Huda is a widow and a mother of three—two sons and a daughter. Her children are Issa (17 years old), Rami (12), and Souad (13). Huda's husband was killed in the early part of the invasion during a road-side bomb in a very poor neighborhood of Baghdad where the family lived. Huda was working as a cleaning lady and babysitter for some families. These jobs are the family's only source of income. But when Huda became very ill, Issa left school in order to work and help taking care of the rest of the family, especially the other two children who are still in school.
Through one of the local churches in Baghdad, the family was assisted with a cash grant which was provided by an MECC partner for the most needy Iraqi families. I met Huda and found that she was not only needy but very sick, so I was able to refer her to a church-related hospital which has received support through the MECC in the form of medical supplies. The hospital gives free service to all needy families, both Christian and Muslim. I also was able to offer the rest of the family with food relief items and a hygiene kit, provided by ACT International, one of the MECC's partners. These items were most important for the very malnourished children.
Huda was treated well medically and was able to go back to her family and work to take care of her family. I have continued to meet Huda and her family and have experienced their immense gratitude to the MECC and others who stood beside them in their time of need. They were able to face their difficulties with this support and feel overwhelmed with the care and attention they have received.
Mr. Koutmeh formerly served as Middle East Council of Churches Office Director in Baghdad, Iraq.