We are a global community of peacemakers remaking the world by providing lifesaving heart surgeries for children, food and shelter for those persecuted by extremists, education for at-risk children, and small-business empowerment grants so people can put their own lives back together.
Our story began in a hotel lobby inside Iraq in 2007. A fearful father, his beautiful daughter, her ailing heart, and the simple question, “Please, will you try to save her?” From that day, we threw ourselves into eradicating the backlog of children waiting in line for lifesaving heart surgery, often in the most war-torn, unreached parts of the Iraq like Fallujah and Tikrit.
These years of investing in Iraq’s medical infrastructure through training and lifesaving care resulted in over 1,300 heart surgeries. Because of our world renowned surgical teams, we were invited into every major region of the country. When ISIS rampaged onto the global scene, we were uniquely positioned to expand our programming so that we could continue to go to the conflict-zones others were fleeing, to love those no one else will love.
On the heels of our success in Iraq, we are now being invited to provide lifesaving heart surgeries for children around the world, in polarizing conflict-zones like Libya, Pakistan, and Iran.
Each person’s story is different, but the thing we all have in common is a desire to be peacemakers, to bring people together, and to encourage understanding. Our staff and volunteer base are diverse, including Muslims and Christians, Iraq War veterans and pacifists, conservatives and liberals. It is the belief that we are having an impact in the lives of people we love that drew us to work for Preemptive Love—it’s what keeps us coming to work day after day.
Want to join us in remaking the world? See our current job openings here.
No, but we are a faith-oriented community which encourages every person to respectfully bring their faith to the workplace. In our office and in our fields of service around the world, we have Muslims, Christians, doubters, and people who do not affiliate with any faith working side-by-side.
For us, faith and worldview are essential to being human, too important to avoid.
We work with anyone who will help us wage peace, bring communities together, and serve those others fear or forget.
To that end, we have partnered with governments around the world to help them develop hospitals and save the lives of their own children. We worked alongside the Iraqi military to air-drop essential aid for cities besieged by ISIS; we provided first-ever care for Libyan children during the ongoing civil war, and we continue to save the lives of Iranian children with the approval of the Iranian government.
The donation categories used on our website and/or in accompanying print materials are representative of some of the many needs Preemptive Love must meet as we heal hearts across enemy lines.
Accordingly, while we make every effort to digitally tag and track your donation and implement your donation on behalf of those you intended to serve, Preemptive Love leadership, with the full oversight of our Board of Directors and outside, independent third party auditors, reserve the right to use your donation "where needed most", as programmatic timing and capacities change according to unpredictable outside forces in the conflict-zones and fragile states where we live and work.
Absolutely! Whether you help provide lifesaving heart surgeries or launch new businesses for ISIS-survivors, we use 100% of your money to serve those in some of the world’s most polarizing conflict-zones.
Click here to see the collective impact donations have made over the years!
That depends on the work in question, but our greatest need is almost always funding. Your donations allow us to serve families that would normally be beyond reach, to invest where others won’t, and to keep lifesaving work going strong.
Yes, all donations are 100% tax-deductible. You will receive a contribution statement in the mail each January. Your online receipt will count as a contribution statement as well. If you have questions about your receipting or other tax-related issues, feel free to contact us here.
Wherever you are in the world, you can donate securely on our website by clicking here. Please note that in some countries, it isn’t possible to receive a tax refund due to our registration with the United States government.
Relief and Empowerment Questions
Ultimately, we start by asking displaced families one simple question: what do you need? If they recently fled and have absolutely nothing, we start with the basics: food, shelter, hygiene kits, and access to clean water. If their child has a life-threatening heart problem, we help get them the operation they need.
When the essentials are covered, we can explore work opportunities and getting their children into a local school. It’s often as simple as asking the parents, “What kind of work would you like to do?” We have helped parents start home bakeries, corner stores, sewing shops, cell phone accessory shops, fruit stands, candle making businesses, and much more.
How we help depends on the needs of the family standing in front of us. If there is an organization or person more qualified to help them, we set up a meeting. If they just need winter supplies to keep warm and already have food, and enough income, we focus on providing heaters, blankets, and coats. It really comes down to access and need.
As we’re deciding who to help, a more big picture guiding principle for us is to show up where others won’t, to love the people others won’t, and that means leaving the safe zones to help in front-line places like Ramadi, Baghdad, and Tikrit. Most relief for ISIS-victims in Iraq goes to the same places, but huge numbers of people are at risk, stranded outside these safe zones.
If we see they need help and no other groups are willing to go, the decision is already made—we go.
Empowerment (often referred to in our stories with the Arabic word, “tamkeen”) is not typically where we start with a family. Care begins with meeting essential needs and building trust. They need to see that we aren’t just popping in once and then moving on to another camp.
When we show up, we keep showing up because we know it takes more than just a few sacks of flour to help people get back on their feet—we have to show them we’re with them for the long term. Once we’ve reached that point with a community, families often come to us: “My wife and I would like to raise chickens.” “I need help starting a business to keep my kids in school.” “I heard you help people start businesses, and I know how to sew.”
From there, we work to get their business started and we follow up with them to make sure things are running smoothly, which they usually are!
When a family says they don’t need us anymore, we consider this a success. Some families start their business to survive until they can return home, until their home is liberated from ISIS and free of violence. Other families plan to stay long-term. Whatever their goal, we know we’ve done our job when people are self-sufficient. In some cases, empowerment grant recipients have even used their thriving new business to benefit other ISIS victims!
Lifesaving heart surgeries for children and hands-on training for doctors and nurses is our main focus, but we also have a doctor on staff and care for ISIS victims in a variety of other ways to meet their unique needs. This includes clinics, prescription medication, physical therapy and rehabilitation, trauma counseling, and more.
A Remedy Mission is a short-term, pediatric cardiac surgery and training mission providing hands-on training to local medical teams and lifesaving heart surgeries to children. Each mission provides anywhere from 15-25 lifesaving operations, and each lifesaving operation provides dozens of hours of training for local Iraqi doctors and nurses, so Remedy Missions save hundreds of lives while providing thousands of hours of essential training every year.
Remedy Fellowship is a year-long program that brings international medical teams into a country to train local doctors and nurses in their own hospitals. The consistency and longevity of this program is proving to be a successful model for training and has also doubled our surgical output since its conception in Aug 2012.
Congenital Heart Defects (CHD) are the most common birth defect in the world. In some Iraqi cities, the rate of babies born with CHD is 10x higher than the global average. In many cases, treatment requires a complex open heart surgery, and the long line children in need of these lifesaving surgeries increases each year. Without surgery, many of these children will die before they reach adulthood.
Yes, we do. Our model assumes quarterly visits to each program site (a hospital inside a regional hub). Our reliance on local cardiologists and medical teams ensures that each local hospital prioritizes and sets the agenda for patient selection (within development curricula)—after all, local doctors are the ones who are most intimately connected to the patients and their daily progress.
When a local cardiologist sees a child who has either (1) deteriorated and requires another intervention or (2) advanced as expected to the next step of a complex, staged intervention, the cardiologist prioritizes the child for follow-up treatment.
Each year we work with our international medical partners to continually increase the total number of pediatric cardiac surgeries done locally. In Iraq, Ministry of Health officials speculate 500 surgeries were accomplished in 2009 (of which we provided 23, or 4.6%, outside the country). The addition of our 82 surgeries in 2010 to the 500 baseline for a total of 582 approximated surgeries, represents an increase created by PLC of 14% over 2009. In 2011, we increased Iraq’s total number of pediatric cardiac surgeries to at least 719, and in 2012 we increased the total to at least 1,300. Since adopting the Remedy Mission model, our number of surgeries has doubled every year. The local teams we work with become more proficient each year. They will begin to take on a larger caseload than they could have in the previous year. None of these figures yet account for the additional output their training produces.
In March 2010, the Iraqi Ministry of Health asked us to expand our work to three additional sites. We are currently working in various ways to develop care across the country, with specific efforts initiated or sustained across seven sites. In August 2012, we launched the Remedy Fellowship Program, in which international surgeons and nurses take up residence in the Iraqi system to train local medical teams for 48 weeks out of the year.
View Our Impact page to see more of what you have helped us accomplish to date.
Personal Involvement Questions
The simple act of telling someone is powerful, and there are plenty of ways to spread the word and get your community involved. You can mobilize your mosque or church, your book club or sports team, or use your business to raise money. Email us and let’s explore it together!
We are not able to host volunteers in Syria and Iraq. If you live in the U.S. and would like to volunteer for us stateside, we’d love to hear from you! Contact us here to explore some of this more via email.
When it comes to relief aid, our 10 years of experience have proven the value of “local first.” Whenever possible, we source aid locally because it is more cost-effective and it benefits local economies. That’s why we don’t accept donations of supplies. To learn more about why we buy aid locally, read more.