Hamid, 18; Ahmed, 13; Adyan, 14; Hasan, 12; Iman, 10; Mahdi, 7; Salam, 6

“I have an illness which causes me to have intense pain in my joints. I can’t really move around without getting tired very quickly. My father saved up some money and bought me a wheelchair. He didn’t pay the full price for it. He financed it.  After that, it was a lot easier for me to get around. It was a lot easier for him to take me to school and bring me back home.

“One day, after he dropped me off at school, he went to find work at a house that was being built. He didn’t have a job. He used to help construction workers by moving their equipment around, and they paid him about fifteen dollars a day. He was an older man, so no one wanted to hire him. That day, he didn’t come to pick me up from school. My neighbors did. I was so confused. My father was never too busy to come and pick me up from school. The neighbors told me that he wasn’t feeling well. We found out that he suddenly stopped breathing and passed away due to the intense heat on that day. Our lives changed after that.

“Every time I look at my wheelchair, I remember him and feel really sad because he bought it for me without having the money for it,” Adyan said.  

“After the death of my husband, it became my full responsibility to take care of my children. I don’t have anything to give them, so I clean people’s houses and bake bread to sell. But most of the time no one needs their house cleaned and no one wants to buy bread. I make a few dollars on the days I work. Sometimes our neighbors give us some food and a little bit of money to get through the day; otherwise we don’t have anything for days.

“I want to keep my children in school as long as I can. But right now, it’s becoming really hard. Going to school means having to buy clothes, supplies, and food. Where am I going to get that kind of money? If I don’t receive any kind of help in the next year, I’ll be forced to take them out of school,” Madiha (mother) added.

“We are the orphans of Iraq. The sad part is there are so many of us. Please tell people our story. Being poor sometimes forces orphans to do bad things to survive. For example, stealing is bad, and we know it is not the right thing to do. But we will have to do it if it becomes the only way to survive,” Ahmed and Iman cried.

The above represents one of many orphan stories by victims in war-torn regions. Your support can make a difference for orphans like Hamid and his siblings. Make a contribution today by clicking here.