In March more than $18,000 was transferred to our ministry partner in Iraq to begin year two of the Diapers for Refugees program. The first distribution of 160,000 diapers was conducted last year in March. The cost has remained stable over the last year and our cost for absorbent, high quality diapers made in Turkey is still right at 11 cents each. The same quality diaper purchased in the United States would cost more, and there would be the added shipping costs to Iraq.
The program services about 300 displaced Christian families who live in official refugee camps. The distribution process is extremely orderly. Our ministry partner keeps a record of each family with infants registered at the camp by name, caravan number, number of children, home town, and previous number of diapers received.
Due to cramped conditions in the camps which are extremely densely populated, the distributions must be done in an orderly way. It is very important that only the families in need of the diapers receive them.
One of the greatest needs for the women and teenage girls is feminine sanitary pads. As part of the Christmas for Refugees program last December, the family of every child who participated received hygiene materials. In these large, sturdy plastic bags filled with soaps, shampoos, disinfectants, laundry soaps and other supplies, there were feminine sanitary pads. Some of the women visibly cried when they saw what they were getting.
[su_button url=”http://diapersforrefugees.org/helping-christian-refugees/”]Christian refugee mothers desperately need diapers for their babies – Please help[/su_button]
Our Iraqi partner requested funds for a three-month supply for 5,000 displaced Christian women located in several camps. This would have required 15,000 packets at a cost of about $1.00 per packet or $15,000. We just do not have the budget for that need at the current time. As a result, we sent the funds for feminine sanitary pads only to the mothers in the 300 families we are currently supplying with baby diapers.
Most ministries and aid organization focus on food, clothing, housing and items for survival but not those things that make survival under these conditions bearable. The hygiene items also help to prevent outbreaks of disease in the densely crowded refugee camps.
The financial goal for the month of March for the Diapers for Refugees program was reached early, and I have been working to put together a program for the sanitary supplies needed for women. Our Iraqi partner is obtaining quotes for different quantities from various suppliers in Turkey. That is the only place, for now, where we can obtain high quality supplies without the expense of shipping from the United States.
Diaper distributions are scheduled for June, September and December. It is my sincere prayer that the funds for the entire year can be raised and set aside in the next thirty days. Having the funds for the year would allow us to once again concentrate on the Christmas program.