The Christian persecution charity Open Doors is helping victims of the war in Iraq rebuild their lives.
Open Doors is providing small
but life-changing loans to help Christians set up new businesses such
as honey production, barbers shops, farms and shoe shops.
The charity gives the funds to churches and their partners in Iraq, who pass them onto Christians who have lost everything.
One young man, Artin, 19, has set up a new business as a barber in Al
Quosh, in the traditionally-Christian Nineveh plain area. ISIS is
currently being driven from Nineveh plain and Mosul but thousands have
died and the devastation being left in the wake of the terror group is
Artie said: "Many Christians are leaving Iraq. They see no future
here. I myself was one of them. I travelled to Turkey, looking to
migrate, but I just missed my people too much. I decided to come back."
He is offering discount hair cuts and is also training two barbers himself, so they can set up in business on their own.
The loans given by Open Doors are about
£5,500 each. Already this year, 40 loans have been given and the charity
expects 90 per cent of them to be repaid in full.
Another recipient, Nashwan, used his to set up a shoe shop in a shipping container.
He lost his original shoe shop business when he had to flee Baghdad because his life was at risk from Islamists.
He told Open Doors: "I try to sell a lot while keeping the process
low. Most of my customers are displaced people; they don't have a large
budget. Through this I can support them. I work long days and the profit
is low. But I am safe here and I am making a living, I don't complain.
It won't be easy and it will be hard work. But I still have a hope there
is a future for us here."