Yousif and Amina and their little boys who are 8 and 10 had to leave Iraq due to the threat to their lives posed by ISIS. They would now be dead had they stayed (Amina, who was a school teacher, witnessed a colleague being shot dead for refusing to teach the ISIS syllabus). They had a terrifying journey out of Iraq and did what any of us would do to get our children away from such a horrifying situation.
They now live in Austria and Yousif is desperate to work (he managed a hydraulic water centre) to support his family but he is not allowed to do this due to immigration laws. They currently receive 40 Euros a month plus food rations and a very basic council flat, for which they are immensely grateful.
Since being in Austria, Amina has become very ill and has become paralysed. Her condition has slightly improved but the doctors are sending her to a hospital over six hours from her home and they anticipate she'll need to stay there for six months.
Their boys are distraught and the little one said if his mama can't come home, he wants to go and live at the hospital.
Every trip to Graz will mean expensive train fares and an overnight stay which will cost around 300 Euros a week, which they don’t have. Yousif has said they could maybe just go once a fortnight but even that is financially impossible.
This campaign is trying to raise 10,000 Euros for them so that they have enough money to visit Amina once a week. Any extra will be spent on food and clothes for the boys and an immigration lawyer because they’re desperate to be able to settle, work, contribute to their community and be assured of their human rights again.
It’s hard not to feel complicit if your country bombed theirs to the extent that these horrendous losses have been possible. Helping this family doesn’t feel like charity – but social justice. Iraq is still dangerous, devastated and not an option for them but Amina couldn’t fly even if it were.
Please help with whatever you can. Even a pound lets them know someone out there cares and they have friends. If you can afford more, you’d be changing lives.
This is a picture of their family home in Iraq:
And this is what it looks like now: