The refugee crisis is all over the news. You know that many are desperately trying to leave Iraq and Syria, hoping to find a better life in Europe. But millions more have fled homes, but are stuck, unable to leave and unable to go back to their towns because of fighting and aggression.
But life has to go on. Open Doors has been working to support those who have fled, finding themselves homeless, without income or food. When IS soldiers swept across the Ninevah plains in Iraq last August many Christian families fled to the safer north, finding refuge in In Ankawa, a district of the city of Erbil. Many are still there…
1. This is Ankawa, a district of Erbil, now home to thousands of Christians that fled homes across Iraq as IS soldiers approached their towns.
2. This is a shell of a building – effectively a block of flats that was never finished. This is now home to families from the Ninevah Plains and Mosul that have been displaced.
3. Families are sharing space, so a family will live in one room of an apartment. Several families might share a single apartment.
4. Families cook in the corridors of the building. There are no finished kitchens, but ovens and stoves have been provided.
5. Dinner time! This little girl carries her bowl of food back to her family’s room.
6. A little girl helps her mum do some clothes washing in the building’s shared washing facilities.
7. A little boy sings Christian songs as part of a lesson with other children. The classes take place in the same building where they currently live.
8. Play time! Children still need to have fun, and the vast building gives some scope for games and entertainment…
9. Volunteers help distribute food parcels and relief packs to the families living in the apartments.
Check out our Iraq and Syria appeal pages to find six simple, quick and easy things you can do to help families like those in these images. And please pray. Go through the pictures above again and spend a while praying for the people in each of the images. Ask God would give them strength, encouragement, healing and hope for a better future.
We support people who are beaten, tortured,
imprisoned, falsely accused, and hated simply for following Jesus.