Conscience International Teams in Iraq

Nurse Marilyn Gardner treats a patient in a mobile clinic, serving refugees in Northern Iraq

Middle East Program Director Cliff Gardner and his wife, Marilyn, a registered public health nurse, took medical supplies along with their field expertise and nursing skills to offer helping hands in a mobile clinic serving IDPs (Internally Displaced Persons). Their aid was welcomed by local primary health care facilitators in northern Iraq, who daily face the overwhelming crunch of patients with health, hunger, and emotional problems due to the threat of ISIS and the anger of war. Some of their personal and fascinating stories of what they observed there can be found on Marilyn's blog at

Other team members worked elsewhere. In Ain Kawa, northwest of Erbil, Tina Bailey, a trauma counselor and Conscience International volunteer, joined our overseas group to help young people find their voice and solace through art therapy. Using words and artistic freedom, they expressed their inward feelings and moods since being forced from their homes when ISIS captured Mosul and Qaraqosh in August, 2014. More than 120 young people took part in the program, encouraged and aided through the trauma of displacement that has interrupted their lives in unimaginable ways.

Iraqi youth receive certificates for completing trauma therapy counseling and express their feelings through words and art therapy

I do not want to immigrate again” (with a drawing of tear drops)

“Future is unknown to me.”

“I feel sad, worry,  scared.”

“Sometimes I feel as if I’m holding the difficulties of life...”

“I miss my bedroom.”