Ramadan waits for his heart surgery. His face is expressionless.

Ramadan is a 14 year-old surrounded by 14 month-olds.

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Ramadan had to make the hardest decision of his life...would he have heart surgery?

There’s a terrified, skinny boy in the hospital today. The cardiologist from Benghazi is looking at his heart, recommending urgent surgery. 

“Ramadan, will you let them operate on you?”

The 14 year-old has heard this question again and again for the past seven years. “Will you accept?”

His answer is always the same: “No.”

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Esam hangs out before getting a test on his heart.

When we met Esam last week, he would have been the perfect candidate for heart surgery, if only he didn't have a chest infection. 

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Honouring Rahma

Rahma and her mom had time to cuddle outside of the operating room, before her surgery.

For a few moments before she went into the operating room, Rahma and her mom had time to cuddle in the hallway. Rahma was intent on eating the hem of her mom’s scarf and stuffed it into her mouth with a chubby fist.

That time is precious now. Rahma didn’t make it through the surgery. 

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jeremycourtneyinterview.jpg 

Q: How much of my donation goes to help women and children in Iraq? Specifically, what is the work you are doing to help them?

A: 100% of your donations will directly benefit our work in Iraq. Some of that will include renovating school buildings, providing housing and sanitation, and hiring laborers to do the work, among other things. 

As it relates to helping ISIS survivors start their new businesses, the money will go toward buying supplies for new corner stores, market or fruit stands, sewing machines, motor scooters for delivery services, bulk wheat flour for bakeries, and inventory for accessory shops, just to name a few.

And new crises are still happening or on the horizon—so we are preparing for what's to come, as well.

And good program execution requires good management, good data and financial tracking, good reporting and good communication with those we are serving and those who are helping make it happen—you! We'll make sure we are investing in those things as well so that we are not just sending money out the door without ensuring that we have the capacity to be accountable for it. 

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