Members of a Macksville Seventh-day Adventist Church (NSW) Sabbath school have raised more than $A1000 for a widow and her family in Iraq.
Impressed by the third quarter lessons on “The Least of These” (July–September 2019), the group raised the funds after Sabbath school member Alison Buckley told them about Alya, a widow she had learned of while on a five-week trip to Kurdistan, Iraq.
Alya’s husband had been killed by ISIS, and when Turkey invaded the Kurdish-Syrian region of Afrin in 2019, Alya and her two children were forced to flee to the Iraqi-Kurdish city of Sulymaniya.
At first, the family lived in a small apartment with Alya’s sister and husband, but the husband’s complaints about the children’s noise saw them relegated to one room, shared bathroom facilities and no refrigerator.
Alya was hopeful to find work but lacked the training. Overwhelmed aid agencies were unable to provide ongoing assistance to the family.
Hearing her story, the Macksville Sabbath school group members began to raise funds for Alya. The first contribution came from two visitors from Papua New Guinea.
At the end of one month, just over $A1000 was raised to pay for a hairdressing course, transport costs and clothes for Alya, as well as food for the family and school clothes and supplies for the children.