Chenar is a wife, and mother of three. When her third child, a daughter, was just a few days old, Chenar and her family fled to Dohuk, a small town in Northern Iraq. To make the six-day journey, they had to sell everything they owned, sleeping on bare floors along the way, and Chenar fashioned a cradle for her baby daughter out of a tomato crate.
Chenar’s baby refused to breastfeed during the trip due to the extreme heat.
Relief finally came when Chenar learned they’d be relocated to a camp supported by the United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR) and its humanitarian partners. Family-sized tents are used at the camp, but there are still some challenges, like a lack of electricity, dirt floors, and having to walk five minutes for fresh water.
Even during high temperatures, Chenar has worried about what will happen when winter arrives. “Our hope is that we can move to a warmer structure—we’re afraid that when it gets colder we will freeze.”
Construction is well under way for protective buildings, those with concrete floors and walls to better protect against harsh winter conditions. But with more than 600 families in Dohuk sleeping on the streets, it’s crucial that these new shelters are built as quickly as possible.
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You can help UNHCR in their life-saving work providing aid in times of emergency. Those emergencies are happening NOW. Your donation is tax-deductible and will provide immediate assistance to those who need it most. The refugee crisis in Syria is unprecedented. On this Human Rights Day, please help mothers like Chenar ensure she can keep her family warm and safe this winter.