Friday, February 27, 2009

Young "Old Friends" - Feb 22 09

Um Mohammed (Iklass) was one of our very first Micro-Project recipients. She received an industrial sewing machine so she could bring in some extra income to help support her large family.

This family's situation was grim when we first met them. The apartment's walls were covered with black mold from lack of heating. They had essentially no possessions other than a bed loaned by a neighbor. A donor in the US sent funds to buy the family a heater and gas tank, rugs for their cold floors, a table and chairs, toys for the children and food. When Iklass had to sell her sewing machine to pay for a necessary surgery, another US donor sent the funds to buy her another machine.

Now Iklass, her husband Raed, and the kids are part of our CRP "family". They are trying to get resettlement to the US and we hope that they will be accepted and then resettled to southern Oregon where the local community has pledged to provide them with supportive friendship if they move to our community.

After Sakher's evaluation, I accompanied Lana to visit this family. Lana is assisting them in filing an appeal on the denial of their resettlement request. Iklass has invited me to see their new home. They've moved into another flat finally and, as Iklass told me recently, "I was so embarassed about the old flat." I was eager to see the kids and to see their new home.

The children have grown so rapidly! Tohama's thelasemia is being controlled well by cortizone, Ibrahim's behavior and verbal skills have improved dramatically since he started attending a school for kids with special needs through our Education for Children With Special Needs Project. The older boys are all learning English in hope they will be able to use it in their new country if they are resettled. And, although still quite shabby, their new flat is much more comfortable and spacious than their old one.

These are just some of the Iraqi refugee children whose lives have been improved by your interest and support!