09/19/2019 Washington D.C. (International Christian Concern) – Before ISIS invaded Qeraqosh in 2014, Bassam worked on his family’s generational chicken farm. His father had been a chicken farmer in the 1980s, and Bassam knew since he was a child that he would one day work on the chicken farm as well. And he did, until ISIS arrived.
ISIS completely ransacked farms throughout Qeraqosh, destroying them and using them both as a lookout and point of cover from coalition maneuvers. With the destruction of these farms, Qeraqosh’s economy collapsed and countless families, including Bassam’s, were displaced.
Unsurprisingly, displacement took a huge toll on Bassam and his family. They lost their only source of income, their home, and the community around them. In order to continue providing for his family, Bassam took up multiple odd jobs which provided a meager income.
The displacement particularly impacted the health of his family. His wife was pregnant at the time, and though she was able to give birth, the baby was mentally disabled and died soon after birth. Furthermore, Bassam’s 90-year-old father required special medical attention, but could not obtain any.
In 2017, Bassam returned home to Qeraqosh, but there were very few opportunities available for him to pursue. He decided to restart his chicken farm with his three sons who were still alive. Raising chickens costs more capital than he had available, so he went into debt trying to restart the farm and was later unable to afford all of the supplies needed to care for the chickens. As a result, he lost the entire flock to disease, further deepening his debt.
ICC partnered with SWIC to help Bassam restart his chicken farm for the second time. In a three-stage process, our team ensured that Bassam received all of the necessary resources to start and maintain a healthy and sustainable farm. On April 10, 3,000 chicks were delivered to him and on June 11, a second round of chickens was delivered. Bassam is deeply grateful to ICC for helping him restart his life again.
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