“We were displaced from the village, us and 300 other families. All our houses were ruined or damaged,” explains Zakia, mother of six.
She and her family have been on the move since 2014. Originally from Al Qadisiya, Iraq she and her husband fled from their village to Syria. When conflict in Syria became too much for them to bare, they were forced to return to Iraq. They arrived at Grezirka refugee compound at 1am after an 11 hour drive and have been there ever since.
Her husband passed away shortly after they arrived at the compound, leaving their eldest son, Fahal to be responsible for the income of the family. Falah dropped out of school in year 6 to work. He is now 18 years old and works as a car mechanic. The income is small when he is able to find work. The percentage of unemployment is 95% in that area.
“He became the breadwinner of the family, even though he was too young to be working,” says Zakia of her son.
The family’s struggle for basic necessities and food is an ever-present reality. They are able to get some assistance with food from World Vision and also some support from friends and extended family. But, due to rising food costs and funding being spread too thin, there is not enough available. Because of this, the two younger brothers have been continually sick.
Zakia and her family are not alone. There are many other women and families just like them, hungry and with few options.
Before their lived in the compound, Zakia speaks of her life at home; happy with their children. Her husband was a labourer. He left home at 7 in the morning and returned at 7 in the evening. The days were long, but they were comfortable.
“What we had was enough. Of course, I wish to return [home]. It is difficult to stay in camps. But there is no home and nothing [but] ruins. These camps are difficult. I don't have the finances to spend and cook but charitable people help me and cook for my children,” says Zakia.
At the compound, relatives of Zakia’s late husband help, alongside charities which bring items of need including food. During Ramadan, Zakia’s family have morning and evening meals; lentils, salad, rice, and meatballs. Every three days they have meat. Whatever food is brought by friends and relatives is cooked for the children. Some days friends and relatives don't have enough to share.
“I have children in school and some in the camp. Two of my girls go to Zakho to school, and we receive assistance to pay for the fees of the bus and so they have the necessary items: bags, paper books and clothes. They help my children with schooling, and they pay for the school's expenses. I want support for my children to complete their studies.”
Zakia reminds us of what difference the impact and support of donations can make, big or small they are a blessing.
“What comes from you all is a blessing,” says Zakia.
What if your next meal could mean the recovery and survival of a family like Zakia’s?
By supporting World Vision's work, you are directly helping us to support those in need.
By donating the price of your next meal, you can provide food to support hungry families around the world.
Find out more here.