It wouldn’t be easy-- as running from wars and terrorist pursuits never are. But when the family head and only provider has already lost a leg by a land mine in the Iraq/Iran war, fleeing ISIS from their hometown in Anbar Province, Iraq to Kirkuk and on to Kurdistan with a family of eight members in 2015 was seemingly impossible. A son, Jasem, 28 years old at the time, was brain-impaired from his youth and couldn’t walk or communicate clearly. To get from place to place at home he had to crawl.
By car, the 150 mile trip to Kirkuk would have taken three hours, but it took this family 72 hours on the road to get there, and then another 57 miles to go on to Erbil, Kurdistan where, in relative safety, they could seek shelter in the Hursham IDP camp. They have been existing there for five years now.
When Matthew Coley, Conscience International Program Director for Prosthetics and Rehabilitation, and our partners in Turkey (where we have established prosthetic clinics) heard about Jasem, they set to work. For one month they worked on design, production, and logistics and built an especially durable wheelchair meant to last twenty years. Then they managed to take the chair from Turkey to Iraq and get it across a heavily-guarded border in the midst of on-going conflict and safely delivered to Jasem, now 33 years old.
Jasem had never had a wheelchair before.
The family still struggles; his father, with only one leg, finds it difficult to provide for his large family, and suffers from depression. The struggle is even more difficult now that Covid-19 is reaching IDP camps.
But you can help refugees like this! In spite of the coronavirus, our teams and partners are accepting the risks and taking relief aids where they are needed most desperately. Please consider a tax-deductible donation in any amount on our website here so we can continue to help those who are underserved.
Or donate by mail:
Conscience International, P.O. Box 1163, Alpharetta, GA 30009 USA