Stories from Iraq
Iraq: Even my clothes are not my own
Jassim, 49, lives in a house that is not his own. He doesn’t know who owns it or how long he and his family of eight will be able to stay. They moved into the vacant house in Sinjar town in September 2017, after living in camps and unfinished buildings since August 2014 when armed groups advanced into the region. “Ours was the first village taken,” he said.
"We had no time to gather anything. We didn’t have a nice house but it was our home; now it has been destroyed. We have nothing. Even my clothes are not my own." Jassim
Medair teams meet with families newly returned to Sinjar town to identify those in need of blankets, kerosene heaters, and fuel storage containers. In this area where electricity is sporadic and costly, kerosene is the main source for cooking and heating. To identify the most vulnerable families, we went from house to house in 47 villages in the region to interview people about their needs.
Jassim’s wife Farida welcomed the Medair assessment team into their garden. After learning about their needs and lack of income, we registered them to receive basic household items during the distribution. In total, Medair distributed 1,953 kits in the Sinjar region during this project funded by EU Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid.
Beyond the numbers, a big part of Medair’s humanitarian work is connecting with people, listening to their stories, and offering practical and emotional support.
Farida told us about a chronic illness that she suffers from which requires medication; we made sure she knew about the free mobile Medair health clinic that visits Sinjar each week. Jassim told us he had been a day labourer in his village, usually construction or agriculture jobs, and that he provided for his family. “I was so happy in my life,” he said.
These past years have been very difficult for the family. “We have relied on people for everything,” said Jassim. “Even bread for our children.”
Jassim struggles to stay positive, but he told us that receiving assistance from Medair does offer a glimmer of hope. “We lost everything and we very much need the things you are giving us,” said Jassim. “We just always stay hopeful that things will get better and we can rebuild our lives.”
In Iraq, Medair provides vulnerable families with multipurpose cash, household and shelter items, health care, safe drinking water, latrines, and hygiene. With your support, we are helping people pick up the pieces and move forward as they recover from crisis in Iraq. Your gift makes this work possible. Join the journey today.
Medair’s work in Iraq is supported by the, US Agency for International Development, Swiss Solidarity, EU Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid, Slovak Aid (through Integral Alliance), and the generous support of private donors.
This content was produced with resources gathered by Medair field and headquarters staff. The views expressed herein are those solely of Medair and should not be taken, in any way, to reflect the official opinion of any other organisation.