Fifteen months ago I wandered into a refugee camp in The South East of Turkey. I had no idea what or who would greet me and I had no idea of what that visit would prompt me to do.
I am Rachel Miller a mum of 3 who lives in Nottingham. Over the past year I have been supporting those escaping the horrors of The Syrian War and various regimes and Dictatorships around The World. I have been involved in helping many people fleeing persecution and genocide. Many of them are simply looking for a better life for themselves and their families...others are simply trying to survive.
It all started on that first trip to the camp in Diyarbakir, Turkey. The camp held over 6000 Ezidi refugees who had fled the onslaught of ISIS. I'd never met an Ezidi before and in all honesty knew very little about them. That day I learnt a lot, I learnt that they had been slaughtered by ISIS because they didn't follow Islam. I met many that had lost family members on their journey to freedom and i heard too many stories of the horrors that they had witnessed. I learnt that they were just decent human beings who were suffering terribly.
Determined to help them I set about raising some money to help refugees in whatever way I could. That journey has taken me to many countries and has allowed me to help many people from different cultures, different faiths and different ethnicities.
However I have never forgotten that first day in the camp and my heart holds a place for the Ezidi people. So over the past year much effort has been made to support their community and to help those who have fled ISIS captivity. Many men and young boys were massacred during August 2014 in their villages in Shengal and Sinjar, Iraq. Many women and young girls, young children among them were dragged off to be used as slaves. Still over 3000 remain in Captivity... yet slowly, over time some have managed to escape their captors.
The stories are beyond horrific and i struggle to comprehend what I see and hear. Children as young as 6 years who have been raped, girls and boys...
I have seen too many scars, too many bruises, fear even when in safety that 'they' will come back again...
To hear of a child of ten years old committing suicide, seeing the scars of cuts on an even younger child who has tried to slit her wrists, I wonder what horror they must have been living through to consider that at such an age.
Through your donations we can help these children and children like them. We can make a difference and we can change lives . We can give freedom and practical help to enable the victims to move on. For them not have to worry about where their next meal will come from. Your donations will allow them to discard the clothes they wore during rape or slavery...to be clean, to look to a future.
Through my volunteering I have met many people who would also like to help and so was born our new charity MESOPOTAMIA.
We simply help those in need, feed those who are hungry and clothe those who are cold. It doesn't matter who they are or where they are from, they are a fellow human in need and if we can, we help.