Women’s Health

Our own qualified educator, Wafaa Tanius, started the women’s health groups today and over 45 women and girls attended the two sessions. For some, it was the first time they had ever heard anyone speak about their bodies and women’s health issues.
Thank you to the Hervey Bay ‘Days for Girls’ chapter for providing Wafaa with 106 kits to hand out after these workshops.

We have a further 2,199 kits from Queensland and New South Wales coming here to Kurdistan in the shipping container.

Thank you to ‘Joint Help for Kurdistan’ nurse Amina H Juno for her translating skills and support for these women’s groups.

The pain of the Yazidis

How do explain what it is like to lose 18 members of your family to execution or enslavement by ISIS? How does a woman raised to be modest, go about uncovering the sexual abuse and rape she has endured – especially to a global audience? Nadia Murad has done just that and for her courage and determination to be a voice for the Yazidi people, she has been awarded a Nobel Peace Prize.

What if these tortured and traumatised women and girls were your wife, mother, daughter or granddaughters? What if these men who were killed were you father, husband, son, uncle or brother? We have heard horrific stories this week from the Yazidi’s at Bajed Kandala…..one extended family of 32 were slaughtered and only 3 young people remain alive today. Others have not heard or seen their family members since the genocide in August 2014.
Support and befriend the local Yazidi communities in Toowoomba, Armidale, Orange, Dubbo, Coffs Harbour and Wagga.


Photo: From FlickerFlame Blog

Life in Bajed Kandala Camp

This week:

  • Unpacking a suitcase of donated medical supplies in the nurses office in the camp
  • 5 English classes per day
  • Shopping for educational resources
  • Picking up student workbooks from printer
  • Buying beautiful fabrics for the sewing group
  • Experiencing wonderful hospitality today – a banquet made lovingly by the family of one of our English students in his home
  • Washing, shopping, cooking and sleeping at our apartment in Duhok

At the English classes at Baged Kandala…..some of the students have been waiting for 2 years to learn English. They are so diligent, punctual and respectful…..they are a joy to teach.


Update from Iraq 2018

26 September

Dr Dunia Erica Leanne

It was wonderful to meet our dear friend Dr Dunia Musa AlMuderis again. Dr Dunia has played a special role in supporting individual IDPs with their medical and basic needs but also on a much wider scale by delivering heaters, fans, blankets and diapers numerous times into the camps for the refugees and internally displaced people.
You may remember last year Operation Hope helped in a small way with the case of the badly burnt girl, Reem……Dr Dunia was instrumental in organising for Reem’s transfer to Italy for specialist treatment.

Father Araam then drove us to a Safe House….. a refuge for Yazidi women released from ISIS captivity. The facility is purpose built and very thoughtfully laid out. There are indoor play areas for the children as well as outdoor quiet reflective places.
Once again discussions were centred on ways that Operation Hope can possibly support this project.

30 September

Camp Life

2 October

Busy morning at Baged Kandala camp. Many queues to see the doctor, nurses, pharmacist or have tests at the pathology lab. There is a visiting team from America called Habibi Foundation… all are medico’s with a physiotherapist and Occupational Therapist, so there have queues longer than normal.

3 October

Classes are in……well almost. Leanne has been doing assessments and after marking we will be starting classes – beginners and advanced ASAP. Some of these students have been on a waiting list for two years. One of our English class students is a teacher at the Bajed Kandala Kurdish school there is also an Arabic school in the camp. Several others are IT graduates from Mosul university and Duhok university. We are using the women’s sewing room in the mornings for classes.
Thank you for your donations, some of which were used to buy student exercise book and pencils.