SICF Chairman Jonathan Webb announced today that SICF is launching an online Campaign of Love in partnership with “See Your Impact” to raise $30,000 by December 31, 2012, for healthy food, tutoring, and emotional care and love for orphans and street children in Iraq.
“Last November, with generous, loving support from people across the US, SICF successfully rescued a Street Children Center in Iraq that closed for lack of funds,” said Webb. “We started the year with 40 kids and increased it to 60. Partnering with See Your Impact is a huge boost to our efforts to mobilize resources to do this work.”
The stories of children who come to the Center are heartbreaking but as SICF President Maxwell Quqa pointed out, “With the care of devoted and trained Iraqi staff, the stories of these children are being rewritten with hope and love.” They get a healthy breakfast and lunch each day, tutoring in math and reading, and writing, time for sports and play, opportunities to do art, and learn life skills and values like honesty and teamwork. They also receive care from a social worker who visits the destitute homes where they live.
Their stories are like Zainab’s,* a young girl whose father was killed by terrorists in front of the family. The rest of the family was displaced and lived in extreme poverty. After Zainab’s mother and two brothers died from illness, Zainab remained the sole survivor of her family and lived alone with her aunt. The center took Zainab in and gave her special care. Although she had never attended school, she showed a strong desire to learn. Today, even though the center can’t begin to compensate for her loss, she has a new family at this place of safety and love.
Omar’s* story is filled with similar hardship. He is a young boy who begs on the streets. His father died three years ago and he now lives with a sister who cleans houses. Talking to Omar is like talking to an old man because he has already endured so much suffering and cruelty in his young life. His sister tried to stop him from coming to the center because he was not begging and bringing money home. She came to the center angry, ready to take Omar away. After she wept and talked about their hard life, the staff urged her not to make it harder for her little brother. Eventually they persuaded her to let Omar go to the center three days a week.
To sign up for “A Campaign of Love” to help the orphans and street children of Iraq, please go to the SICF page at “See Your Impact” (http://sicf.seeyourimpact.org/). Donate or – better yet – sign up for your own individual fundraising page. SICF will feature the winning fundraiser in a future newsletter!
*Not their real names or pictures for privacy and protection.