Saving the Children in Kurdistan and Iraq

By Carla Mufid:

On my recent visit to my homeland Kurdistan I decided that, as it was Ramadan, I should give back to my community by helping those who are less fortunate than me. I did this by applying to be a volunteer at a Kurdish charity, which helps children all over Iraq, called Kurdistan Save the Children.

Kurdistan Save the Children (KSC) really appealed to me as a charity because, even though it is run by Kurds and based in Kurdistan, it will happily and willingly help any child in Iraq, whether Arab or Kurd, Muslim or Christian. Kurdistan Save the Children is willing to give a helping hand to every child in need of their help. The charity has many projects going on, from helping out Syrian refugees to paying for cancer treatments. They do an awful lot to help out the less fortunate children in Iraq.

As I don’t speak Arabic, I didn’t feel I would be much use to the Syrian refugees and so I decided instead that helping out at a children’s cancer hospital would be a more suitable option for me, especially since I love working with children.

I only worked with KSC for a couple of weeks but, in that short amount of time, I made plenty of new friends among the volunteers of my own age. Not only that but I also met some very brave children who I can honestly say I will never forget.

The children I worked with were all victims of cancer. The hospital they were at was especially for children with cancer.

When I first walked into the ward I was slightly shocked: the hospital was nothing compared to hospitals I was used to seeing back in the UK.

If I had to be honest I’d say I was disappointed in the standard at healthcare in Kurdistan. The majority of the doctors seemed not to care very much about the state of their patients. For example, one of the days, I was working at Hiwa Childrens’ Hospital a young girl about the age of seven was very close to death. All the parents had surrounded this little girls’ bed, but not one doctor was there to help the girl out. The doctors were downstairs eating, and it is against hospital rules to disturb them while they’re eating! As I walked down stairs, I heard one child’s mother say, “Manali xalk xasarakan” referring to the doctors working at the hospital. Translation: they waste people’s kids.

Hearing this made me a little sad because, honestly, as much as I would like to deny it there was actually some truth in the statement. The KSC don’t really have much to do with the doctors. What KSC does is pay for the cancer patients to be taken abroad to get operations which are not available in Iraq. For example, I met a little girl, seven years old who needed a bone marrow transplant. Because bone marrow transplants are not available in Iraq, she was unable to have the transplant to fully recover from her cancer. The only way children in the same situation as this little girl can survive is if people donate to Kurdistan Save the Children at

Carla Mufid is a school student in the UK

2 Responses to Saving the Children in Kurdistan and Iraq
  1. Handrean Soran
    December 7, 2014 | 21:44

    Well done and very well written. Excellent article. Hope we see more from you.

  2. Delovan
    December 8, 2014 | 21:11

    Tip off:

    1- Roughly 7 billion of former Iraqi PM Nouri al-Maliki’s money is in Banks in Gulf states.

    2- There’s not enough transparency in KRGs received aid from international donors. Funds are unaccounted for.

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