|MANY REFUGEE FAMILIES NOW LIVE IN POVERTY CONDITIONS|
Welcome to the reality for hundreds of thousands of Syrians who have been forced to flee the violence of civil war. Their homes and businesses destroyed, they now find themselves scattered across the globe - from as far away as Canada to as close as northern Iraq.
On October 4, Food for the Hungry (FH) Canada had the privilege of delivering a container of Fraser Valley Gleaners nutrient-rich, dried soup mix to Erbil - a city in the northern Kurdish region of Iraq that has recently become "home" to tens of thousands of Syrian refugees. Many not living in refugee camps are struggling to survive in the city - it's difficult for them to find even minimum wage jobs, rent is expensive, and food is scarce.
The gift of this soup mix is helping feed the most vulnerable families among the throng of Syrian refugees currently living in and around Erbil. Through FH's local partner, Greater Than Me Foundation (GTMF), approximately 44,000 people are receiving nutrition that is normally beyond their reach. The average family benefiting from the soup has five children, two parents, and often a grandparent. An estimated 27,500 children, 11,000 adults, and 5,500 elderly are receiving help.
One of those families is Vian's.
She is a mother to six children and a wife to a hardworking man. Her family are refugees from the Kobani area of Syria. For three years, they have been living in a small town just outside of Erbil where the rent is cheaper - about $300 per month for a three room cement block house. Vian's husband works whenever he can find day labour that no one else is willing to do. Unfortunately, these opportunities only arise occasionally. Most of their meagre income goes toward paying rent. They have no money for school, clothes, or any "extras", and often not enough for nutritious food.
Every day, Vian worries about what her family is going to eat and wonders if they are getting the right kind of food that will help her children grow. She relies on the food supplied by a church distribution program to feed her family - white rice, vegetable oil, and beans. But now, thanks to the generous gifts of FH supporters, Vian has dried soup mix that she can add to their diet, providing her children with critical micro-nutrients that also add variety and fiber to their diet.
While life remains difficult for Vian and her family, she is thankful that they are now getting more food, and more nutritious food.
Distribution of the soup mix to families like Vian's was a joint effort between GTMF and a number of locally-based organizations. Some was given through a local, evangelical church in Erbil that has a thriving ministry among refugees. Another portion was distributed by a foreign NGO also working to help refugees in the area. The remaining bags of the soup were given through an Iraqi charitable foundation helping Arab IDPs (internally displaced people) fleeing the threat of ISIS.
To help send additional food aid to refugees in northern Iraq and those in need around the world, click here.
|SYRIAN REFUGEE CHILDREN EXCITED TO SEE THE SOUP DISTRIBUTION|
|SYRIAN REFUGEE MOTHERS PREPARE FOOD DAILY IN KITCHENS LIKE THIS ONE|
|THUMBS UP FOR GLEANERS SOUP!|
|CHILDREN GATHER IN THE LIVING ROOM WITH GRANDMA TO RECEIVE FOOD AID|