Over the past few weeks, I have had the privilege of getting to know a refugee family from Iraq. They are four sisters who live in the Greater Portland area. Over a delicious meal of foods from their homeland, I got to know them and hear their story. It's one that I can't imagine living, and they have given me permission to share it with you.
They came with their parents to the US last summer (2016). In November, their mother returned to Iraq to take care of their grandmother who wasn't doing well. Tragically, their mother had a heart attack. Their father then returned to take care of her, leaving them in the United States on their own since March (2017). With the enormous difficulties navigating life in the US and with little support from the community, the sisters have decided to return home to take care of their mother and to be reunited with their family.
The tickets have been secured by a friend of theirs. Another friend and I have decided to start this fundraiser to help cover the cost of the tickets which is $4,719.72 plus the fundraising fees. They fly home mid-September (in order for the younger girls to start school on time); it would be really helpful to raise the funds by the time they depart.
Although it would seem best for them to remain in the States, I can't grasp what it must be like to be in their shoes. These young women are incredibly resilient and their perseverance has really inspired me. Yet I understand their desire to be with their parents, particulary with their mother who still is not doing well.
My hope is that you will join us in this effort to help them return home. Even if you cannot give, please keep them in your prayers. Also, please let me know if you have any questions. Thank you so much for your consideration!
- Colleen Kemp
Organizer and beneficiary
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