The One Enemy Line We Won’t Cross

We have a confession to make.

We’ve been the “love across enemy lines” people for nearly a decade—we know. Together, we’ve built a coalition of peacemakers across the globe who believe that to make lasting change in this world we must #lovefirst and #loveanyway.

Friends, can we be frank?

We’ve found an enemy line we just can’t cross.

Displaced families living in desert camps in Iraq deal with all kinds of threats. Most are easy to identify, though not always easy to avoid. But there are enemies that sneak into tents unseen, that thrive off the difficult living conditions. They literally crawl into bed with children, women and men—and cause misery.

These enemies need to be exterminated. 

Scabies. And lice.

Bet you’re starting itch just reading those words.

Head louse (Photo courtesy Gilles San Martin / CC BY-SA 2.0)

Hot tents, extremely close quarters, few facilities in which to bathe, few clothes to wear, and night after night of families sleeping wall-to-wall stacked up like cord wood—these are terrible conditions for people to live.

But unfortunately, they are the perfect conditions for scabies and lice to thrive and spread.

Lice make life difficult—and doubly so in a culture where people who value cleanliness so highly. But scabies, which burrow into the skin where they live and feed, not only causes unbearably itchy rashes; they increase the risk of other infections.

Scabies mite (Photo courtesy Laboratorio Diagnostica Ancona IZSUM / CC SA 2.0)

For a little context, imagine it’s the hottest part of summer and your family is camping. You left unexpectedly, so you didn’t pack anything. You’re sleeping in a borrowed 8-man tent… except there are 14 of you.

Now imagine that all of you are infested with lice and scabies—and you have NO MEANS to clean yourselves or your clothes, and no medication to kill the scabies. And you have no choice but to live this way for who knows how long.

Friends, we’re sending out an army to deal with this enemy. Life in displacement camps is difficult enough without the agony of lice and scabies, which can lead to poorer health for vulnerable people.

Our teams are visiting camps, providing education, de-stigmatizing the issue, and offering generous amounts of cleaning supplies to prevent outbreaks.

Love anyway? Yes. Except when it comes to scabies and lice. 

Stay tuned tomorrow to hear how you’re not just bringing relief and better health to displacement camps in Iraq, but you’re empowering displaced parents at the same time!