Shoes, Coats, and Toys Supply Christmas Cheer

There has been a risk of major military confrontation in recent days across Iraq, as you know. So we’re glad to bring you this more positive story from December. Gifts given for Christmas at the Bardarash Refugee Camp brought some much-needed Christmas cheer to the children living there and their families.

Bardarash Refugee Camp

Map showing the location of the Bardarash Refugee Camp, Northern Iraq

Bardarash Refugee Camp is part of the UN response to the recent influx of refugees from Syria into Iraq. It is home, along with another smaller site, to over 12,000 displaced people.

FRRME are supporting the children at the camp. We mentioned this in last week’s update . On 8th January a missile fired from Iran hit close to the camp. See this news video from CNN for more.

Christmas Gifts

Two female volunteers preparing Christmas gifts sat in the FRRME office, Erbil.
Volunteers prepare the gifts at the FRRME office, Erbil, December 2019

In December FRRME gave Christmas gifts to children in Bardarash Refugee Camp. With thanks from us all to Abdulrahman, our Iraq Programme Manager. We gave out presents at the camps with help from volunteers including Shirine from Sweden who kindly volunteered during her time in Northern Iraq.

Unlike many charities supporting refugees in Iraq, FRRME has an office from which to work on projects like this. The picture above shows the presents being prepared at the office. Below is Abdulrahman, the often unseen coordinator on the ground of these vital projects.

Abdulrahman in the FRRME office, Erbil

Abdulrahman says: “Three Volunteers and I travelled from Erbil to the Bardarash Camp which is located in Dohuk Governorate.”

“…the truck was full of dresses, coats, blouses, shoes, toys and medicines with us to distribute between refugee children and their families.” The team of volunteers spent most of the day there, initially liaising with the camp staff, then distributing the various supplies.

The medical supplies were distributed via the medical staff on site. The coats and presents saw many children and their parents queuing for the right moment to get their gifts.

Signs of love

The children’s toys, coats and shoes proved extremely popular. There was a real rush towards the end, with so many wanting to get access to the last few gifts. It is easy to forget just how little many thousands of displaced people are living on in these stark camps.

With UN supplies mainly focussing on food, water and sanitation, all vital, gifts like ours are few and far between. We believe that it’s important we continue to find ways to show small signs of compassion for people who have so little. They need to know they are valued as people and as families.

This of course, is just a very small part of our work in the region. The main focus of our response is now on our key development projects. Perhaps you have not yet heard of these ‘Nineveh Seed’ projects we are raising money for. You can find out all about Nineveh Seed here, or see last month’s update on the recently completed Chicken Farm project.

Please help us continue to support children like these

You can make a donation via our donate page (there are numerous options for how to donate). Alternatively, you can send us a cheque made out to ‘FRRME’ to: FRRME, PO Box 229, Petersfield, Hants, GU32 9DL, United Kingdom. American supporters wishing to make a donation can do so here