My trip to Erbil
Day two of my trip to Erbil, Iraqi Kurdistan 30 November 2016 I visit the all Syrian refugee camp of Dar Shakran to view the work done by both men and women who participate in the Zhin sponsored sewing project.
There are 70 sewing machines here donated by IOM. Unicef has secured funding for a project allowing the refugees to receive payment for making school uniforms for the refugee children throughout the camps in the area. I was welcomed with great zeal by everyone I met here, all the women asked to take pictures and I felt the warmth of genuine love from them as they sewed uniforms with happiness.
There are 3000 families here or approximately 20,000 people. Many, if not all of these women were afraid of what would happen to their ability to make some money to provide enough food and receive medical care for their family once all the school uniforms were completed and the project money from Unicef was gone. They told me many months previous to my visit, the sewing machines sat idle as no project had received funding for sewing.
Their eyes were pleading as they told me how important this activity was, not just for the money they could always use for family needs, but because it provided something to do away from day-to-day life in a refugee camp.
I explained one reason for my visit was to look at their sewing activities as Bring Hope Humanitarian Foundation was actively looking to create sewing activities in other camps and also to reach out to those entities or individuals who could fund other sewing projects.
My experience here convinced me that these women and men were healthier and happier for having solid work and that feeling good about themselves was more valuable than any of “us” outside a refugee camp could even imagine