After a long day, the disciples asked Jesus to send the crowds away so that they could eat together. With only five loaves of bread and two fish there was barely enough food for them, let alone a crowd of five thousand people. Yet, Jesus knew better. He generously offered the little food they had to the crowd and the results are familiar to us – over five thousand people were miraculously fed.
When she was only ten days old, Roza and her family were forced to leave their home and livelihood behind to flee from the conflict caused by ISIS.
We are reminded of this miracle when we read the story of Roza and her parents. When she was only ten days old, Roza and her family were forced to leave their home and livelihood behind to flee from the conflict caused by the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS). Such an impossible situation we would wish upon nobody, especially not parents and their newborn child. Though they brought enough food with them, they soon realized that those that fled alongside them had no food. With incredible generosity that mirrored Jesus’ feeding the five thousand, Roza’s father shared the little food they had with those around them. As he said, “how can I have enough and watch them starve?”
After ten days, the family found shelter in Sharya camp, a place of refuge for more than 18,000 displaced persons, located in the Duhok Governorate of Northern Iraq. In spite of finding a place of refuge, Roza suffered from severe acute malnutrition. For a newborn child, the first five years are the most important for proper growth and development to take place. Roza’s development during this time was at significant risk.
By the time Roza was 12 months old she was dangerously small for her age and was quite developmentally delayed. Fortunately, thanks to Camp Primary Health Care Centre (CPHCC), a health clinic run by Medair in Sharya camp and funded by World Renew, Roza was admitted to a feeding program. This feeding program provided Roza with the food she needed to return to good health. Now 17 months old, she interacts with others and is learning to walk on her own.
“Medair worked hard to make sure Roza got better,” said her mother. “Before, she was always lying down and we thought she was going to die. Now she is very active – happy – and crawls around all the time. Whenever we come to the clinic they give us good quality medicines and food for Roza. Medair is doing their best to care for our people.”
14 children, like Roza, were treated for severe acute malnutrition, and 98 other children were treated for moderate acute malnutrition.
Thanks to the generous support of donors like you and the Government of Canada, World Renew has been able to fund this Medair clinic from June 1, 2015 until March 31, 2016. Over this time, the CPHCC has provided essential primary health care to residents of the Sharya camp, including triage, management of acute and chronic diseases, reproductive health care, integrated management of acute malnutrition, and stabilization and referral of emergency cases.
Over these ten months 65,409 people received medical consultation. 14 children, like Roza, were treated for severe acute malnutrition, and 98 other children were treated for moderate acute malnutrition. In addition to the important feeding programme, Community Health Workers visited nearly 25,000 households to provide medical check-ups. It was through a home visit like this that Roza’s parents were first introduced to the program.
The work of Medair has had a lasting impact on the lives of thousands in the Sharya camp. We thank God, and you, for making this possible and ask that you continue to pray for those affected by the conflict in Iraq.