2021 Garden of Hope Appeal

The garden is growing…. the healing is starting

Operation Hope Australia are so excited to be partnering with NGO Springs of Hope in their garden project they are establishing in the Shariya Camp, Duhok, Kurdistan.
The Garden will serve as an educational hub for the Shariya Camp schools and the Hope Centre classrooms providing volunteer opportunities for students to develop skills in agriculture/cultivation practices, environmental sustainability and social entrepreneurship. Social enterprises such as selling honey and making and selling soap and beeswax products (lotion, lip balm etc) will provide further skills and income opportunities for the children, youth and women rescuers of the Shariya Camp being served at the Hope Centre, the students of the Shariya camp schools and the larger community.

• Nov 2020: NGO Springs of Hope broke ground for the garden at Shariya Camp with the approval of local and regional government and camp officials.
• Feb 2021: erection of Garden fence and greenhouses, soil and sheep manure delivered, water tanks installed and planting beds marked. 40 Bare root fruit trees planted and vegetables seedlings were planted in the greenhouses
• March 2021: small groups of youth visit the Garden to start their Diary program.
• April 2021: Opportunities for rescuees to volunteer in the Garden and to receive agricultural education and the therapeutic benefits of working in the garden. Employees will be hired from the community at the Shariya Camp.
• September 2021: establishment of The Garden chicken and bee habitats and arrival of bees and chickens to provide honey and eggs to the 210 rescuers.
• December 2021: completion of the The Garden and building plans with raised beds, planted vegetables and fruit trees will be growing and harvested for distribution to the rescuees at the Hope Centre and larger camp community.
• December 2022: The garden will be regularly providing fresh vegetables and fruit as well as honey and eggs. A farm shop, coffee/tea shop, garden education room and courtyard with fountain will be built and operational.

BUDGET: Garden Building : USD32,200
Garden Monthly expenditure: USD2,300

Please DONATE generously to assist with the establishment of the “Garden of Hope” for the 210 x women, children and youth recently released from ISIS captivity.

See the DONATE button our home page:
100% of your donations will be remitted to The Garden of Hope project. Donations over $2 are tax deductible.

Photo credits: Sohf Lisa at Shariya camp March 2021

2021 Garden of Hope Appeal

International Womens Day 8 March 2021

Today we Launch  “2021 Garden of Hope Appeal” to make a positive difference and to bring hope to ISIS survivors in Kurdistan and Iraq.

Please donate generously to assist in the building of a Garden of Hope in the Shariya camp, Duhok, Kurdistan.

Simply click the DONATE button on our home page – all credit cards are accepted

2020 Winter Christmas Appeal

Update 20 December 2020: Thank you for your generous donations totalling $A5,500 which will make a huge difference in the lives of these children in the harsh winter they are now experiencing.

Winter is coming to Kurdistan, and for the 300,000+ refugees in the camps this is their seventh Christmas in flimsy, mouldy tents – with the real risk of flooding from heavy rainfall and snow. There are 45,000 children in 3 refugee communities, many who need warm clothes this winter.


We will buy warm jackets and boots to keep as many children as possible warm this winter. 

We have partnered with a local NGO, ‘The Lotus Flower’, who will purchase new jackets and shoes and fit the children individually.

Project Costs:

Child aged 1 – 10 years old: $A28

Child aged 11-15 years: $A35

Donate to 2020 Winter Christmas Appeal

Give a child a pair of warm shoes and a jacket to help them keep warm this winter.


2020 Start a Heart – Funded

14 September, 2020 Update: New hard paddles for defibrillators donated.

We are very grateful to STRYKER, a medical supply company in Sydney who have donated 5 brand new hard paddles for the 5 Defibrillators that were donated from Westmead Children’s Hospital in Sydney.

The defibrillators are in the shipping container that is expected to arrive in Kurdistan in a few weeks time.

STRYKER organised import of the new hard paddles and they were given to me recently by their representative Cate Ayers. We are so thankful for their generosity – retail price for the 5 hard paddles is $A3,730.

My job is now to get the hard paddles freighted to Kurdistan so that they can be distributed along with the defibrillaters.

If you would like to contribute to the cost of freight please go to our home page and simply click the DONATE button.

Thank you.

2020 Outstanding Humanitarian of Year Award

On 21 July, I was honoured with an award from my Rotary Club, who nominated me for the Rotary International Zone 8 (Australasian) “Outstanding Humanitarian of Year Award 2020”. Each Rotary District is part of 6 worldwide Zones, with Australia’s being part of Zone 8, which includes oceanic nations like Australia, New Zealand, East Timor and Papua New Guinea.

I am overwhelmed and humbled by this acknowledgement of the work of Operation Hope Australia Ltd in supporting Refugees and Internally displaced people in Northern Iraq.

I accepted this award publicly acknowledging my deep thanks to my husband Kim Henley for  all the love and support he has given to me and with our projects of Operation Hope.

Thanks also to my Rotary Club – Toronto New South Wales, Australia

I am proud to share this award with Sarah Brown for her incredible work with indigenous people in Central Australia requiring dialysis. Her work can be viewed on the webpage:

Snow in Kurdistan – Warm clothing needed

The weather has been bitterly cold in Kurdistan, making conditions in basic camps harder than ever when warm clothing is needed. The majority of refugees and displaced people live in rudimentary tents and cabins. These have little or no heating inside, so when the snow falls and the temperature plummets, things can get pretty miserable if they do not have warm clothing.

This year is the coldest for over 10 years with deep snow blanketing the country and the refugee’s tents. Many have collapsed under the weight of snow, so the roofs must be cleared regularly. The tents have no insulation despite overnight temperatures as low as -5ºC. So fuel for heating is being used quickly and many refugee families have run out. It is expensive to replace and many families do not have the money to buy more.

Many children do not have suitable clothing for such cold weather. They only have access only to flimsy trousers and jumpers with no footwear or socks suitable.

In the last few days 1,000 refugees fleeing the war in Syria, have arrived into Bardarash Camp with only the clothes they were wearing. In this weather they are needing warm clothes quickly.

To respond to this urgent need, Operation Hope has sent A$4,500 to buy jackets and socks for 300 refugees. But there are another 700 people who need warm clothes as well.

$15.00 buys a warm jacket and 3 pairs of socks for a child, so it is very easy for us to help keep them warm. CLICK the button below to keep a child warm.

Very cold girl in snow with bare feet.

2021 Christmas Winter Appeal

It was our pleasure to once again be invited by the non-government organisation “The Lotus Flower” to partner in this annual Appeal.

This is our third year where the money we raise is used to purchase warm jackets, socks and boots for refugee children in Kurdistan.

The cold winter is settling into Kurdistan making life in the refugee camps very uncomfortable. In the last week there has been flooding and in some areas snow.

Last week children from Essyan and Chamishco Refugee Camps and the Renaga Community were fitted out with these warm clothes.

The project co-oincides with the Yazidi Eid celebration. Despite the tragedy and trauma that has marked their lives they hold fast to their faith and religious traditions. The Eid celebration is a time of great joy – many families make their way to the village of Lalish – the spiritual centre and home of their religion. Most families share a special meal/feast called Roshin Eazy at the end of the 3 days of fasting – and families love to have a new dress/outfit. It has been a joy to see the happiness for the children who received the new warm clothes.

Thank you to everyone who made generous donations to this appeal – we raised a massive $A8,000.

It is only with the support of our donors that we can participate in these projects that bring hope and joy to so many.