This week, we will send the funds over to our contact in Erbil to give directly to Aram as planned. However, we will keep the campaign open where further donations will be sent to Jasmin of Damascus.
JOD is a volunteer grass roots organization located in Erbil whose mission is to help those affected by displacement and violent find simple happiness day to day. Whether it is planting trees, hosting bazaars or simply sending grand gestures of love and support through art, JOD is there to help.
Again, thank you for stepping out and helping a family in need!
Eric, Mohammed and Augar
Hello and AlSalaamu Aleykum!
We are Mohammed Abdulmajeed, Augar Khoshaba and Eric Young. We are all recent graduates from the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey . More than that, we are friends bound by a common purpose. We became friends because we are all either from or have served in Iraq and feel strongly about doing our part to help in anyway we can to improve the lives of those living in the worst areas of Iraq.
This project is simple: We are raising $3000 to support a displaced Iraqi family living in a tent-city in Erbil, Iraq for 3 months. More than just simple relief, this will empower them to get out of a tent and into a more stable environment, leading to better employment and freedom from destitution.
The campaign will go from February 14th to March 14th.
We know that there are more than a million displaced people in Iraq. Creating a fundraiser for just one family is difficult. We believe that if we can help one family at a time become stable, the country will be better off. This fundraiser is urgent for us because this family is SO close to being stable. We want to help them complete their transition.
Meet Aram and his family
Welcome to the Aram Family home…
The family has 8 members who live in this small tent in Erbil. They have been without real shelter for 6 months and are barely getting by. Several of Aram’s family are pictured above, while others did not feel comfortable being photographed.
The family has experienced major hardship. They are from the city of Qaraqosh, a Christian city recently overtaken by ISIS. The family was forcibly kicked out of their home and fled to Erbil. Aram is currently recovering from head surgery and his aging mother desperately needs medical care.
On top of this, there is not enough food, nor fuel to cook it so they all just go hungry. Aram does receive $300 from the school where he teaches, but this is far too small for the family to survive on.
This is where you come in.
How Much Do They Need?
Aram’s family needs $3000 to cover expenses for 3 months. This is enough to care for his family so that he can go and focus on employment and better housing. Because the family lives in solidarity with other families in the area, they will likely stay where they are and survive in place for the time being. Much of what they buy will more than likely be shared with neighboring families as Iraqi tradition calls for.
Thus, the money we are requesting will pay for:
o Cooking supplies
o Medical supplies
o School supplies
o Comfort items such as candy, cigarettes and toys
Of course, with the ability to purchase these items as needed, opportunities can then be more readily taken advantage of. Less time will go into acquiring these supplies and more time will go to finding better work, more stable housing and, of course, finally having a little peace in their lives!!!!
My interest in helping in any way possible in Iraq began when I got home from my last deployment to Iraq in 2007. Years of war and sanctions had tragically left many Iraqi people in a chaotic and desperate state of existence. Unfortunately, as a veteran of the Iraq War, I realized that I was part of the problem. I began my college experience vowing to in some way find a way to give back to Iraq - now is my chance.
I became great friends with my teammates here and found myself in a position to extend my efforts to Iraq. Discovering crowdfunding, I knew that the opportunity was right in front of me, which is what brings me here today. I feel that this mission to support one Iraqi family in Erbil is a noble cause worth the consideration of any and all who enjoy the luxuries of stable living.
Happiness for me is to see others happy, hence, I believe that is my mission in life. I studied in the US at Middlebury Institute of International Studies, CA, where I gained significant experience in the humanitarian field where I could find ways to help people and mitigate their harsh life. I left the US right after the militants captured Mosul, where I grew up, to help my family and others who are displaced. Experiencing how people live under these circumstances is far different from what we see and hear in the media sources. Meeting the displaced families and listening to their horrifying stories left me wonder how I could help!!
Having friends, like Eric, Augar and others, who share the same belief, encouraged me to accomplish my mission. To be the solution, we decided to use crowdfunding to reach out people and seek out their support. Now, I could see my mission achievable which is to draw back the smile on the displaced families’ faces, only with your help and support!!
What pushes me to engage in humanitarian activities in Iraq is the alarming number of internally displaced people, who strive daily to survive the toughest situations. Despite the government’s efforts to accommodate the urgent needs of those people, the recent security developments have made it difficult for the state to contain the magnitude of the crisis. For this very reason, it is time for me as an Iraqi to take action and contribute to the well-being of my fellow citizens.
My experience studying overseas exposed me to possible ways people in a community help each other overcome unfortunate incidents. Most significant of those mechanisms was crowdfunding, which I further explored with my two enthusiastic teammates here. Together, we explored cases where people’s lives were changed for the better. It has since become our goal to bring such positive experiences to Iraq.
How Can You Help??
This effort is made possible by people like you! Please help us make this happen by remembering to do the following:
· Like, Share and Comment as much as possible on Facebook !
· RT, Favorite and Mention us on Twitter !
· Refer us to those who would like to support this campaign!
· Of course, donations are greatly appreciated!
THE CAMPAIGN WILL BE LIVE FROM FEBRUARY 14th to MARCH 14th.
THANK YOU FOR YOUR TIME, CONSIDERATION AND SUPPORT! THE WORLD IS BETTER BECAUSE OF YOU!
- Keith Branch
- Keith Branch
- Michael Fratkin
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