Shocking Need in Iraq For Special Needs Diapers Even For Young People

Why so many? Why is there such a horrific need for adult special needs diapers in Iraq?

One of the reasons for the need is physical injuries suffered during 18 years of continuous war in Iraq.

I have previously I told the story of Intesar (38), a paralyzed mother of two who receives adult diapers from our Diapers for Refugees program. She was paralyzed when hit by crossfire between American troops and Islamic State terrorists.

But cases like hers do not explain the large number of young people born with neurological disorders and other issues the last 10 to 15 years that cause them to need diapers the rest of their lives.

I am beginning to understand the cause and it is not going to go away.

Many of those born with neurological problems have high levels of uranium and thorium in their bodies. Some close to American bases have radiation levels in their teeth 28 times greater than normal. A lot of the ammunition we used in Iraq, Syria and Afghanistan was made out of depleted uranium.

“Depleted” sounds safe, but there is no such thing as uranium that is not radioactive. Even the raw ore coming from the ground is radioactive.

But there is a bigger issue. Chemically, uranium causes the same problems that lead does.

Uranium mines are not safe and mining companies take steps to protect workers. Safeguards are mandated by the Federal government. The state of Virginia has the largest reserves of uranium in the nation and will not allow mining because of the dangers.

A mining association report says that uranium ore “…has chemical toxicity similar to lead, so occupational hygiene precautions are taken similar to those in a lead smelter.”

In other words, the uranium can cause the same neurological damage as lead even if it was not radioactive, which it is. Yes, it is a small amount of radiation. The problem is the length of exposure. Children near American bases and in areas where there was heavy combat are showing the signs of neurological damage.

I am not judging the kind of ammunition our military forces use in Iraq or elsewhere. I am no expert on what is effective. All I know is that we need a lot more diapers for special needs children.

In the middle of preparations for the Christmas for Refugees program I can’t work on the special needs’ diapers program … but I promise you I will beginning in January. This problem is not going to go away.

There are many elderly who did not receive proper medical care during the last two decades who now require diapers. There are many middle-age and young who were injured in bombings and shot by the Islamic State. Then there are the younger ones that break my heart because they will never have normal lives.

The suffering of these younger Iraqi Christians is not abstract for me. My wife Nancy and I have been in their homes. We have prayed with them and we have promised them help. I intend, with the help of the Lord, to keep my promise to them.

Program Update

Diapers often increase the overall quality of life for elderly and special needs Christian refugees.

Special needs adult diapers: I received the first request for adult diapers in 2018. Our team had been so centered on the babies and toddlers and their needs that the idea of adult diapers had never been considered.

I did not think there would be a big demand for the adult diapers. I was wrong!

The percentage of older adults with special needs for diapers is far higher than in the United States because of the lack of medical care during war time. Infections that could have been cured caused damage that could never be undone.

Until I talked to some of those receiving the adult diapers, I did not understand how much lives were changed for the better by them. In many cases it is a matter of being able to sleep through the night. There were tears in the eyes of one man who told me how his life was changed by having the diapers. He told me he could sleep on a mattress for the first time in years!

The budget for the adult diapers just keeps growing and we are not even dealing with a large population. We are only supplying the needs of the Christian community on the Nineveh Plain. Our entire operation in Iraq is within 200 square miles. Our ministry partners in Jordan have been asking for assistance with the adult diapers as well. Again, the problems were mostly caused by lack of medical care. In Jordan the medical care was not available because of money. All the Iraqi and Syrian Christians are there illegally as refugees, and are not allowed to work. Most of those have no homes to go back to.

I do not want this ministry in the situation where we are able to do something one time and then never again. Promises should not be made if they that cannot be kept. We have been able to begin a small Diapers for Refugees program in Jordan targeting mostly elderly with special needs. The budget for 2019 is set, but we will try to do more in 2020.

While many Christian refugee families are unable to fully provide for their children, the government and other global organizations do not provide support.

Babies still need diapers: It is just not right to ask a young married couple to not have children because they are refugees through no fault of their own, but that is exactly what the United Nations and USAID expects. The United Nations, USAID and the EU hand out condoms and birth control pills.

If the young families are expected to hold off having children until the society in Iraq and Syria is back to “normal” economically, then they will never have children. It will take Iraq at least 50 years to recover from the 2003 invasion; the uprising against the US occupation and then the war with the Islamic State.

Although it is no longer in the news, there is still fighting going on in Iraq. There are still pockets of the Islamic State (ISIS) and al-Qaeda.

Click here to help provide diapers to Christian Refugees in need!

Rayan: The Stories of Those We Support

Rayan xxxxxxxxxxxxxx (36) is a displaced Christian father of a one-year old daughter named Rebeca. He has been displaced from Bartella with his family since 2014 due to ISIS taking over their home, causing them to flee and take refuge in the city of Erbil. Rayan was one of the first people to return back home because of his love for his own village and his grandparents land. When he returned to see if his house was still livable, he was shocked to see the house totally burned into rubble. When asked about his living situation and his job, he smiled and said, “I work as an electrical employee. Some days I get payments, and some days I do not. Most people don’t have enough funds to rebuild their houses. If relatives and neighbors call me to help them in fixing electrical cables in their houses, I will get money on those days. Otherwise, I am still without money and I sometimes can’t feed my family. The wages don’t exceed $8 per day for 8 hours of working, which covers just a part of living costs for my family. We are dependent on your regular distribution of diapers and it greatly helps us as a family in saving some money to put towards our living situation. Actually, my wife was concerned two days ago because we used our last diaper and we do not have money to buy a new sack, but I told her I trust in our Lord that he will send your team to deliver diapers. I would have had to buy diapers instead of rice if there was any delay. Praise the Lord your team came at the same day. It is very encouraging what the Lord is doing to stand alongside us. Unfortunately, we are feeling like strangers in our home village due to the persecution we had faced by ISIS. Now, most of the citizens in Bartella are from Muslim background and many Christian citizens immigrated to foreign countries”.

Intesar: The Stories of Those We Support

Intesar xxxxxxxxxxxxxx (38), is a paralyzed mother of two and is currently among the many displaced Christians from Qaraqosh, this is her story.

“In 2005 I went to clinic at Mosul to receive a treatment …unfortunately, when I finished my visit and was on the way to my home village (Qaraqosh), I was shot by an unknown gunman during confrontations between US military troops and terrorists. This shot has changed me from being a normal woman to a paralyzed woman.” Intesar stops talking for a while as her eyes fill with tears while she describes the crisis that she was  going through. When asked about her living conditions when ISIS occupied Qaraqosh, she replied “we were forced to flee away from Qaraqosh and were displaced from it  in June 2014, at that time we went to Erbil. Then in August 2014 ISIS started to attack Qaraqosh with mortar fire, some people were killed, and then everyone started to escape from there seeking refuge in Erbil. It was so crowded, tragic to see such view. We left everything behind and went to an unknown future, after waiting for so long in the main checkpoint of Erbil. We finally managed to get in the city, at that time we were sleeping in the streets and gardens. It was so hard for us. Now, we rent  a small house because ISIS burned our entire house after collecting our furniture and putting it in the middle of the house to ensure that the fire would increase rapidly and destroy the house totally. They destroyed all our beautiful memories with it. We don’t have adequate money to rebuild our house. My husband is just a daily worker and we lost all our belongings and savings during the war with ISIS. So many of us are fighting just to live. These helpful diapers are one of my much needed items that will help me survive. Your team is doing an affective role in presenting services that the government cannot or does not provide any support for disabled people with their families. You indicate that you do love me through your visit. God bless you all for your faithful loving service to our Lord”.

Two Million Diapers in 2019

Two million diapers in 2019:  More help is needed for Christian families on the Biblically important Nineveh Plain — not less.

There is no running water in many of the Christian towns on the Nineveh Plain.

 

Two full years after liberation, areas of Qaraqosh still look like this. Note that the power lines actually are not connected to anything.

Their water came from the dam on the Tigris river near the major Iraqi city of Mosul. That was the largest Iraqi city held by the Islamic State and it took more than a year for the Iraqi Army and Shia militias to take the city back from the Sunni jihadists of the Islamic State even with nearly constant bombing by The United States and other Western air forces.

The electric power plants were destroyed in the bombing. The water treatment plants were destroyed in the bombing. The water pumping stations were destroyed in the bombings. Most of the power lines came down and the water pipelines were hit as well.

When I was in Iraq this past December, there were still craters in roads. While many of the bridges that were bombed by the Western Coalition to stop Islamic State movements have been rebuilt, there are still some bridges that are down making transporting water difficult.

It gets worse: As I have mentioned previously in newsletters the water from wells on the Nineveh Plain is as salty as the sea. The well water is not drinkable. Cloth diapers cannot be washed in well water as the salt will stay in the diapers and irritate babies, causing diaper rash. The whole purpose of our Diapers for Refugees program is to reduce or stop completely the problem of severe diaper rash that can cause bacterial infections.

During 2018 the need for diapers increased as families moved away from aid centers and tried to move back to their looted homes.

As more families move back to Bartella, Qaraqosh, and other towns on the Nineveh Plain they receive less aid than they could have gotten in the larger city of Erbil.

Keep in mind that every Christian home was looted. The washing machines are gone as are the stoves, air conditioners, furniture and even the clothes and dishes.

Because of the images many Americans have of those living in the Middle East, I have to emphasize over and over again that these Christian families were almost all well educated and middle class.

The Christian families did not live in tents or huts, like the image many have set in their minds. Many of these homes were anywhere from 1,500 to 4,000 sq. ft.  and had tiled floors with full modern baths and kitchens. That is all gone, every bit of it.

I have been in these homes … before and after. I have enjoyed dinner in more than one Christian Arab home in the Middle East. I have met Christian men and women who are doctors, lawyers, and businessmen. Some were millionaires before the invasion.

I have also seen the jihadist writings on the walls of destroyed homes. I have visited the shops and even factories that were owned by Christians that now lie empty or in ruins.

There was a huge metal door and window factory at the entrance to Qaraqosh that now lies in ruins. All of the equipment was stolen and carted off to Turkey.

Currently the biggest industry in Iraq is demolition and the reprocessing of scrap metal and cement. Those are not great paying jobs.

And sadly, I must report that most of the wealthy Christians, those that were millionaires fled to Europe during the occupation by the Islamic State. They don’t plan on coming back. Without the wealthy the rebuilding process will be even slower.

Every dollar counts in a situation like this: This is why the Diapers for Refugees program is so important. Every dollar’s worth of diapers we can furnish to families in need is one more dollar they have to rebuild their shattered lives, one more dollar to help buy dishes or linens or a mattress to sleep on.

These are the reasons I want to keep the Diapers for Refugees program alive in 2019.

One Million Diapers in 2018!

The supporters of the Religious Freedom Coalition propelled the Diapers for Refugees project to a record number of Christian families in Iraq and Jordan. In all, over one million diapers were delivered to Christian families in need during 2018.

All of the families helped were in situations where cloth diapers for babies could not be used. All of the families faced economic situations caused by the destruction of there homes in Iraq and Syria by various Islamic jihad fighters, including those from the Islamic State.

While the Islamic State did a great deal of damage and killed tens of thousands, the jihad fighters of other groups including al-Nusra killed and destroyed as well. Al-Nusra is currently known as Jabbat Fetah al-Sham, but the first name it used was al-Qaeda in the Levant.

Yes! This is a branch of the organization that attacked the United States on 9-11. This is the organization founded by Osama bin Laden. It is also the main group fighting to overthrow the secular government of Syria. When the United States armed the “opposition” in Syria, all the funds and missiles wound up in the hands of al-Qaeda.

William Murray in Qaraqosh just after it was liberated in 2016. No civilians had moved back.

Situation no better: I first visited the Christian town of Qaraqosh, Iraq in December 2016 just three months after it was liberated and before one single resident moved back. While I was there I could here the artillery fire from the front lines outside of Mosul, the largest city that the Islamic State occupied.

At the time I led a caravan that took food and water to members of the Christian militia know as the Nineveh Protection Unit. They, along with a Shia Muslim militia, had liberated the town from the hands of the Sunni Muslim jihadists.

I know we are told by our government officials every day that the Sunni Muslims are our allies, but sadly this is a lie. Al-Qaeda and the Islamic State (ISIS) were Sunni Muslim, and both at one time or another have been funded by the Sunni Muslim state of Saudi Arabia.

Every terror attack you can think of against Americans including 9-11 and the attacks at Ft. hood, San Bernardino, Orlando and others were all carried out by Sunni Muslims, and every one of the murderous perpetrators had some connections that led back to Saudi Arabia.

Donate today!

 

Doubling the Diaper Program in Iraq

Doubling the Diaper Program in Iraq:  Our recent poll of supporters currently gives the Diapers for Refugees program first place among our programs, but it is still number two overall.  Most of those responding to the January poll so far have told me to “Do it all / Whichever you think is best” which includes Diapers for Refugees, Christmas for Refugees, the Nigeria Easter program and our advocacy programs on Capitol Hill.

That is a tall order.  The current isolated status of the Kurdish region of northern Iraq where our mission on the Nineveh Plain is located makes the tall order even more complicated.

This year, I want more than anything to double our diaper program in Iraq.  In December 2017 we managed to increase the program more than 10%, even though the cost of the diapers increased. The December diaper program in Iraq cost $22,000 rather than the $18,000 cost in each previous quarter.  In the quarter ending in December, we delivered 180,000 diapers.

In March we were able to increase the amount to 220,000 diapers at a cost of $24,950, bring us almost 40% towards doubling the program this year!  Sanitary pads for 250 mothers will cost $230 and special needs diapers for 60 older people will cost $720.  The grand total for March was $25,900.

However, this significant increase was only made possible by one very generous supporter whom the Lord has blessed who donated $8,000 toward the March diaper delivery. I am worried we may not be able to maintain this growth for the June diaper delivery.

Please pray that once again we will meet our goal in June of expanding the diaper program.  The need is so great for these refugee families!

Help DOUBLE the Diaper Program in 2018

Qaraqosh Diaper Distribution

    While many families have been able to return  to their destroyed homes in the Nineveh Plain, there is still a desperate need for disposable diapers.  Without supplies needed to wash cloth diapers, and barely enough clean water for drinking, our Diapers for Refugees program is needed more then ever.  In 2017 we were able to expand our program from providing not only diapers for families with babies, but we were also able to provide much needed sanitary pads for women, and also adult diapers for the elderly and disabled.

    The following testimony was shared by one of our ministry partners from the February 5, 2018 diaper distribution where a three months supply of diapers was delivered to 1,037 families with babies or toddlers, and  also to 112 elderly or disabled adults in need of diapers.  While making diaper deliveries in the almost destroyed town of Qaraqosh, the ministry worker met with an elderly Christian man who had been driven from his home by Islamic State terrorists, but has recently been able to return home.  In his own words, Matthew expressed his thanks.                                                

 (Alias Matthew Shooshandy) 85 years old and paralyzed:

  “I love to state my gratitude for your help, because we use this aid as much as we have it, plus… I want to ask you to keep providing this kind of help, because I can’t effort the diapers for myself due to my disability and illness. “I am aged patient, but now at least I can sleep in properly in my home with a proper life. I am satisfied with what God done for me that He made me be able to return back to my hometown, I believe that he didn’t forget me. I love my hometown; And my church which my father, the village families ,and I helped to build Al-Tahera church that’s why I will never leave it; part of my life. my 2 sons left Iraq and went to find a new life USA and Australia, and and my daughters went to live Sweden since 2015 but I decided to stay here in Qarakoush till I die”.

     In 2018 we hope to expand the diaper program even more. Our goal is to provide disposable diapers, sanitary pads, and adult diapers to over 600 families who need them. That comes out to $36,000 needed every 3 months. 

Donate today to provide diapers to refugee families in nee

 

Double the size of the Diaper program – Is it possible!

 by William J. Murray – Program Director 

Chairman William Murray traveled to Iraq to help with the diaper deliveries and distributions in June.

Our ministry partners in Iraq have pleaded with me to expand the diaper program. In December of 2017 they made an urgent request to increase the quarterly shipment of diapers from 160,000 to 180,000 and to increase the number of adult diapers and feminine sanitary pads.

I had closed our fundraising for the program in July of 2017 as I thought our goal for the year had been met. The increase in need presented a problem. By the grace of God, unsolicited donations to the Diapers for Refugees were received in December allowing the program to be expanded.

Double the program? During 2016 and 2017 diapers were being supplied to the families “most in need.” Many families in the refugee camps in Ankawa and Erbil we did not help with diapers were able to “get by.” Now, many of those families have moved back to their devastated towns including Qaraqosh where the only water available is bottled water for drinking. Washing cloth diapers is not possible and now the need for the disposable diapers we furnish has drastically increased.

The hard facts: The numbers in our diaper program sound big. But, the Diapers for Refugees program provides for just six diapers per day for 300 of the Christian families with infants and toddlers that are in the most need. As they return to the destroyed homes in their villages without access to other aid, the number of families needing help with diapers now exceeds 600. That is double the number our Diapers for Refugee program now assists.

To help those Christian families most in need the program must be doubled from 160,000 diapers per quarter to 320,000 diapers per quarter, YES – The number sounds high but it is just six diapers per day for three months per child. Younger infants receive more, toddlers less but the average is just six per day or 180 per month for each child in need.

In addition, our program must supply feminine pads for the mothers and adult diapers for some of the elderly.

Please add these families to your prayers. To double the program would be an enormous task. Please pray that the Lord will give guidance as to how to proceed with the diaper program.

If possible, please help us get a good start on the 2018 Diapers for Refugees program. The program must continue even if we are not able to expand. Pray the Lord will guide us. 

Please donate today

Diaper program forced to expand in Iraq

Need increases as Christian families return to Nineveh Plain

Displaced Iraqi Christian women receive diapers for their infants and toddlers, supplied by the Diapers for Refugees program

At the request of the Diapers for Refugees ministry partner in Iraq, the number of diapers for infants and toddlers was increased and additional help was supplied for women’s needs and the elderly.

The number of diapers purchased increased from 160,000 to 180,000. The number of families returning to their burned-out homes in Qaraqosh and other Christian towns made the increase necessary, as some families who used to obtain diapers from other sources in the Erbil area can no longer do so. You see, not only were the homes burned and looted, but so were all the stores and businesses.

The increase to 180,000 increased our cost for the infant and toddler diapers from $18,000 to $19,800. At the beginning of 2017 the Diapers for Refugees program was also supplying the mothers of the children who received the diapers with feminine pads. For December the need was increased to 2,000 packages. Those 2,000 packages will be distributed over a period of three months as our purchases are made in bulk every three months in Dohuk, Iraq. A dedicated truck brings the supplies to the ministry warehouse in the Erbil area.

In addition, the Diapers for Refugees program during 2017 supplied adult diapers to grandparents of the children who were in need of these. The families moving back to villages also increased the need for these.

Other ministry organizations and secular groups are supplying food and other aid to displaced Iraqi Christians as they try to rebuild their lives. Food is not enough. Their homes and businesses were looted by the Islamic State (ISIS). I have been in their homes and businesses in Qaraqosh the last time in June of 2017. Everything was stolen, even the electrical outlets were taken from the walls and then most of the homes were burned.

The local ministries run by Christian aid groups operating in the Nineveh Plain keep track of what is supplied. A lot of things that have not been requested and are not needed, such as used clothing, are sent from the United States anyway.

Diapers for Refugees, along with other projects of the Religious Freedom Coalition, first find out what is needed by the refugees — and then try to fill the need. For that reason, the Diapers for Refugees program was expanded in December to increase not only the number of diapers but the number of packages of feminine pads and adult diapers as well.

As a result, our costs in December increased from $18,000 to $23,475. To help with the increased cost please donate here.

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