Posted by Billy Ray, Project Director in Iraqi-Kurdistan. The past month has simply been momentous in our work here in Iraqi-Kurdistan. It all started about four weeks ago when we were meeting with a Kurdish lady and her sister. She had heard about our community center project, and, in fact, lived just around the corner.
She was in a dilemma. With a government budget to provide sewing classes and other vocational programs, she no longer had a venue in which to operate. The community center that she had been working out of had recently been completely cut off from local foot traffic because of road construction that looks to never end, at least not in the near future.
So, obviously, we were looking for a Kurdish lady to partner with, and since we seemed to have the same heart for the women and children, we decided to take a step of faith.
The sewing classes have begun, and now they want to expand with some exercise courses. Without a moment's hesitation, they put up a sign at the back of our building, and the women are starting to come. It's amazing!
It's just always difficult to make that all important step from being a "building built by a foreign organization" to "a local facility run and operated by Kurds.” I believe that we're seeing a glimmer of hope in our work here. Dawn goes most afternoons now to be with the women and get to know them. She says, "They are just giddy with excitement!" (Just having a place to go is so special for them.)
Can you tell we have bigger smiles on our faces these days?