Aya and her family were caught in a crossfire. Fighting began on one side of the town where they lived in Iraq, and opposition forces then entered from the other side. She was forced to shield her young children from blasts and bullets. The family escaped with nothing but the clothes on their backs.They drove as fast as they could – away from their home, and everything they knew.
It was only safe to return four years later. But the town looked very different. Aya had fond memories of the place – it was where she and her husband, Hassan, got married. It’s where she built her successful clothing business and where she gave birth to her two children.
Only two houses remained standing in the whole town. Her family home had been reduced to rubble.
‘It was like seeing a loved one dead in front of me,’ says Aya. Everything was gone.
Aya and Hassan pitched a tent next to the ruins of their home.They lived there as they set to work rebuilding.
As the worst of the conflict appears to be over, thousands of families, like Aya’s, have returned home to find there’s nothing left for them to come back to. Many of them have spent the last few years away living in camps, and have no savings to build a new home. This means thousands of families were at risk of being pushed further into extreme poverty.
Tearfund has been working in communities like Aya’s. We have been giving cash assistance to families in need. This means they are able to buy what they need to restore what’s been lost.
Aya used the money from Tearfund to help rebuild the family home and her business. She bought a sewing machine, so she can begin to provide for her family once more. ‘It was like my hopes and dreams had come alive again,’ shares Aya, after receiving the grant.
‘My house means to me dignity, being comfortable, and also dignity for my children,’ says Aya.
And thanks to the prayers and support from people like you, this is what Aya now has again. This is an example of the work Tearfund is doing around the world to help people find home and hope again.
We lift up everyone without a permanent home. We ask that you will protect them, provide for them and bring them hope for tomorrow. We pray for continued peace in places such as Iraq, so that communities can begin to heal and restore what’s been lost.
Aya is one of the 79.5 million people around the world forced to flee their home because of violence and conflict. Please prayerfully consider supporting Tearfund’s work to restore home and hope to families like Aya’s around the world.