Practical help for the Christians of Iraq
“How can we go back to our village when there are no jobs?” So said one of the refugees we met in February 2018. He and his family fled their home in Qaraqosh near Mosul in the middle of the night as the terrorist army of ISIS approached. They now live 400kms away in a portacabin at the Virgin Mary Refugee Camp in Baghdad. Their story has been repeated by many other families we have met, not only in Iraq but in Jordan where around 60,000 Christian refugees live at present. When we visited the Nineveh Plain in April and again in late July we heard from those who had bravely made the move back to their devastated homes and communities. They are courageous and resilient, but are struggling because they have no employment.
In response we have launched a unique initiative which will help the Christians get back on their feet. We have called this initiative: Nineveh SEED. This stands for ‘Sustainable Enterprise Economic Development’. It will include a range of programmes to revitalise the local economy and create jobs.
Some of the projects which we have so far discussed with local church and community leaders in the Nineveh Plain include:
- Deep water wells and linked irrigation systems for villages
- Greenhouses for market gardening businesses
- A fertiliser manufacturing business
- Business loans to re-establish enterprises destroyed by ISIS
- Construction materials / manufacturing including cement and tarmac
- Solar power
- Tourism initiatives (initially for the ‘alternative’ traveller)
Nineveh SEED Fund
We are also approaching governments and other major funders to finance this initiative and are developing detailed plans for specific projects. Please pray for our success in this.
We work with highly respected partners in the region, including the Syrian Orthodox, Chaldean Catholic, Syriac Catholic, and Armenian churches. However, funding is urgently needed to fully develop Nineveh SEED.
To support Nineveh SEED or any of our other projects, please visit the donate page (there are numerous options for how to donate) or send us a cheque made out to ‘FRRME’ to: FRRME, PO Box 229, Petersfield, Hants, GU32 9DL, United Kingdom.