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.
TIMELINE: • 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
DONATE: 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.
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.
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.
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.
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: http://www.purplehouse.org.au
Erica was guest speaker at the Rotary 2021 District Conference, conducted on-line due to COVID-19 restrictions. Erica talked about her journey as a humanitarian volunteer and her experiences in Greece and Kurdistan, Northern Iraq.
We are very saddened by the news that our friend Rob has passed away in Melbourne following a courageous battle with cancer. Our deepest love and sympathy to Ainslie and their families.
Rob was a gentle man who had a profound affect on so many lives – whether in his ministry to congregations, writing resources and Christian education materials or in his work in communities – Northern Territory, Queensland, Victoria, India, Kurdistan and many other places.
I remember using one of Rob & Ainslie’s resource booklets in our home group in Brisbane in 2015. The following year they moved to West End and we met at the Uniting Church and had a brief period of connection and friendship before Kim and I moved to Newcastle.
Both Rob and Ainslie followed and support the projects of Operation Hope from the beginning in 2016. They journeyed with us as team members to Kurdistan, Northern Iraq in May 2017.
Not even the harsh heat of that summer deterred Rob from picking up a paint brush to finish painting the interior of the new emergency field hospital in a refugee camp 20kms from Mosul. Rob joined a group of American volunteers on a weekend visit to the ancient Chaldean village of Alqosh and heard of the work occurring at the New Hope Trauma Centre assisting refugees from the nearby camps.
He diligently wrote up an extensive report of our trip to Kurdistan that has meant we have maintained links with the New Hope Trauma Centre and their leaders.
A life well lived. Rest in Peace my friend.
Comments from fellow team member Leanne Rogers:
This is sad news Erica. The world has lost a brilliant man and heaven has gained a saint. I remember so fondly the wisdom of both Rob and Ainslie as we gathered together on the roof of our house in Iraq each evening, and shared stories from the Bible. These are times I cherish and will never forget. Condolences to Ainslie and the family. He will be missed greatly.