Iraq has seen decades of conflict and violence, which has left no corner of the country untouched. Families are all too often the casualties of these wars, and are forced to flee from their homes to escape danger. It is estimated that 2.6 million Iraqis have been forced from their homes but remain inside the country. 1.5 million of these displaced Iraqi and Syrian refugees have moved into the Kurdistan region of Iraq where 25% of the population is displaced. While there are camps and temporary settlements to house these refugees, overcrowding means that nearly 700,000 are living in informal settlements, and lack the access to sanitation, medical care and aid that can be provided in the formal camps. (source)
It's thought that there are 3 million people internally displaced in the country, almost one out of every ten are Iraqis. This is in addition to the 300,000 refugees living in Iraq who have escaped from other countries.
The value of having safe places for children in emergencies cannot be understated. They can restore a sense of normalcy and continuity for children whose lives have seen total upheaval and disruption. They have been shown to help protect children from harm, allow them a safe place to process what they have been through, and because the children are supervised, they also provide parents with valuable child-free time to earn a living, get supplies and alleviate stress. (source)
CRY is proud to support the Hope for Communities project that is meeting the needs of these communities. The centre offers a safe place for these children to meet and learn. They provide English Language classes (which have been requested by the community), as well as martial arts lessons, football and arts and crafts.
You can give directly to Hope For Communities, Kurdistan right now. It's really easy, and few quick clicks will help change lives.