Clothing, Burgers, and Foosball: How You’re Helping Families Get Back on Their Feet in Iraq

Imagine you live in Iraq, and you just found out your husband was killed in the fighting. You are 35 years old and have three beautiful children. You not only have to grieve his loss but also now have the full burden of providing for your family. This is where Suha found herself not long ago.

But she is not alone in this struggle. You have come alongside with support and encouragement. You listened to her story, helped her take stock of her skills, and heard her ideas for a clothing store. Then you gave her a grant to buy inventory and open a shop with women’s and children’s apparel and accessories. She now lives in her brother ’s home and is embarking on a new chapter in life.

Your support is giving Suha real hope for the future.

Suha’s children in their mom’s clothing shop in Anbar Province, Iraq

This kind of coaching, relationship, and empowerment is essential to strengthen and rebuild communities after the fighting dies down in parts of Iraq and the long rebuilding effort begins. You didn’t wait for the dust to settle. For more than two years, you’ve given refugees and victims of war the opportunity to move from surviving to thriving—by believing in them. You’re helping them create sustainable lives, instead of seeing them as helpless victims.

Suha in the clothing shop she started with a Preemptive Love empowerment grant.
sisterhood soap

To date, you have helped create hundreds jobs across Iraq, impacting the lives of nearly 1,000 family members. They live in 11 different cities. Their new enterprises involve a variety of ideas and skills, from restaurants to bakeries, tailor shops to clothing stores, salons, and more. You started a preschool in Mosul and reopened a medical clinic that ISIS had shut down. You gave eight families new hope through an aluminum carpentry training program. Several of them are returning to their hometown to rebuild their homes and work for their neighbors.

In July 2017 alone, you helped launch seven new businesses, and our team spent 102 hours coaching grant recipients.

Your commitment to these families tells them they have worth, simply because of who they are—not because of what they do or what was stolen from them.

Here are a few of the stories you made possible this summer…

Karam feeds a neighborhood

Karam, 24, lives in Mosul. When his father died, it fell to him to care for his ailing mother and seven others in the family. Their home was destroyed, but Karam takes his responsibility seriously. He used his creativity and hard work to repair a damaged building so he could open a restaurant and juice bar in his neighborhood. His specialities are hamburgers and falafel. Neighbors flock to buy fresh juice on hot summer days.

Noor makes a safe place for kids

Noor lives in Mosul and struggled after ISIS killed her husband. Then her home was destroyed in fighting. What could she do to provide for her family? As Noor thought about what kind of business would succeed in a battle-scarred city, she took inspiration from her two children. How about a place for young people to gather and have fun, a safe spot to relax and be kids again? So she opened a game room filled with video consoles, foosball tables, and snacks. It is brimming with active, laughing kids, and it provides vital income for Noor and her family. Your generosity made this possible.

Thank you for walking beside Suha, Karam, and Noor as they rebuild their lives from the rubble of war. Your donations empower each of them, provide for their children, and bring hope to whole neighborhoods.