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A Generational Love Story


Over the last couple of weeks we have fallen in love and as you know, such matters of falling in love are never planned. As I shared last week our Art Director, Salam visited a remote school whose headmaster had asked for our help in painting the school.

 

The school, Dakha Primary School, educational home to 20 students both Yezidi and Muslim, with 8 teachers both Yezidi and Muslim is so far out that access is dangerous. It means driving “roadside”. Roadside is not merrily, merrily bumping along a country lane. Roadside is getting off the main highway home to oil tankers and trucks that drive so fast that one inevitably turns over killing anywhere between one and many every day. Roadside is driving in the rut made by countless drivers along the side of the highway, driving in the opposite direction to the hurtling trucks. Roadside means taking your life in your hands. It’s madness but argue and you’ll be told that it saves going an additional 20 kilometres to a place where you can cross the highway in safety and turn back.  Perfect sense in this corner of the world.

 

Once across the highway and breathing again, this forgotten, neglected school appears. Mr. Basil Jundi Salim and his staff are waiting outside for us, dressed in their most formal clothes. The pitiful classrooms had been emptied of their few broken wooden desks in anticipation of us painting their rooms.



This project was important to us not just as a part of our monthly community service but we felt strongly to help them preserve the school, in order to give the village value and meaning. So much of the lands owned by the Yezidi community in Kurdistan have been prised out of their hands causing over the years a demographic shift, and in some cases outright ethnic cleansing.

 

Inhabitants of Dakha village had left due to the fourth world conditions of the village school. Once their land was abandoned it was taken over, easy to do when possession is generational but without documentation. Remembering and recalling the generations is paramount, take Mr Basil’s name for example. His name is Basil, his father is Jundi, his grandfather Salim. Some Yezidis, especially those from Shingal use up to six generational names.

 

Mr Basil desired a beautiful school in order to unite the village and keep their lands in their possession.

 

The photos will speak for themselves, they are a picture of transformation. What was so precious to us was that after we left, the entire village turned out to see the new school, and their comments were that hope had come, a new day had dawned and that the school had come to life and was blooming. 



 

Headmaster: Basil Jundi Salim


“My name is Basil Jundi Salim, I was appointed by the Al Quosh (home to Nahum the Prophet) educational district as Headmaster four years ago. Since the time of my appointment, I have desired to improve our small school but no one in the field of education has responded. The school was built in 2008 and you are the first organization to come and visit, and to help. We have no help from the Ministry of Education.

 

I will write a report and send it to the Al Quosh authorities because I am so proud of your work. It has changed the atmosphere of the school, the students, the teachers and the entire village. Everyone who drives by, stops in astonishment. My staff are so happy and grateful.

 

We still need a fence as you see that the wild dogs come in which is so dangerous for our students. We need notebooks, and materials, we would be grateful for any help that you can provide.”

 


 

School Staff: Dilshad Ibrahim


“Hello, my name is Dilshad Ibrahim. Good greetings to you all. In the name of all the staff of the Dahka Primary School in the Faida District, I would like to thank all of the Springs of Hope Foundation team for the beautiful initiative that you took in painting our school and making it look wonderful. Our days of complaining about its not so beautiful appearance have ended and you have changed our reality giving it glorious beauty.

 

We would all like to thank the music team for their wonderful concert and opportunity for our students to sing. We, the staff all agree that we have never seen our students so engaged and happy.

 

We are eternally grateful to you. For sure our students will desire to study here and more will come.”

 

Teacher: Rana

“I am teacher Rana and I am so glad to say my opinion and view about this great organization. First, I want to say thank you to the team who were happy to help us and paint our school. They did this work in the most perfect way and our students were excited to draw and paint with them.

 

The most beautiful part was the music team, who offered a range of wonderful and gorgeous songs that made all of us joyful and brightened the hearts of the neighbors who could hear the joyful sound. The students sang and danced with them and were all very shiny and bright.  Thank you for your fabulous and elegant job.”



 

School Staff: Ms. Salwa Badal

“I am Ms. Salwa Badal, one of the staff. I wish to express my appreciation and gratitude to Springs of Hope Foundation for this beautiful and orderly work done in our school. 

The painting of the school and the artistic and musical activities gave our students unlimited fun, and their families were very happy and saw how our school has the potential to become a hub of life.

 

Thanks to all the SOHF team, very well done. You were all very intelligent, expert and capable in your fields. You have built great self confidence for our students and their happiness knows no bounds.

 

Thanks to Springs of Hope Foundation, the teachers and administrators have fallen in  love with our school, and have more enthusiasm to teach. We are all sure that the students will stay, and that some will even return now that they see such rare beauty.

 

We wish you continuity in your beautiful and sacred work.”



 

When we heard that the students had never been on a day trip of any kind we invited them to Horses for Hope, which is where and when we decided to adopt this tiny school and to help keep them positioned on their ancient lands. To help with an ingathering of those families who left due to the lack of a school with basic conditions, and to help prevent further dispersion.



Our heart’s desire is to adopt this school, to bring them to Horses for Hope once a month which means we have to rent a minibus for them and provide snacks for them. 

 

We would love to give them a gift of $100 a month for the next school year to enable them to purchase the most basic of needs, notebooks, pencils, paint for art work, and text books.

 

This goes way beyond education, this is about generational inheritance and possession. I think of Psalm 49:11, “Their houses will last forever, their dwelling places to all generations, they call their lands after their own names.”

 

“Tell your children about it, and let your children tell their children and their children the next generation.” 

Joel 1:3

 

We would love it if you can help us continue to bring life, hope, and future to this tiny school, to see their numbers grow and their lands remain in their possession for the generations to come.

 

Administrational Note

 

My assistant Ayhan has taken over the maintenance of communication to those who financially support our students. He has been sending updates for the past couple of months, which have reached some, others not. Please ensure to add his email address to your contact list if you are supporting our students, thank you.

 

Ayhan Hameed

 

Can you help?

With your help transformations are happening that will last for generations.

 

Every donation makes a huge difference.


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