I had the most delightful time in Sydney this afternoon….meeting with the President of the Kurdish Lobby of Australia…Mr Eziz Bawermend. The Lobby has been registered since 2015 and its boasts international as well as national membership.
We are very appreciative of their recent donation which has gone towards the purchase of an oxygen concentrator, which will be taken in my luggage and delivered to Sinjar hospital. Sinjar hospital is still lying in ruins – 90% devastated during the invasion of Daesh in 2014. This will be the only oxygen concentrator in the hospital and will be used regularly to help save lives of patients.
A recently elected board member is well known human rights and refugee advocate Julian William Kennedy BurnsideAOQC .Julian Burnside is walking the walk. He does his human rights work pro bono. He and his wife have a spare room in their house. Over the years they regularly welcomed asylum seekers to live with them. Afghanis and other nationals.
Another board member is Rev Bill Crews, dearly loved and respected for his years of work with the community at the Wayside Chapel in Kings Cross. Rev Crews is also the founder of The Exodus Foundation – feeding the hungry and operating a multipurpose Health and Outreach centre. In 2015 Rev Crews was announced as the recipient of the 2015 New South Wales Human Rights Award.
What a lovely time at the Newcastle Mosque Open Day…..great opportunity for multi faith dialogue and conversations, food, fun, henna and friendship.
Sheikh Khamis invited me to share the story of Operation Hope Australia and our projects and programmes for the displaced people and refugees in Kurdistan, Northern Iraq. It was a pleasure to speak to such a diverse but supportive audience.
Thank you Sheikh Mohamed Khamis and the families of the Newcastle Mosque for your warm welcome and support for the projects of Operation Hope Australia Ltd.
A big thank you to all our wonderful financial supporters. Because of your generous donations we were able to help support new and existing projects at Baged Kandala 2 camp under the leadership of NGO “Joint Help for Kurdistan”….
purchase educational resources for the students
choose colourful fabric, wool, sewing tables, sewing cupboard, a floor mat and build shelves and a shoe box for the sewing group
purchase chairs for the english class students
buy bedding and floor mat for a volunteer bedroom
build shelves and replace lino in the pharmacy
buy a ladder for the medical centre
replace a shower, install new taps in kitchen and bathroom areas
buy pots and pans, meat cleaver etc for kitchen
buy a new office chair for the Laboratory technician
send money for a new printer for the medical centre (US$250)
send money for final payment on medical centre generator ($US920)
send money to buy 1 months supply of medicines for the residents at Bajed Kandala 2 camp ($US2000)
Our humanitarian volunteer, Simon Turner, worked wonders using his building and carpentry skills. He overcame the language barrier and created some very useful items in the camp.
Each day we start off knowing that the day will hold new experiences, meet new friends and are amazed by the beautiful resilient Ezidi people.
Barbara Bluett is an absolute magnet for Yazidi’s of all ages…….she lives in Toowoomba, Australia’s largest Yazidi community. Barbara has been leading and assisting in English classes. Barbara and Wafaa Tanious, went to a little village for a women’s health workshop yesterday and is making connections between her Toowoomba friends and their relatives in the camps here. She has met numerous Yazidi’s here who are heading to Toowoomba so has been able to welcome them to Australia and promise to meet them once they arrive in Toowoomba. She managed to find and meet up with an elderly Yazidi lady who is heading out to Toowoomba…the beginning of a long term friendship. No task is too big for petite Barbara and she is an absolute ball of energy and enthusiasm.
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.
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.