Fighting Disease and Empowering Refugees at the Same Time

There are tens of thousands of families living in the temporary shelter of tents, displaced by ISIS and the war to oust the militant group from Iraq. The conditions in these tents are terrible for humans, but perfect for the spread of scabies and lice.

Camps across Iraq are facing an outbreak of these pests in the summer heat, which not only makes life miserable, but also leaves people vulnerable to infection.

After providing food and water to those who were starving for so many months, you sent out teams trained to take on these tiny parasites. You provided education, cleaning supplies, and an incredible opportunity to empower people in one of the unlikeliest settings imaginable.

Here are two ways you managed to do all that while fighting scabies and lice:

1. In the camps where we deliver kits, everyone gets trained on how to protect themselves from infection.

In separate classes for children, women, and men, residents learn everything they need to know to rid their families of vermin, and how to prevent their spread. Families receive printed materials, so they don’t have to remember everything from the training sessions to be successful.

Wait, it gets better!

Some of the team heading out into the camps are medical students, themselves displaced by ISIS—students who you helped earlier this year. You furnished dorm rooms, so they could return to their studies and not lose out on promising careers.

kinsman soap

As part of their education, these students received additional training on washing practices, infestation identification, and management practices in camp settings. Now they are investing their learning directly in the camps and helping other displaced families. At the same time, they are gaining practical, hands-on skills that will give them a leg up as they return to medical school and go on in their practices.

2. Every family receives a kit containing a generous amount of cleaning materials and supplies—including some pretty remarkable soap. 

We’ve heard back from our partners that camp managers are thrilled by the kits you are providing—in part because the quantities of supplies are generous enough for big families.

Tents in displacement camps are packed with extended families. It is essential that everyone living in each tent be treated at the same time, in order for the treatment to be effective. Skimpy hygiene kits won’t stretch far enough to allow families to get on top of the situation, leaving them still infested and frustrated.

The hygiene kits you provide are comprehensive enough to take care of the large number of people living in each tent, providing real relief.

But it gets even better!

Each kit includes soap, hand-milled by our own soapmaker friends! The same men and women who fled ISIS two years ago, who are rebuilding their lives thanks to you—they’re making the soap that will help those fleeing now.

You are equipping displaced Iraqis to help each other in practical, tangible ways… while at the same time, they’re able to continue growing their businesses.

This is the way you empower communities here in Iraq. Health, practical skills, employment—your donations are high-impact!

Thank you!