We are reaching people other charities are not

December

A new report by NPC, a charity think think, draws the conclusion that: “faith-based charities are an important part of the voluntary sector and wider society. They can reach groups other charities cannot.. and their values motivate them to help those who are most in need.” The final line of the report reads: “what matters is the impact they are having on the lives of those they seek to help.” We couldn’t agree more. A link to the report is at the bottom of this newsletter.

Accolades for our work in Iraq

As a UK-registered charity working on the front line in Iraq, we want to show you how your donations are helping. We do this through our weekly updates, social media posts, and thank you letters. With your help, Christian charity is making a positive impact in the region – we are feeding the displaced, sheltering the persecuted, educating the forgotten, and offering hope to the desperate. Last week, our work in Iraq received two accolades:

The above award was presented to Dr Sarah Ahmed, FRRME’s Director of Operations in the Middle East, in recognition of our work in Kirkuk where we have set up a school for children with special educational needs. FRRME also appeared on a World magazine list of 17 aid agencies which have established exceptional aid provision in Northern Iraq. It is thanks to you, our supporters, that our work in Iraq continues to have such a positive impact.

Providing for Iraqi Christian refugees in Jordan

As the battle for Mosul forces more Iraqi Christians to flee to Jordan, FRRME continues to ensure that these people are properly looked after. Last week in Amman we gave out 70 kerosene heaters and 100 blankets to families who have recently-arrived from the Nineveh Plain, much of which is still under Islamic State control.

As highlighted in a recent newsletter, many of these people fall through the cracks of the big aid agencies and international organisations, but with your support we are continuing to help them.

To access the NPC report, titled “What a difference a faith makes”, please click here.

How you can help

If you are a UK resident, you can make a single or regular donation via our website by clicking here.

American supporters can make a donation via our sister organisation, FRRME America, by clicking here.

Alternatively, you can make a donation to The Winter Crisis Appeal for Iraqi Refugees by clicking here.

Thank you,

The FRRME Team

Weekly Media Summary 2 December 2016

December

Each week we post a selection of recent online items where you can find out about the latest developments in the countries in which the Foundation for Relief and Reconciliation in the Middle East operates – Iraq, Jordan, Israel / Palestine.

This week’s Media Summary features news about the battle for Mosul; the refugee crisis in Jordan; and a mooted Palestinian unity government.

Iraq

Reuters: battle for Iraq’s Mosul could take months: ICRC

The Christian Times: ISIS says ‘If You Love Jesus, You Will Die Like Jesus’ as they force Christian family to watch crucifixion

Jordan

Al-Arabiya: Jordanian Instagram account gives Syrian refugees a voice

Reuters: At Zaatari camp supermarket, Syrian refugees shop with blink of an eye

Israel / Palestinian Territories

New York Times: Mahmood Abbas Proposes Palestinian Unity Government With Hamas

Christian Today: Christian Cemetery Vandalised In Israel

An update on our relief work in the IDP camps of Northern Iraq

December

Mosul
Since the battle for Mosul began last month, the UN estimates that 70,000 civilians have fled the city. Many of these people have spent two years living under the tyranny of Islamic State and have risked their lives to reach safety. Below is an update showing how your donations are helping us to help them.

New all-girls school in Harsham Camp

One of our new projects is an all-girls school in Harsham Camp north of Erbil. This short video from The Associated Press gives you some idea of what the camp is like. While conditions are tough, our new school will provide displaced girls with an education, which in turn will give them a sense of normality and, we hope, a better future. Given the crippling lack of education, particularly in Northern Iraq, we consider this an emergency project. Click on the below image to watch a short video clip of the school.

Click on the image to watch the video
Hot food kitchen in Debaga Camp

Approximately 30,000 people live in Debaga Camp south of Erbil, which is now one of the biggest IDP camps in Northern Iraq. The camp continues to fill up, with thousands more people expected to arrive as the battle for Mosul intensifies. Those who make it there have walked across mine-strewn battlefields and roads and are often in a state of semi-starvation when they arrive. In partnership with the Barzani Charity Foundation, we are feeding approximately 7,000 IDPs twice a day. The hot food we provide is often the first hot food they have eaten in weeks or even months.

Providing hot food for internally displaced people in Debaga Camp
IDP job creation in Baharka Camp

Baharka is a small camp north of Erbil, although its population has risen considerably in recent months. Tented accommodation is provided by the UN and the majority of the food needs are met by the World Food Programme. However, we supplement the food ration with additional items such as qishta (a type of Iraqi cheese) and fresh bread. In the process, we employ a handful of IDPs who help distribute this food. Job creation is vital as it helps create purpose and gives a small stipend to people who have nothing.

Our team of IDP relief workers in Baharka Camp
Front line relief in Khazir Camp

Khazir is on the outskirts of Mosul, Islamic State’s de facto capital in Iraq. Many of those who arrive at the camp haven’t eaten or drunk anything in days. Many arrive without winter clothes or shoes. The weather is starting to get worse in the region, with sub-zero temperatures possible. Our team in Khazir has been handing out water, food and shoes to the most vulnerable, an act of charity made possible by your continued support.

An Iraqi IDP girl collects qishta and bread from one of our food stations

If you would like to find out more about our work, please visit our website by clicking here, or our Facebook page by clicking here.

Thank you,

The FRRME Team

Weekly Media Summary 25 November 2016

November

Each week we post a selection of recent online items where you can find out about the latest developments in the countries in which the Foundation for Relief and Reconciliation in the Middle East operates – Iraq, Jordan, Israel / Palestine.

This week’s Media Summary features news about the suicide bombing in Baghdad which killed 77 Shia pilgrims; the refugee crisis in Jordan; and the fire started by Palestinian militants in Israel.

Iraq

BBC News: Shia pilgrims among 77 people killed in IS attack in Iraq

Reuters: Iraq readies force to storm flashpoint town near Mosul

Jordan

Reuters: In Jordan, a Syrian refugee camp withers

Christian Daily: Jordan’s King Abdullah II: Muslims must unite with Jews and Christians to defeat ISIS

Israel / Palestinian Territories

Independent: Israel fires: Al-Qaeda linked Palestinian militant group ‘claims responsibility’ for devastating Haifa blaze

Independent: Palestinians send four firefighting teams to help put out Israel wildfires

Living in no man’s land – an update on the Iraqi Christian refugees in Jordan

November

You may have read our interviews with Raed and Alen, two Iraqi Christians now living as refugees in Jordan. They belong to one of the oldest Christian communities in the world, a community which has lived in Iraq since Thomas the Apostle came to the region in the 1st century AD.

Modern day Amman, the capital of Jordan

Sadly, Christianity in Iraq has been in decline for decades and it is unlikely that Raed, Alen, or the thousands of other Christian refugees we are helping in Jordan will ever return to their ancestral homeland. It is simply too dangerous for them to go back.

While Jordan is relatively tolerant of Christians (around 2% of its population is Christian), the government does not permit Iraqi refugees to work, which means they cannot settle there. As a FRRME staff member who recently visited Jordan put it: “They cannot go back, they cannot go forward, they cannot stay where they are.”

Iraqi Christians in Marka (a suburb of Amman) queue for food vouchers, which we regularly provide

Iraqi Christians often fall between the major aid organisations and international support networks. While they are registered with the UN as refugees, they do not receive any support from the UNHCR (the aid branch of the UN). Consequently, Iraqi Christians are relying on the good will of fellow Christians.

FRRME is partnering with 8 churches in Jordan, including the Nazarene Church, Syrian Orthodox Church, and Greek Catholic Church. Together, we are feeding 3,000 Iraqi Christians every month. We are also funding a free health clinic in Sweifieh (a suburb of Amman) which serves an average of 200 patients a month.

Father Immanuel of the Syrian Orthodox Church (left) and Father Bolis of the Greek Catholic Church (right). Through our partnerships with them, FRRME is feeding 350 Iraqi Christian families every month

Many of the Iraqi Christians in our care would like to emigrate to The West where they would be safe but the only country that has opened its doors to them is Australia. Until their asylum applications are processed they are stuck in a no man’s land between their old life in Iraq and their new life free from religious persecution.

This is Alen, he has been in Jordan for two years waiting for his asylum application to be processed 

But with your help, the Iraqi Christians in our care are being well looked after. They have food, shelter and medical care. Their faith is strong and they are hopeful that things will get better.

Thank you,

The FRRME Team

 

Weekly Media Summary 18 November 2016

November

Each week we post a selection of recent online items where you can find out about the latest developments in the countries in which the Foundation for Relief and Reconciliation in the Middle East operates – Iraq, Jordan, Israel / Palestine.

This week’s Media Summary features news about Iraqi Christians returning to their villages following ISIS’ retreat; Jordan’s growing refugee crisis; and an Israeli Bill which seeks to legalise settlements in the West Bank.

Iraq

Christian Post: Iraqi Christians Returning Home to Worship in Churches Desecrated by ISIS

Rudow: Mayor warns of starvation in Iraqi town caught between ISIS and Shiite force

Jordan

Al Bawaba News: Jordan tops list of refugee host countries

Al Bawaba News: Increase in Jordan drug use linked to refugee influx, study shows

Israel / Palestinian Territories

Haaretz: Palestinians Blast Israel for Approving Bill to Legalize Settlement: ‘All Settlements Are Illegal’

The Guardian: Trump presidency bodes ill for Israel-Palestine peace process

Mosul crisis is an opportunity for Christians to help

November

We are continuing to partner with the Syrian Orthodox and Armenian churches in Northern Iraq, providing emergency relief to thousands of Christian IDPs. We are also continuing to support St George’s clinic in Baghdad, as well as 500 Iraqi Christian families in Jordan. In addition to this work, one of our big priorities at the moment is Mosul.

The people fleeing Mosul are terrified. They have been living under the tyranny of Islamic State for over two years. Many of them have suffered starvation, imprisonment, corporal punishment, and torture. Many have seen family members publicly executed – thrown from rooftops, beheaded, or crucified in the streets for non-crimes.

Those who are lucky enough to escape to internal displacement camps are completely disoriented. They don’t know whether they are going towards something better or worse. Reports of human rights abuses by Iraqi government forces have created fear among those fleeing. So who can these people turn to for help?

We must help the persecuted, whatever their creed, not just because it is right but because it will help facilitate peace in the region. Iraqi Christians want to rebuild their lives in their ancestral homeland but there needs to be a post-ISIS settlement where all religions can co-exist. By feeding Christians, Yazidis and Muslims alike, we are playing a key role in healing hearts and building trust between those who have been driven apart by war.

If you would like to support our mission in Northern Iraq please see the information and giving options below. Your help makes all the difference.

How you can help

If you are a UK resident, you can make a single or regular donation via our website by clicking here.

American supporters can make a donation via our sister organisation, FRRME America, by clicking here.

Alternatively, you can make a donation to The Emergency Appeal for Iraqi Refugees by clicking here.

Thank you,

The FRRME Team

Weekly Media Summary 11 November 2016

November

Each week we post a selection of recent online items where you can find out about the latest developments in the countries in which the Foundation for Relief and Reconciliation in the Middle East operates – Iraq, Jordan, Israel / Palestine.

This week’s Media Summary features news about the battle for Mosul; the plight of Christian Iraqi refugees in Jordan; and American / Israeli relations under a Trump presidency.

Iraq

Independent: Mosul: Isis shoots dead 40 civilians and ‘hangs bodies from electricity poles’

CBSNews: U.N. reveals fresh evidence of ISIS using chemical weapons in Iraq

Jordan

Christian Today: Christian Refugees in Jordan Have Little Hope of Returning Home to Mosul

The Jordan Times: King: Our homeland will remain united against terrorism

Israel / Palestinian Territories

Independent: Donald Trump victory means, ‘the era of a Palestinian state is over,’ Israeli minister says

Guardian: Trump has ‘every intention’ of recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital

 

Christian charity is feeding the displaced of Mosul

November

Islamic State has told civilians in Mosul that they will be executed if they try to flee the city. Those who stay, including women and children, are being used as human shields. Those who manage to get out are desperately trying to reach Khazir Camp on the outskirts of the city, where FRRME and other aid agencies are providing them with much-needed food and water.

The needs in Khazir are huge. Many have turned up barefoot. Our team on the ground has been quick to respond to this, giving out shoes to people on arrival.

We are also distributing food, including fresh bread and cheese. Many of the people we see haven’t eaten in days. This past week we have distributed 44,000 pieces of bread and cheese.

As ever, the children are a priority. We made sure this little boy had enough bread to properly feed himself.

And this little girl, who is carrying one of our emergency food packages, paid for by you.

The camp itself is run by the UNHCR but we are working alongside them to ensure the most vulnerable are fed.

FRRME is a Christian charity but we are helping all those who are suffering as a result of the war in Northern Iraq. If you would like to support our work, please see the giving options below.

How you can help

If you are a UK resident, you can make a single or regular donation via our website by clicking here.

American supporters can make a donation via our sister organisation, FRRME America, by clicking here.

Alternatively, you can make a donation to The Emergency Appeal for Iraqi Refugees by clicking here.

Thank you,

The FRRME Team

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Insights from Sarah Ahmed, Director of Operations
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