safe.

In the historically Christian neighborhood of Ankawa, located in Erbil, Iraq, is where over 5,000 Christian refugees currently reside in 1,200 white trailers. On August 10th an Associated Press published an article by Balint Szanko detailing the thoughts and feelings of some of these displaced Christian refugees.

In interviews with Szanko, many families expressed their concerns about returning home, saying they would rather leave the country and go abroad than face the uncertainty that lies ahead for the minority group. The camp manager, Father Emanuel Adel Kelo said “if organized migration were possible, then I can say that 90 percent of the inhabitants of this camp would leave. That’s 4,500 Christians who no longer feel safe in the town they once called home.

Raad Bahnam Samaan told the Associated Press his story. He, his wife and their five children fled Qaraqosh, leaving everything they knew behind, in August 2014. Making them seven of the 150,000 Christians who left the areas surrounding Mosul for safer areas under Kurdish control. Samaan describes living in the refugee camp as “being stuck in limbo” and many have lost hope of returning to their old lives, “there is always hope, but when? Nobody knows. It might be a year, or two years, a day, a couple of days. Three or four years from now if we go home there won’t be anything left of our house.”

Samaan expressed his hesitation in living in a freed Mosul because he fears the damage caused by ISIS will be irreversible, and people he once called friends will look at him as an enemy, “We’ll still be afraid. I will go to Mosul and I will be afraid because they will say, here comes the Christian.”

The horrors that these Christians face every day is unimaginable. Christians in the West were appalled by the gruesome beheading of Father Jacques Hamel in France two weeks ago. However, that is a reality for Christians in the Middle East. Every day they wake up and realize today may be the day they die for their faith.

Religious Freedom Coalition sponsors the Diapers for Refugeesprogram which aims to send high quality disposable diapers to these Christian refugee families located in camps around Erbil. Families in these camps are dying from diaper rash because of the inability to wash cloth diapers with soap and clean water. Due to the lack of diapers, mothers are forced to use donated clothing as diapers for their children, which still can’t be cleaned properly.

With help from our donors, the Diapers for Refugees program gave nearly 300 families enough diapers to last for three months, totaling 160,000 diapers in the first shipment which took place in March 2016. In June of 2016, 160,000 more diapers were sent and distributed to families in the refugee camps located in Erbil. Our commitment for the remainder of 2016 is to provide these Christian refugee camps with diapers every three months, totaling 640,000 disposable diapers given to displaced Christian families.

The price of a single shipment of diapers ranges from $18,000 to $20,000 or 11 cents per diaper. These shipments are distributed by large truckloads to Christian refugee camps across Northern Iraq. Next month, our third shipment of diapers will be sent out to 5 different camps near Ankawa, but in order to do this we still need to raise $8,000.

Every day Christians living in the Middle East are targeted for their faith. The Islamic State has declared war on Christianity too many times to count. Christianity is under attack and thousands of our Christian brothers and sisters are dying because of it. These Christian refugees need our continued prayers and support. Learn how you can help.

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