Sentere Pengageh | The Haven Center
June 2016 the Haven Center opened in Shariya, Kurdistan, Northern Iraq.
Quickly it became exactly what it was intended to be: a haven. With 53 kids who have been displaced by ISIS enrolled for our summer program, we daily have to turn away others who desperately want to attend.
Those who were chosen for our summer semester receive programming four days a week. They study English, Kurdish, character lessons, and exploration lessons. They have learned about how a tadpole changes into a frog, how to respect people with special needs, their ABCs, and how to use a computer. They have learned how to introduce themselves to new people and how to conduct themselves with confidence.
The goal of the Haven Center is to provide both a safe space for kids to learn and grow, but also a place that helps build members of society that are going to be strong, confident, and future leaders. We believe that the work we are doing is investing in the future of a more peaceful Shariya, a more peaceful Kurdistan, a more peaceful Iraq. We also believe that we are creating the strongest force to fight terror and darkness in this world, an educated and passionate generation.
This summer, thanks to a generous donor, we have also been able to provide Art Therapy for our 53 kids. The kids spent a month studying tactile art and have just finished their first week of theater art. Next month they will finish out the summer semester with written art. Last week we got to celebrate their accomplishments as a local cultural center hosted an Art Exhibition for our kids to display their art from the first month to the community. We are so proud of our kids!
And we couldn’t do any of it without the great staff and volunteers that are tirelessly working for the benefit of their community. Most of our staff and volunteers are from Shariya originally, and they are sacrificing time and energy to improve the lives of kids who have settled down in their streets and overloaded their community.
And they don’t just stop with the kids. The Haven Center has also been offering English and Computer courses for youth and young adults, tutoring courses for high school students, a photography workshop for our volunteers, and the ideas and plans just keep coming.
This is what it looks like for a community to rally together, to exhibit love, to defy the hardships that have fallen on them, and to chase dreams together.
We are so proud of the Haven Center. We would very happily show you around if you find yourself in Shariya, Kurdistan anytime soon.
Until then, would you consider being a dream enabler? Would you commit to a monthly donation to make sure the Haven Center can keep running, and make sure that we are able to get those kids we turned away in for our Fall Semester? We cannot do this without dedicated cheerers like you!
Don’t keep talking about the Refugee Crisis and terrorism in the Middle East and why you’re afraid of those Iraqi people if you won’t do anything about it.