Rwanga Foundation delivered non-perishable foods, water, and non-food items to the desperate families. Taban Shoresh, Director of Public Relations and Media, is a genocide survivor who was on the dangerous helicopter ride to deliver aid. She described the mountain conditions as dire, adding, "the large dry terrain was exposed to the fifty degree sun.” Taban witnessed the extent of the humanitarian catastrophe that was taking place and described the moment when people scrambled on the helicopter as “heart breaking.”

Rwanga “aims to protect vulnerable people and provide opportunities to those that need it most, and those people trapped on Mount Sinjar needed our help,” explains Shoresh, a British Kurd who recently relocated to Kurdistan.

Following this crucial delivery, they have continued to provide aid to displaced people and are tackling head-on the huge humanitarian crisis that has taken the Kurdistan Region by storm. The internally displaced people have now reached an estimated 1.8 million, with 1.6 residing in Kurdistan.

Born out of the wish to assist the most vulnerable nationally and internationally, the members of Rwanga have made it their aim to “confer a better life and a better future to those who are in extreme need.” This year alone, Rwanga Foundation has helped over 350,000 people.

Rwanga Foundation is the trusted partner for many international organizations and countries looking to help in the region. Recently, Germany and the Netherlands donated 50 tons of food to be delivered to displaced people.

Sofia Barbarani, Rwanga Foundation

But as winter approaches and the temperatures plummet, Rwanga Foundation is looking for more partners to coordinate with and maximize help. Winterization items like blankets and heaters are a top priority in a bitter winter that often sees snow, rain, and freezing temperatures. Donations are a key part of the collective efforts to provide much-needed items that will see the displaced families through the winter. Donations can be made through their website or by contacting Rwanga directly.

Rwanga Foundation is also in the process of building a camp with 3,000 prefabricated units in Duhok Governorate that will house 24,000 individuals affected by the ongoing conflict. Many displaced people are still without shelter and more camps are needed in the region.

While the immediate focus has turned to helping internally displaced people through the cold winter months, Rwanga’s other area of interest is education, with a strong belief in the need to integrate young men and women into their communities and provide opportunities to ensure all have access to education.

Many schools in Kurdistan are occupied by displaced people, meaning many students are out of school. Rwanga is dedicated to helping to “build a stronger and better youth” by renovating 167 schools and aiming to build new ones from scratch. The lack of schools for both local and displaced children has been a huge source of concern for aid organizations and the Kurdistan Government.

The importance of education is engrained in all Rwanga members. In a bid to fully engage with the issues supported by the foundation, Taban is raising funds to build schools in Kurdistan’s Duhok Governorate. The initiative stems from Rwanga’s firm belief in the need for education, particularly in conflict zones.

Shelter and access to education is crucial to relieve the humanitarian crises that Kurdistan is facing. Rwanga Foundation is tirelessly and passionately doing their part to help. More can be done with the help of donations and partnerships, through providing funds, services, or sharing knowledge. This is your unique opportunity to make a difference- contact Rwanga Foundation and find out how you can help.