What do Supporters Want to See from Diapers for Refugees in 2019?
What should we do in 2019? – At the end of January, I sent a letter to the supporters of the Religious Freedom Coalition asking for advice on which programs we should emphasize this year. The survey is very important to the direction of this ministry!
The Religious Freedom Coalition takes no money from any government. We don’t get a dime from the United States or from the European Union for our aid programs in the Middle East and Nigeria. If we took funds from a government agency such as the USAID, we would be forced to provide aid according to their direction and by population percentages in places like Iraq.
To make it clear … if we apply for and receive USAID funds, our Diapers for Refugees program would be required to give 97% of the diapers to Muslim families and 3% to Christian families. Yet the Muslim families already receive aid from Muslim charities that will give nothing to Christians at all.
When an aid group, even one with a Christian name, says it is delivering aid to families using USAID funds, they must abide by these rules.
In Iraq, the ministry we work with was approached to carry out an aid program funded by the United States. They got one page into the paperwork and quickly discovered that they would not be allowed to work with Diapers for Refugees or many other Christian ministries in the USA. The United States form required that they stop working with any ministry or organization that directed aid to a specific religious group.
Why your opinion counts so much: We don’t get funds from government agencies or deep pocket foundations to help us, because our aid goes only to Christian families in the Middle East and Nigeria.
The big foundations have the same rules about “discrimination” as does the government. The fact that Diapers for Refugees and Christmas for Refugees are designed to help persecuted Christian families means — in their eyes — that we discriminate and can’t receive funding.
Example: The Religious Freedom Coalition was barred from receiving funds from the Amazon Smile program even though our supporters wanted a portion of their purchases to be given to us under that Amazon program. Because we were designated as a “hate group” for helping Christians and not Muslims in Iraq, we were kicked out of the program.
The only source of funding we have is supporters such as you. To be very frank, I need to know which programs are important to you … I need to know, for example, if you will continue to support the Diapers for Refugees program during 2019. I need to know if I should try to expand the Christmas program more into Syria, or continue to work in Nigeria.
Most important -The answer was clear: The Diapers for Refugees program was the clear favorite of those who chose only one ministry program as the one they wanted to support. The majority of supporters who responded want us to try to double the Diaper Program from one million to two million diapers this year and expand it into Jordan if possible.
Supporters understand that the Diapers for Refugees program is helping Christian families on the Nineveh Plain rebuild their lives. Every dollar a family would have spent on diapers can be used to help them get their looted and burned down homes back to livable conditions. The families are working hard. When I visited Bartella and Qaraqosh at Christmas, I visited homes and I saw progress. It is slow and it is hard to start with nothing, and that is why the diapers are so important to these families.
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Just a thought: there are many patterns and an abundance of resources here in the US to make reusable diapers. Do these people have access to clean water? If so, it would be more cost efficient to make clothe diapers here in the US and ship them over there. Less waste too. And if maintained well, potential reuse amongst families with other young children.
Thank you for spreading your ideas! Unfortunately, due to the intense destruction these areas faced by the Islamic State, most of the water treatment plants and pipelines no longer function. The well water in this area is also extremely salty, making it a problem to wash diapers because the salt causes rashes and can lead to infection. We would love to be able to provide reusable diapers for all the reasons you stated above but disposable diapers are what best fit the needs of these families at this time.