0800-0900: What was originally an hour-long trip to the berm this morning quickly turned into more, as over 200 IDPs (50-60 families) were arriving when Gerard and Kent arrived. Amazingly enough, part of the UNHCR team was there to witness the large numbers of people coming in too! Gerard and Kent were able to connect with them more about what we’re experiencing on the front lines, and the needs we’re seeing as numbers increase.
0930-1030: Recognizing this was an “all-hands” type morning, Kent drives back to the base of operation in Bashiqa. Getting word about the situation earlier that day, Emily, Page and Tori had already staged water, blankets and tea to be loaded into the vehicles. The team spends the next hour getting all supplies into the ambulance and patrol cars.
1030-1300: The whole team drives back to the berm, fully loaded up with supplies! Upon arrival, families began to pass through the Peshmerga security clearance. The girls on our team are asked to help screen women and children through pat-downs and bag checks, offering them dignity and smiles as they stepped across.
There was so much excitement in the air, as families realized they were truly walking out of the darkness in Mosul. We even witnessed some men joyously shaving their beards, after years of never being allowed to do so by Daesh/ISIS.
After being screened through, the IDPs are loaded onto vehicles that take them to the UN camps for further care. Afterwards, our team makes some classic Kurdish tea (with extra sugar!) and hands it out to the Peshmerga for a little break.
1400-1700: From there, the team splits: Gerard and Kent stay at the berm to meet 40 more new arrivals on their way from Mosul! They give out water, blankets and more tea so the families can keep warm over night.
Page, Emily, Tori and Dlshad head into the local bazaar to re-stock on food and supplies for the week.
1800-2000: Coming back together in Bashiqa, the team has a beautiful time of worship and prayer - praising God for the day and the way He’s provided!