Pediatric Medical, Sanitation, and Humanitarian Aid
MISSION TEAM LEADER: James Price
-4350 Iraqi Christian Refugees were provided with food
-12 Hot water heaters installed in refugee camps (the winter is near, it gets brutally cold there in the winter and people was would freeze without hot water to shower with)
-16,000+ dollars in medical aid delivered to 5 Iraqi Christian IDP camps
-10,000+ articles of clothing provided
-150 Christian Refugees were provided with improved Bathroom Facilities the team built
- 1000 pairs of Children's Shoes distributed (the children were using the filthy bathrooms in bare feet because they had no shoes)
- 150+ Christian Refugee Children provided with direct medical care at our Mobile Pediatric Hospital staffed by the Mission Team Nurse and Pediatric Physicians from the Kurdistan Children Hospital.
Mission After Action Report written by DVM Medic Dave Hale about his experience in one of the many IDP camps he ran medical clinics in with the DVM Mission Team:
Irbil, Iraq - The sign in Arabic on a door of a single room school reads "Our school is Love and Peace." About a month ago the now 20 happy and rambunctious children behind the door were fleeing with their parents for their lives from the terror group ISIS. On this day they're learning how to brush their teeth, read, write and other normal children's subjects despite the deadly lessons of the previous months.
The school is run by a social worker named Aida from Baghdad who has lived in Sweden for 25 years, she felt compelled to come back to her home country and provide humanitarian aid for these children who are now considered Internally Displaced People (IDP) by the UN.
The schoolroom resides in a property owned by a gentleman named William, happy to provide the use of his property for the aid and comfort of the UN designated IDPs. Thus far he has received scant aid from the UN and has spent most of his money on their care. On the property outside are about 10 large tents where families have built a temporary life under the blazing Iraqi sun.
The tents swelter in the midday heat with no air and no electricity. This camp is better off than most other camps where an estimated 500,000 people are running out of food, water and have no medical care and live without the security of the City.
Next door to the camp is the United States Embassy where announcements of potential incoming missile attacks blare across the compound, forcing all the IDPs into the hardened protections of the camps only building.
On-site is James Price with the DVM humanitarian aid team he founded a few years previously that is funded by his parent company DVM and generous donors from around the world. On this mission, The Team is made up of six Americans and one Australian. They are at the Camp building a concrete drainage ditch to drain the toilet water away from the showers which are located next to one another.
Price takes pride in being able to reach into places traditional aid groups fear to tread. With more than $30,000 Price's personal savings and donations the team has already brought more than just concrete. They have provided to this and other camps locally sourced food, water, medicine, and the service of a doctor. "Nobody has come to help these people”, said Price, "We wanted to come here and prove it could be done and the people of America will act when no others would."
And Price has proved his point well. He's provided 1000 pairs of shoes, tons of food, 1000s of dollars in medical supplies and medicines to three camps in Ankawa Province. "The UN and other aid groups want to pay to ship food and then pay bloated salaried expat staffs to administer," said Price. "We source everything locally and can get much more for much less."
Much more is needed as winter approaches. "It gets really cold here in the winter time”, said Price, "The rats here are bigger than cats and I've seen them eat through walls to get into a warmer place." Refuges tents offer little protection from the cold or the rats.
The needs will only increase for these people who have entered a city whose public services are limited and stretched thin and where the of supply of cash almost nil from private enterprise, residents or from the refugees. "Once winter sets in their needs will not only be food and water but blankets and coats," said Price. "This crisis will only get worse as time goes on and the diseases are just starting."
Price spent three years in Erbil as a Private Military Contractor running Personal Protection and Mobile Security Teams across Iraq’s treacherous highways. He now focuses on humanitarian aid missions with generous donations from the Tactical, Firearm Industry, and Christian community. "The aid provided to this and other camps are due to the generous donations of many people not typically associated with international humanitarian aid giving," said Price.
While IDPs here in Iraq and in particular from Erbil await the charge of humanitarian aid groups to come to their aid and to start putting more pressure on the US government to act against the terror threat that created this crisis, Price will continue to operate in defiance of the fear many aid groups feel that keep them bound to the safety of American borders.
While they wait the camps will continue to fill and Aida's school will continue teaching peace and love under the specter of war and fear. "I came here because these are my people and they needed help," said Aida. "I took off from work, brought coloring books and started teaching."
The HASF Team is planning another mission to provide relief to the IDP’s as soon as financially possible