Gift of Water


Haifa, a displaced Iraqi mother of three, stands outside her small home. She is happy to have two water tanks provided by World Vision so that she doesn’t have to fetch water with children in tow.

For Haifa, the simple act of accessing water is a sign of hope.

Haifa, 25, lives in a small shelter in Dawedeya Camp, near Duhok, a city in the Kurdistan region of Iraq. Fighting in northern Iraq has forced thousands of families to flee to safer areas in the country. More than 2 million people are now displaced, the United Nations reports.

Haifa’s family, uprooted by violence from their ancestral homeland in Sinjar, is among the 23,000 people who now call Dawedeya home. 

During the day, Haifa’s husband is away, trying to find work to earn enough money to feed his family.
Job No. 1 for Haifa and the kids, Hisham, 7, Raw-a, 5, and 2-year-old Naif: Find water.
Haifa often logged miles during her daily and frequent trips to a community water tank and, with three youngsters in tow, she was unable to haul enough water back to the camp, describing it as “never enough.” She refused to leave her children behind, fearing for their safety, and often carried one on her hip instead of a container in her hand.
“We had to keep hauling water even in cold weather,” she says.

Recently, World Vision distributed 80-gallon water tanks to 900 households in Dawedeya Camp, where men and women gathered to help in the effort despite the rain-soaked, slippery and muddied roads in the camp .

For Haifa, the water tanks are a blessing.

“After [World Vision] provided a water tank, all my family needs to do when we need water is to go out of our caravan and open the faucet,” Haifa says. “We are very happy. This tank made my work easier.”

Photo ©2015 Cecil Laguardia/World Vision

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