Refugee camp in Erbil, Iraq, tries to bring hope to displaced youth through education
- Led by Father Douglas al-Bazi in the neighborhood of Ankawa, the Mar Elia camp provides youth with a library, music lessons, games, organized trips, and English courses in addition to the standard education curriculum, funded by private donations.
- The camp opened in Iraqi Kurdistan last year, initially taking in 500 displaced Christians.
- With larger populations and few to no private resources, neighboring camps struggle to provide basic services like basic education and medical services, making a spot in Mar Elia a prized commodity in the region.
“When the kids arrived here, they were completely lost for the first two weeks, angry and selfish. I remember the first time we offered them toys; within five minutes they destroyed them all. … Our kids, if they don’t have education, if they don’t have someone to look after them, do you think they are going to work for NASA? I don’t think so. It’s easy for IS to thrive among abandoned people.”
Read the full story at Al-Monitor.
(Image Credit: Sebastien Chatelier, via Al-Monitor)