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14-year old Fasa has learnt hairdressing skills at Mission East’s and Humanity’s youth centre at Sardeshte Camp on Sinjar Mountain, and perhaps she will open her own salon some day. Photo: Peter Eilertsen.
At the Mission East youth centre on Sinjar Mountain, 50 young Yezidi girls have learnt to cut hair, while others have become adept at using a sewing machine. By Kim Wiesener, Communications Officer The young girls are handling the situation with a combination of seriousness and smiles. They are intensely focused on creating a beautiful, almost Hollywood-like, hairstyle for their friend, but it is also obvious that they are having fun. The girls are taking lessons at the Mission East youth centre in Sardeshte Camp in Northern Iraq. The centre is located in a big tent where girls and young...
Naida has sought refuge on Sinjar Mountain with her youngest children, but she is hoping to be reunited with her oldest children and her husband who are held captive by Islamic State. Photo: Peter Eilertsen.
A Yezidi family on Sinjar Mountain has been split into several parts due to the ravage of Islamic State in Northern Iraq. Four members are still prisoners of the terrorist movement. By Kim Wiesener, Communications Officer Naida has ten children – but only six of them are with her. Naida’s three oldest sons and one daughter are captives of the terrorist movement Islamic State. And the fate of her husband is uncertain. For the past couple of years, the 35-year old Yezidi woman has been through hell, and the experience shows on her face. Naida is marked by resignation and deep despair. Her life...
The preparations for distributing emergency relief to the many people escaping from Mosul have been going on for some time. It is necessary to be well prepared when facing such a major humanitarian crisis. Photo: Peter Eilertsen.
The Danish emergency aid specialist, Knud Andersen, has been in Iraq since October to coordinate Mission East’s efforts to help the many people who are fleeing Mosul. A humanitarian disaster of this scale requires a lot of planning – and flexibility. By Kim Wiesener, Communications Officer Distribution of emergency aid is like a giant jigsaw puzzle. A lot of pieces need to fall into place when the scale of a humanitarian crisis becomes as large as it is expected to be when the flow of refugees out of Mosul escalates. This is how the 42-year old Danish emergency aid specialist, Knud Andersen,...
Eight-year old Mahmoud suffers from a serious type of muscular dystrophy that ties him to a wheelchair. In his home city of Kirkuk, schools are rarely equipped to accommodate children like him. Photo: Peter Eilertsen.
Eight-year old Mahmoud has a serious disability, but the Mission East mobile child centre has inspired him to go back to school. By Kim Wiesener, Communications Officer When Mahmoud was five years old, he started feeling the symptoms of the disease that has now tied him to a wheelchair. A couple of years later, when he was in second grade, his school sent him home. It simply was not equipped to handle a pupil suffering from muscular dystrophy. Such are the conditions in Kirkuk in Northern Iraq where children with handicaps often miss out on a school education. At first, Mahmoud was resigned...
On 15 October, global handwashing day was celebrated at Mission East’s centre for displaced children in northern Iraq.
Infectious diseases can cost the lives of people who have fled from war. At the centres established by Mission East in northern Iraq, children who have fled from war learn how to keep infection away with soap and water. Red, blue and green finger paints are spread over plates all around the floor, and next to them are large, white sheets of paper ready to be decorated. After a while the paper sheets are littered with hand prints, and the many children in the room raise their coloured hands in excitement.  Serious matters lies behind laughter We are in one of the three centres in northern Iraq...
13-year-old Yasser dreams of coming to Kirkuk and studying to become a doctor. But because of the war in his country, it is a remote prospect.
First, their village was occupied by IS. After that, bombs fell. 13-year-old Yasser and his family are marked by the war they fled from. Now they get help from Mission East. The children are huddling in the cold, and women gather their shawls around their shoulders. It is mid-November, and winter is on the way in Iraq. If the family was at home in their village, it would be no problem. They would stay in their warm house, and there would be enough food from their farms. But they sit instead in an unfinished building on the run from a war which they have no stake in. Bombs fell on the village...

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