December 2016 Delivery

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Two children pose with diapers given to their family.

In December, the Diapers for Refugees program delivered 160,000 more high-quality disposable diapers to the Ashti 2 refugee camp in Ankawa, Iraq. This marked the final delivery for 2016.

Earlier in 2016, the Diapers for Refugee program set a goal of delivering 640,000 diapers to Christian refugee families that have been ignored by the Islamic-run charities in the Middle East. Through your donations, the program successfully reached its goal.

In each delivery for March, June, September and December, 160,000 high quality diapers were distributed to Iraqi Christian refugee families, for a grand total of 6400,000. Disposable diapers are necessary because of the lack of facilities to clean cloth diapers in the camps. With prayer and help from Christians in the United States the program will continue in 2017.

While the Islamic State has been run out of the Nineveh Plain but Kurdish forces and Christian militia forces, these displaced Christians are returning to their homes to find their homes destroyed, churches vandalized and their personal items damaged or stolen.

William J. Murray stands outside a building in Qaraqosh that had been destroyed by IS militants.

William J. Murray stands outside a building in Qaraqosh that had been destroyed by IS militants.

When ISIS took control of the Nineveh Plain in 2014, Christians were given an ultimatum: convert to Islam, pay a tax, or die by the sword. Many Christians fled their homes taking absolutely nothing with them. They were forced to leave behind the luxuries they had known and live in basements of abandoned buildings or modified storage containers that aren’t equipped to keep warm during the winter.

There is a huge need for disposable diapers in these camps. The inability to wash reusable diapers, or old clothes used as diapers, had led to outbreaks of diseases and illness in children and families in the camps.

The Diapers for Refugees program started when William J. Murray, chairman of Religious Freedom Coalition, met with RFC’s Iraqi ministry partner and asked what the refugees were in most need of. The ministry partner explained how desperately mothers needed diapers for their families. In March of 2016, the Diapers for Refugees program made its first delivery of 160,000 diapers to displaced Christian families.

To find out more about the Diapers for Refugees program, click here.

What Christians are Finding In the Nineveh Plain

Christians who are now returning to their homes in areas of the Nineveh Plains liberated from the Islamic State’s control are finding chaos and destruction.

Church ruins in Qaraqosh

Church ruins in Qaraqosh

Sister Diana Momeka, a nun with the Dominican Sisters of Saint Catherine of Siena, ministers to those who have been displaced by ISIS: “(When) we went to see what happened to our hometowns, we could not believe the hatred and the revenge that ISIS has against us.”

After ISIS took control of the Nineveh Plain and other parts of Northern Iraq in 2014, thousands of Christians fled to Iraqi Kurdistan and lived in temporary housing that was usually unfit for the cold winter seasons. Many of these refugees had to rely on aid groups for their basic needs.

Towns in the Nineveh Plain were recently liberated from ISIS but left in ruins. Catholic News Agency reports: “Evidence of ISIS’s hatred and revenge was everywhere in the destruction of their homes. Graffitti on the walls of churches made threats like ‘we’re going to break your crosses’ and ‘you have no place with us.’”

“It’s a total mess… There was some hope to have a future… we feel that there’s no future left for the Christians. It’s kind of a sign for us, ‘you should leave, we’ve destroyed everything you have.’… We discovered so many of our documents and belongings at [our neighbor’s] places” said Diana.

Catholic News Agency reports:

“Many residents still face the struggle of rebuilding their homes and villages, reconciling with their neighbors, and establishing security. It is a race against time to rebuild their homes before everyone chooses to leave Iraq, said Father Benham Benoka, president of the Humanitarian Nineveh Relief Organization with which Diana works.

“So many families are leaving Iraq,” he told CNA. And the situation is even worse for those families who have left and are currently stranded in Lebanon, Turkey, and Jordan.

Christians in the region need housing, employment, education, and treatment for medical and mental health issues, and Benham’s organization is doing its best to provide for their needs. The relief organization has provided over 200,000 patients with free health care, as well as other types of aid.”

When the United States toppled Saddam Husain the new government installed received no guidelines to write a new constitution. As a result, Sharia was made the supreme law just like in Iran. The Iraq constitutions states in Article 2, “No law that contradicts the established provisions of Islam may be established.” The same article establishes Islam as the “official religion.” There are no real guarantees of freedom of religion for Christians.

After ISIS captured Mosul in June 2014, Christians from Qaraqosh, Mosul and other neighboring towns were given three choices: convert to Islam, pay a jizya tax, or die. By August of 2014, 50,000 people left Qaraqosh to seek asylum.

[su_button url=”http://diapersforrefugees.org/helping-christian-refugees/”]Babies of Iraqi Christian refugees fleeing the Islamic State need diapers – Please help![/su_button]

Christians faced greater oppression today than under Saddam Hussain. This is why Christians fled from Bagdad north to the Nineveh Plains and Kurdish areas. It is in these areas that our Diapers for Refugees and Christmas for Refugees program is operating.

A Christian refugee child poses with diapers at one of the seven different diaper delivery locations made possible through Diapers for Refugees.

The Diapers for Refugees program aims to send high quality disposable diapers to these Christian refugee families located in camps around Erbil. Families in these camps are dying from diaper rash because of the inability to wash cloth diapers with soap and clean water. Due to the lack of diapers, mothers are forced to use donated clothing as diapers for their children, which still can’t be cleaned properly.

With help from our donors, the Diapers for Refugees program gave nearly 300 families enough diapers to last for three months, totaling 160,000 diapers in the first shipment which took place in March 2016. In June of 2016, 160,000 more diapers were sent and distributed to families in the refugee camps located in Erbil. Our commitment for the remainder of 2016 is to provide these Christian refugee camps with diapers every three months, totaling 640,000 disposable diapers given to displaced Christian families.

The price of a single shipment of diapers ranges from $18,000 to $20,000 or 11 cents per diaper. These shipments are distributed by large truckloads to Christian refugee camps across Northern Iraq.

The Islamic State has declared war on Christianity too many times to count. Christianity is under attack and thousands of our Christian brothers and sisters are dying because of it. These Christian refugees need our continued prayers and support. Learn how you can help.

Christian refugee children bow their heads in prayer during one of our Christmas for Refugee programs.

Christian refugee children bow their heads in prayer during one of our Christmas for Refugee programs.

The Christmas for Refugees program helps displaced Christians from Iraq, Jordan and Lebanon that are being ignored by Islamic run charities. In 2013, 2014, Christmas events that included hot meals were served to Christian refugee children in Jordan and Lebanon. In 2015 the program was expanded to Christian IDP’s (Internally Displaced Persons) in Iraq who fled the Islamic State as the city of Mosul and Christians villages nearby were overrun. Much of the Nineveh Plain was also stolen from Christian families who fled to the Kurdish areas in the northeast. In 2016 the number of children served will be increased.

Christmas for Refugees is much more than one hot meal at Christmas. The many hours long program includes a warm place to stay for a day with Gospel themed plays and puppet shows along with games and traditional Christmas songs. Gospel themed coloring books and work books are supplied to the children and in some cases Arabic language picture Bibles. Each child takes home a gift box for themselves and their family. The gift box for each child’s family varies by area, even within the same nation. The family gift is a box of essential items including toothbrushes, toothpaste, hand soap, tissues, sponges, feminine hygiene items as well as dish and laundry soaps. Learn how you can help.

 

Looking Ahead

photo-2016-10-09-8-23-56-pmChristians face greater oppression today than under Saddam Hussain. Christian families in areas of Iraq controlled by the Islamic State were forced to flee their homes with infants in their arms and unable to take anything of value with them. These Christians who fled the Nineveh Plain and Mosul have little hope of returning in the near future and need our help. 

While gifts of food and donated clothes are often adequate, the need for diapers has been largely unmet. Some mothers have used donated clothing in place of cloth diapers due to the extreme need. However, the lack of clean water and soap to wash these diapers has led to outbreaks of disease in babies and their families.

The first truckload of diapers in March 2016 gave nearly 300 families a large supply of diapers. The second distribution that took place in June delivered a shipment of 160,000 diapers of different sizes at seven different locations.

The Diapers for Refugees program kicked off its third delivery of 2016 in September. This shipment of diapers was delivered to displaced Christian families in the Ankawa-Erbil area, where we have several distribution sites. Just like the previous deliveries, the diapers were distributed to those with the greatest need. This month’s shipment was delayed due to Dhū al-Ḥijja, a Muslim holiday, causing a delay in the delivery. 

Our goal is to provide high quality disposable diapers to over 300 Christian refugee families every three months in areas where cloth diapers cannot be cleaned and reused.

Since the start of the program nine months ago, we have reached our goal of delivering 640,000 high quality diapers to displaced Christian families in the Middle East. Our 2017 commitment is another 640,000 diapers delivered to displaced Christian refugee families in Northern Iraq.

Currently the Diapers for Refugees program is delivering 160,000 diapers of five different sizes every three months although monthly deliveries are planned funds permitting. The cost of a single shipment is $18,000 or just 11 cents each. As the Diapers for Refugees program is aided at Christians who have been declared victims of genocide by the United Nations, the United States and the European Union. All funds must be privately raised as officially the displaced Iraqi Christians are not considered refugees as long as they still reside in Iraq, even though they have been forced from their homes, have no jobs, and entire families live in single rooms or in tents.

The diaper program has been very uplifting because we are literally changing lives with the program. Babies who were in pain with rashes and open sores, or who had no diapers at all, can now play and sleep in clean safe diapers. The mothers know other Christians care about their families. We would like nothing better than to continue the Diapers for Refugees program and expand it to more displaced Christian families in Iraq. Learn how you can help.

 

Many Iraqi Christians Unable to Return Home for Christmas

Inside the Church of the Immaculate Conception in Qaraqosh, Iraq, on 30 October 2016. The town of Qaraqosh was freed by NPU (Nineveh Plain Unit) after two years of ISIS occupation. (Photo by Joseph Galanakis/NurPhoto) Posted with permission

Inside the Church of the Immaculate Conception in Qaraqosh, Iraq, on 30 October 2016. The town of Qaraqosh was freed by NPU (Nineveh Plain Unit) after two years of ISIS occupation. (Photo by Joseph Galanakis/NurPhoto) Posted with permission

Many Christian residents of towns surrounding Mosul that have been liberated from Islamic State’s control have started returning home only to find their homes booby-trapped, in ruins or uninhabitable.

In August of 2014, the Islamic State drove many religious minorities, including Christians and Yazidis from their homes in order to establish their caliphate. Since then, these religious minorities have been subjected to persecution and genocide at the hands of ISIS.

Thus far, the villages of Bashiqa, Bartella, Karamles, Qaraqosh and Tellisqof have been recently liberated from the Islamic State but the Nineveh Plains Units, the Christian militia; and Iraqi Special Forces, but many of the villages were left completely destroyed.

According to FoxNews.com: “In some towns, most of the infrastructure has been reduced to rubble; in others, dangerous chemical compounds have been dumped, polluting the ground. But what all the places have in common is that they are unsafe and nearly impossible for those who fled to return anytime soon.”

One Assyrian from Bashiqa told FoxNews.com, “It’s a catastrophe. We are hearing that the situation at Bashiqa ia terrible… [ISIS] has destroyed it all…. We hope to return with everyone here. God willing, we will return soon.”

An Assyrian from the Village of Karamles said: “Everything is damaged… Houses have been burned by fire. There’s no water, no anything. People will only return if there is some sort of promise of protection.”

Many homes in these villages were either burnt to the ground or looted when Islamic State militants abandoned them.

William Murray next to entrance of one of the modified containers used as an office. In some cases these are used as homes for refugees. This is a 20-foot model that is near completion. A 40-foot model is also being prepared.

William Murray next to entrance of one of the modified containers used as an office. In some cases these are used as homes for refugees. This is a 20-foot model that is near completion. A 40-foot model is also being prepared.

Robert Nicholson, the executive director of the Philos Project, told FoxNews.com: “The damage to these villages is hard to overstate. In one last act of vengeance, ISIS made sure that returning Assyrian families would find their homes and business shot full of holes, rigged with mines and utterly demolished.”

Nicholson, and many others, believe rebuilding the Nineveh Plain will take years.

Christians face greater oppression today than under Saddam Hussain. This is why Christians fled from Baghdad north to the Nineveh Plain and Kurdish areas. It is in these areas that our Diapers for Refugees and Christmas for Refugees program is operating. We are currently in the process of planning ways to expand our Christmas for Refugees program to incorporate other towns that have recently been liberated from the Islamic State’s control.

Religious Freedom Coalition sponsors two programs specifically for helping Christians facing persecution in the Middle East, specifically those who fled from the Nineveh Plain.

The Diapers for Refugees program aims to send 160,000 high quality disposable diapers to these Christian refugee families located in camps around Erbil every three months. Families in these camps are dying from diaper rash because of the inability to wash cloth diapers with soap and clean water. Due to the lack of diapers, mothers are forced to use donated clothing as diapers for their children, which still can’t be cleaned properly.

Christmas for Refugees program helps displaced Christians from Iraq, Jordan and Lebanon that are being ignored by Islamic run charities. In 2013, 2014, Christmas events that included hot meals were served to Christian refugee children in Jordan and Lebanon. In 2015 the program was expanded to Christian IDP’s (Internally Displaced Persons) in Iraq who fled the Islamic State as the city of Mosul and Christians villages nearby were overrun. Much of the Nineveh Plain was also stolen from Christian families who fled to the Kurdish areas in the northeast. In 2016 the number of children served will be increased.

Please pray for the Christmas program this year and the safety of the children.

September and October 2016 Diaper Delivery to Displaced Christian Families in Iraq

A group of women pose with their children after receiving their diaper supply.

A group of women pose with their children after receiving their diaper supply.

The Diapers for Refugees program kicked off its third delivery of the year a few weeks ago. This shipment of diapers was delivered to displaced Christian families in the Ankawa-Erbil area, where we have several distribution sites. Just like the previous deliveries, the diapers were distributed to those with the greatest need. This month’s shipment was delayed due to Dhū al-Ḥijja, a Muslim holiday, causing a delay in the delivery. 

A little girl stands with her diapers.

A little girl stands with her diapers.

Currently the Diapers for Refugees program is delivering 160,000 diapers of five different sizes every three months although monthly deliveries are planned funds permitting. The cost of a single shipment is $18,000 or just 11 cents each. As the Diapers for Refugees program is aided at Christians who have been declared victims of genocide by the United Nations, the United States and the European Union. All funds must be privately raised as officially the displaced Iraqi Christians are not considered refugees as long as they still reside in Iraq, even though they have been forced from their homes, have no jobs, and entire families live in single rooms or in tents.

The diaper program has been very uplifting for me because we are literally changing lives with the program. Babies who were in pain with rashes and open sores, or who had no diapers at all, can now play and sleep in clean safe diapers. The mothers know other Christians care about their families. I would like nothing better than to continue the Diapers for Refugees program and expand it to more displaced Christian families in Iraq. Please pray with me that we will have funds for another shipment of diapers to families in Iraq in December. Learn how you can help.

 

Gearing up for September 2016 Delivery

Our Diapers for Refugees program is gearing up to deliver our third shipment of high quality disposable diapers to Christian refugee families in September. The aim of our program is to provide 160,000 disposable diapers every three months to Christian families who were forced to leave their Photo 19-03-16 8 45 28 AMhomes to avoid persecution from radical Islamic terrorist organizations such as the Islamic State.

These diapers are desperately needed because of the lack of soap and clean water in refugee camps, and as a result, children and their families are dying of diaper rash from the reuse of dirty cloth diapers. Each shipment of diapers helps over 300 Christian refugee families in Iraq.

These shipments are distributed by large truckloads to refugee centers and camps across northern Iraq. However, prices are volatile in war time situations and vary a great deal just based on which roads are open and the safest to use.  

The cost of a single shipment of diapers ranges from $18,000 to $20,000, or 11 cents per diaper. We have almost met our goal, but still need $8,000 more to send out the shipment next month. We need your continued prayers and support in order to help these families. Learn how you can help.

Diapers For Refugees – Update 3-18-16

diapers for refugees - unloadingWhen our Iraqi ministry partner visited Washington in February, we talked about expanding the Christmas program and about current needs of the refugees. He told me at the time that while Americans think to send clothes and food, what babies really need are diapers. He described the need as desperate.

The first week of March we delivered a 30-foot truck load of new high quality diapers to the ministry warehouse in Ankawa, Iraq. Within days, families in need were registered and the distribution began. As I visit with congressmen and Senators on Capitol Hill I will remind them of the suffering of these Christian families that has come about because of a Sunni inspired war against the Syrian government – a war which to this day the Obama Administration supports. The misery of these families affects me deeply when I am in Iraq.

William J. Murray
Chairman
Religious Freedom Coalition

Iraqi Christians Lose Faith in Trump

IMG_0749Many Iraqi minorities, Christians in particular, supported Donald Trump in his fight for the presidency, especially with his promises to put an end to ISIS and to make those suffering from genocide a priority. However, Trump’s recent executive order that banned immigration for 90 days from seven countries, including Iraq, has left many Iraqis wondering where Trump’s priorities lie.

Al-Monitor sat down with Iraqi Christians to find out their thoughts on the executive order. Rabie Patros Younis, a deacon and Christian community activist in al-Qosh, said: “To be honest, Iraq used to be full of Christians. After 2003, we Christians started to get the idea that we have no place in the region,” referring to the violence that hit religious minorities especially hard after the 2003 US-led invasion.

Younis continued on to say: “We’ve been waiting for someone to come change our reality. Since 2003, it’s only gotten worse… Trump was against extremism. Obama spoke against it, but in eight years, things only got worse. So Trump said he would change that.”

According to al-Monitor, many Iraqi Christians are questioning their support for Trump because the immigration ban leaves Christians in Iraq with one less place to seek out for safety.

“It was just hope. If we feel the situation changing for the better, then we can say, ‘Trump is the right person for the job.’ We’re waiting. Right now we don’t have trust in anybody.”

For another al-Qosh resident, Yosef Qasyanon, Trump’s executive order blocked his departure from Iraq just as he was about to join his family in the US. Qasyanon told al-Monitor: “I went through the visa process! I was hoping to go to America. The process was under the [Special Immigrant Visas for Iraqis] program. But everything has stopped now because of that order.”

Al-Monitor reported:

Qasyanon said that communities were becoming more ethnically segregated, noting that these days he only feels comfortable among fellow Christians from al-Qosh. Threats from jihadist groups like IS, tensions with neighbors, and land seizures in areas under Kurdish control have all contributed to the continuing sense of insecurity among his community.

Although Qasyanon appeared to approve of Trump’s aggressive attitude, his disappointment with Trump’s ban runs deep. “Trump makes things happen,” Qasyanon said, noting that Trump was keeping his promise to push through certain policies during his first days in office. “I had an application, I did an interview, and I had a visa. This isn’t just a ban on Muslims. This is a ban on everyone.”

Qasyanon was resigned when asked whether he would try to appeal his case for travel. He said there was nothing else to do except wait for a change in policy.

As for the Christian community across northern Iraq, Qasyanon remarked that their numbers were dropping precipitously on the Nineveh plain. “You know, we shrank from one and a half million in Iraq to no more than 300,000 now,” he asserted. “It was security that pushed them to go, despite the fact that they had houses, salaries, enough money to put in the bank.”

Qasyanon added, “If the security situation improved, the [Christians] would stay. But ever since Daesh [IS] came, everything has changed.”

To read the rest of the article, click here.

While the Islamic State has been run out of the Nineveh Plain but Kurdish forces and Christian militia forces, these displaced Christians are returning to their homes to find their homes destroyed, churches vandalized and their personal items damaged or stolen.

There is a huge need for disposable diapers in these camps. The inability to wash reusable diapers, or old clothes used as diapers, had led to outbreaks of diseases and illness in children and families in the camps.When ISIS took control of the Nineveh Plain in 2014, Christians were given an ultimatum: convert to Islam, pay a tax, or die by the sword. Many Christians fled their homes taking absolutely nothing with them.

They were forced to leave behind the luxuries they had known and live in basements of abandoned buildings or modified storage containers that aren’t equipped to keep warm during the winter.

Nazarene_Pin_Ad_300pxThe Diapers for Refugees program started when William J. Murray, chairman of Religious Freedom Coalition, met with RFC’s Iraqi ministry partner and asked what the refugees were in most need of. The ministry partner explained how desperately mothers needed diapers for their families. In March of 2016, the Diapers for Refugees program made its first delivery of 160,000 diapers to displaced Christian families. In December 2016, the Diapers for Refugees program reached our goal of delivering 640,000 high quality disposable diapers to Christian families in need. 

For every donation given in February, you will receive a free Nun pin as a gift. Thank you for your support. 

To find out more about the Diapers for Refugees program, click here.

June, 2016 Diaper Delivery to Displaced Families In Iraq

By William J. Murray – Program Director

Our Diapers for Refugees project in Iraq conducted our second distribution of the year this month.  This shipment of diapers was  delivered to IDP Christians in the Ankawa – Erbil area in northern Iraq. As before, the diapers were distributed to those families with the greatest need. Ankawa is an almost 100% Christian city next to Erbil, the population of which has doubled since the fall of Mosul and the Nineveh Plains to the Islamic State. Most of the families live in single rooms not the mostly middle class homes they were driven from.

Diapers distributed to young Christian mothers at one of seven locations in northern Iraq. A total of 160,000 diapers were delivered

Diapers distributed to young Christian mothers at one of seven locations in northern Iraq. A total of 160,000 diapers were delivered

Pictured at right is distribution at Al Amal center in Ankawa.  Al-Amal Hope Center for the Displaced People of Nineveh is the official name of the building above. The several story structure was intended to be a hotel, but construction was stopped as the Islamic State came close to the city in 2014. The shell of the building is now used as a camp for displaced Christians who live on five different floors of the building.

During June in total there were 160,000 quality diapers of various sizes distributed to the displaced Christian families with infants and toddlers at seven different locations. Because of a lack of hot water and washing machines as well as an acute power shortage in the region cloth diapers for the time being are not a good option. 

Al-Amal is one of the locations where our Christmas programs were held for Christian children in 2015. We will once again host Christmas programs for as many as 2,000 children of displaced Christian families, mostly from the Nineveh Plains again this year. The Christmas programs bring hope to the single most persecuted group of people in the world today. 

One of many young women who received a very welcome supply of diapers.

One of many young women who received a very welcome supply of diapers.

The Diapers for Refugees Program is are currently distributing five different sizes. Many women receiving diapers expressed their thanks and said it was a blessing from the Lord to have them.

Currently the Diapers for Refugees program is delivery 160,000 diapers every three months although monthly deliveries are planned funds permitting. The cost of a single shipment is $18,000 or just 11 cents each. As the Diapers for Refugees program is aided at Christians who have been declared victims of genocide by the United Nations, the United States and the European Union. All funds must be privately raised as officially the displaced Iraqi Christians are not considered refugees as long as they still reside in Iraq, even though they have been forced from their homes, have no jobs, and entire families live in single rooms or in tents.

The diaper program has been very uplifting for me because we are literally changing lives with the program. Babies who were in pain with rash and open sores, or who had no diapers at all, can now play and sleep in clean safe diapers. The mothers know other Christians care about their families. I would like nothing better than to continue the diapers for refugees program and expand it to more displaced Christian families in Iraq. Please pray with me that we will have funds for another shipment of diapers to families in Iraq in September. Learn how you can help.

Diapers For Refugees – Update 5-20-16

We have scheduled the next delivery of diapers in Iraq for June. Right now I can’t release the exact date, as we are still negotiating price and security issues with the supplier. Your prayers are needed. Prices are very volatile in a war time situation. Prices can vary a great deal just based on which roads are open. If a truck that normally takes a two-hour direct route has to travel five or six hours out of the way and have a guard on board, the price can change. If a warehouse cannot be restocked, that causes a change in price as well.

Photo 11-03-16 3 15 49 PMThe first week of May the Kurdish forces and allied Christian militias held the line against Islamic State, but the defense was penetrated north of Mosul. Some Islamic State fighters were able to get about 100 miles inside Erbil Province but not into the city. An American special forces fighter, a Navy Seal, was killed in the fighting. If the Islamic State had been able to hold the road they captured, the route for our diaper shipment from Dohuk would be cut off.

The Navy Seal killed was Special Warfare Operator 1st Class Charles Keating IV. This was his third tour of duty in Iraq, and that alone is an indicator of how thin American forces are. President Obama uses Special Warfare fighters where major land forces should be operating. Our men were outnumbered almost ten to one and still managed to kill over 100 of the Islamic State fighters. The shame of Keating’s death is that money from Saudi Arabia and weapons from the United States birthed the ISIL, or Islamic State, to start with.

Please pray for protection of the people of Erbil, and that the road from Dohuk to Erbil is not cut off by the Islamic State again.

Virtually all aid supplied to displaced Christians in Iraq is furnished by Christian groups, while aid from secular organizations goes primarily to Muslims.

William J. Murray, Chairman

Diapers For Refugees – Update 4-22-16

There are just some things people don’t talk about when it comes to personal sanitation. Diapers for example, are not mentioned much in American culture. Who wants to hear about the dirty diapers of someone else’s kid? In the Middle East diapers are never mentioned, which is Photo 14-03-16 2 04 25 PMwhy the great need for them among Christian refugee families has been overlooked for so many years.

This is what I found out after learning of the need and investigating further. Mothers are using what are essentially rags for their babies. Anything from cut up old sheets and shirts, to the rags that are sold to polish cars. These are not the absorbent cloth diapers that are made for the purpose, so they often leak. Most of these makeshift diapers are washed out by hand in cold water, many times without any soap. Having a place to dry them can also be a difficult issue.

My first response was to try and supply cloth diapers until the realization hit me that in most cases there was no way to properly wash out the cloth diapers, and children would still get bad rashes and perhaps illness from them. In places where hot water is available we will furnish some cloth diapers, but for now the disposable type are most in need.

More than diapers: There are some other items that are also not talked about publicly but which I discovered are needed, such as women’s sanitary products. (Sorry men, but I just have to mention this.) These are expensive and needed. Also, there are some elderly and disabled people among the refugees, women in particular for some reason, who require adult diapers.

The Diapers for Refugees program is not yet mature. It took three years to build a network in three nations to provide thousands of children with a Christmas program and food for their families. Programs can’t be built overnight. Delivery and distribution has to be ironed out. Once a family is in this program we want to keep them in it until they can afford to buy diapers or the child no longer needs them. We just can’t pass them out willy-nilly. We have begun work on a specific Internet site for the program that will be available at www.Diapers4Refugees.org that will have reports and a photo gallery but that takes time to build as well.

William Murray
Chairman
Religious Freedom Coalition

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