Caretaking comes naturally to Chinar, 11. Unlike some other girls her age, she can usually be seen around home with a baby on her hip and a gaggle of children surrounding her. She is one of the oldest children in her village, and she takes responsibility seriously.
And that includes caring for the lamb in this photo.
It’s no surprise that when this lamb’s mother died, Chinar took it under her wing. She brought the lamb to sleep with her in the shipping container, where she lives with the rest of her family. It’s not uncommon for children to do this with the baby sheep in her community. Chinar even took time to find a baby bottle and feed the lamb several times a day, nourishing it to health.
A little over two years ago, Chinar fled her home in northern Iraq with her mother and siblings, after her father was killed fighting ISIS. They settled in a muddy field miles from home with seven other families, not knowing what would come next.
They wondered how they would eat, where they would live, and how their lives would be remade.
Then love showed up, because of you.
Your giving allowed Chinar’s mom and her sisters to empower themselves by making soap. In addition, last year the families purchased 30 sheep.
Initially, the animals struggled through cold and sickness during the winter. The effort to keep the sheep alive brought the community together—and with love, care, and determination from these families, the sheep survived.
When you donate sheep to families like Chinar’s, you not only give fathers and mothers a chance to rebuild their lives—you give children a chance to heal from the traumas of war. Give the gift of sheep!
Now, a year later, there are more than 120 sheep. The families are starting to make a new life for themselves. They’ve built pens for the sheep to stay warm this winter, and now they can sell the sheep to earn money.
But there's another benefit to these animals—one that's harder to measure, but no less powerful.
Children like Chinar are making connections with the animals—loving them without fear of harm. According to psychologists, safe attachment is a crucial part of the recovery process for children who've experienced trauma. The presence of an animal or a loving caregiver can help buffer the negative effects of war and "provide the safety and nurturing that allows the child to process the traumatic events and return to a sense of safety and well being."
Because of you, Chinar and her neighbors are able to connect with and care for the sheep and, in turn, care for one another. Slowly, they are able to heal from the pain and devastation caused by ISIS.
This Christmas, empower a family with the gift of sheep—a vital source of income, nutrition, and healing for refugees who lost everything to war. Give now!
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