ISIS chased more than one million people from their homes in the Kurdistan region of Iraq. Militants swept through the city and the people were forced to flee for their lives. All they had were the clothes on their backs—no money, food, or cars. The one thing they could cling to was hope. Hope is what they found in a small refugee village in Kurdistan Iraq run by Mayor Murad Mardilos Wartanian.
At the time, the village was comprised of 115 families, living in 115 houses. Then 82 refugee families arrived. More and more homeless people came to the village. The mayor did not turn any of them away; instead, he welcomed them enthusiastically.
“We came here when we had no place to go to, and the people here did not abandon us. They provided everything we need,” says one refugee.
The mayor made room for them to live in the school and the main hall. He gave them beds, clothing, and food. Thanks to his generosity, they enjoy a feeling of safety that seemed gone forever.
“We are not perfect, but we love helping others, because we know this is an emergency, and people in hard situations should show who they really are and be good to one another,” says the mayor.
LDS Charities provides food and commodities for refugees in this village and other places around the world. To find out how you can give back, visit giveback.lds.org.