A man and his shop

A Yezidi family in the Iraqi town of Sinune are looking forward to reopening their shop that was destroyed by Islamic State.

By Kim Wiesener, Communication Manager – June 2018

The words ”Lions of Islamic State” are written in large, black letters on the shop front. This graffiti is an unpleasant reminder of the violent times in August 2014 when the extremist movement invaded this part of Northern Iraq.

29 Aug 2018 |

The beekeepers on the mountain

On Mount Sinjar in Northern Iraq Mission East helps local Yazidis to create a new life for themselves. The activities include beekeeping and growing vegetables in large greenhouses.

By Kim Wiesener, Communications Manager

While Heba puts on her protection suit, the bees are humming loudly, joyfully and persistently in the background – as to emphasize the necessity of shielding oneself against their stings. She walks over to one of the beehives, opens the lid and proudly displays its contents.

10 Jul 2018 |

The children feel safe at the centre

More than 600 children attend the Mission East child centre in a poor neighbourhood in the Iraqi city of Kirkuk. Most of them have been displaced by war. At the centre they can play, learn and process the often harrowing experiences they have been through.

By Kim Wiesener, Communication Manager, November 2017

10 Jul 2018 |

When war knocked on Shamil’s door

Mission East has distributed food in several devastated neighbourhoods in West Mosul. Shamil, Saabira and Ahmed, who have all received emergency relief, recount the time during and after Islamic State.

By Kim Wiesener, Communication Manager, November 2017

When the front line reached Shamil’s street in West Mosul, about ten Islamic State warriors entered his house and set up camp there while awaiting the arrival of their enemy. They did not let any of the inhabitant’s escape, using them as human shields to avoid air strikes.

10 Apr 2018 |

Yezidi family is missing three children

The members of a Yezidi family in northern Iraq were brutally separated from each other because of Islamic State. The family has not heard from three of the children for more than two years. They are either still in captivity – or dead.

By Kim Wiesener, Communication Manager, November 2017

Air coolers make camp life bearable

Mission East has provided air coolers for an entire IDP camp in Iraq. They make the summer heat bearable for the camp’s more than 10,000 inhabitants who have escaped from Islamic State.

By Kim Wiesener, Communication Manager, October 2017

There is a world of difference between a tent with an air cooler – and a tent without one. This becomes very clear when there isn’t a cloud in the sky, the temperature reaches 45 degrees, and the Nazrawa Camp is suddenly hit by a power cut.

20 Feb 2018 |

IDPs earn an income from painting schools

Mission East has hired people who are displaced because of the conflict in Iraq to paint schools in a neighbourhood in Kirkuk. They earn an income, acquire new skills and make the local area look nicer.

By Kim Wiesener, Communications Manager, October 2017

16 Feb 2018 |

New hope for a forgotten village

In a village just south of Mosul, the inhabitants are on the edge of starvation and affected by almost three years of occupation by Islamic State. That is why Mission East has distributed food to them – and plans to do more. e

By Kim Wiesener, Communications Manager, October 2017

16 Feb 2018 |

’Mission East is our school’

It all started when a group of students wanted to make a difference in their war-torn country. Today, Mission East’s partner Humanity has grown into an organisation that helps thousands of Iraqis.

By Kim Wiesener, Communications Manager, September 2017

A young woman in the emergency frontline

Rozh Ahmed, 25, was the only female member of Mission East’s emergency response team as it started relief distributions in Mosul in late 2016. The experience has been tough and educational for her.

By Kim Wiesener, Communication manager, October 2017

If Rozh Ahmed had decided on a secure and predictable course in life, she might have become a university lecturer in her home city of Dohuk in Iraqi Kurdistan. Instead, the bright and well-educated woman has chosen to be in the frontline of Mission East’s relief effort in war-torn Mosul.

19 Jul 2017 |

”I have never seen anything this vulnerable in my entire life”

Seeing the distress of displaced Iraqi families made a strong impression on Danish parliamentarian Christina Egelund. She witnessed Mission East staff deliver emergency aid near Mosul and Kirkuk with dignity and respect for the displaced families.

By Svend Løbner, journalist

It is useful for politicians to get a glimpse of reality and meet people who have lost everything and depend completely on humanitarian aid from Denmark.

17 Jul 2017 |

Aid that benefits

An emergency relief kit can make a big difference to an Iraqi family.

Earlier this year, Najib, an Iraqi father and farmer, returned to his home in the Christian village of Telasquf near Mosul after having been displaced from there for two and a half years. When he met the Managing Director of Mission East, Kim Hartzner, he thanked him for the relief that he and his village had recently received.

17 Jul 2017 |

Forty-five tons of food for West Mosul

Last year, Mission East was one of the first international organisations to help the population of East Mosul. Since then, the organisation has also been at the forefront of relief efforts for the beleaguered inhabitants in the western part of the city.

By Kim Wiesener, Communications Officer

12 Apr 2017 |

Mission East makes a difference in Mosul

Managing Director Kim Hartzner visited Iraq in March together with Christina Egelund, spokesperson on political affairs for one of the governing parties in Denmark, Liberal Alliance. Meeting Mission East beneficiaries made a strong impression on both of them.

By Svend Løbner, Journalist, and Kim Wiesener, Communications Officer

12 Apr 2017 |

When fear takes hold of your body

Samira’s story gives a unique insight into the situation of Iraqi IDPs. Fear is the predominant feeling, and requirements for the future are modest. Samira and her family had to endure IS abuse for two years. Now they live in an IDP camp where they have received mattresses from Mission East.

By Svend Løbner, Journalist

Fear has taken hold of Samira’s body. The 25-year old mother escaped with her husband and children from the cruel regime of Islamic State and now live in a tent in Daquq IDP Camp outside Kirkuk in Iraq.

10 Feb 2017 |

Mission East is distributing aid near Mosul frontline

20 January 2017

The Dane Knud Andersen and his Mission East team have distributed emergency aid to 9,000 displaced people in and around Mosul. “We are close to the frontline and can hear planes and artillery above us,” he said.

This week, Mission East distributed more emergency aid to people fleeing the fighting in the Iraqi city of Mosul. The organisation has handed out cooking utensils and hygiene kits to hundreds of families near the war zone.

Iraq 2016: From Mosul to Mission East

Abdullah Said, a 21-year old Iraqi IT student, has escaped twice from the terrorist movement Islamic State. Now he is taking care of small children in one of Mission East’s child centres – in a camp where he is living himself.

By Kim Wiesener, Communications Officer

The chemistry is obvious. When Abdullah Said teaches Arabic writing to boys and girls of kindergarten age, everyone is smiling and laughing. Learning should be fun, and it is when he is working with three- to five-year-old kids at the Mission East Child Friendly Space at Nazrawa Camp.

31 Jan 2017 |

Iraq 2014: Emergency aid in the chaos of war

In the summer of 2014, the world was shaken by the news of Islamic State’s horrific treatment of everyone who did not support their rigid interpretation of Islam. Mission East is helping displaces Iraqis with support for body and mind.

By Svend Løbner, freelance journalist

16 Dec 2016 |

Hairdressing in a tent

At the Mission East youth centre on Sinjar Mountain, 50 young Yezidi girls have learnt to cut hair, while others have become adept at using a sewing machine.

By Kim Wiesener, Communications Officer

The young girls are handling the situation with a combination of seriousness and smiles. They are intensely focused on creating a beautiful, almost Hollywood-like, hairstyle for their friend, but it is also obvious that they are having fun.

16 Dec 2016 |

Escaped from Islamic State

A Yezidi family on Sinjar Mountain has been split into several parts due to the ravage of Islamic State in Northern Iraq. Four members are still prisoners of the terrorist movement.

By Kim Wiesener, Communications Officer

Naida has ten children – but only six of them are with her. Naida’s three oldest sons and one daughter are captives of the terrorist movement Islamic State. And the fate of her husband is uncertain.

16 Dec 2016 |

From Nepal’s civil war to hotspot Iraq

Binay Basyal is Mission East’s country director in conflict-ridden Iraq. The Nepalese aid worker is no stranger to civil wars – he experienced one in his home country.

By Kim Wiesener, Communications Officer

What does it take to lead a Mission East office in a war zone? According to Binay Basyal, it requires a combination of calmness and indignation – on top of the necessary professional skills.

16 Dec 2016 |

“It is hard to ignore when you see what they have been through”

The Danish emergency aid specialist, Knud Andersen, has been in Iraq since October to coordinate Mission East’s efforts to help the many people who are fleeing Mosul. A humanitarian disaster of this scale requires a lot of planning – and flexibility.

By Kim Wiesener, Communications Officer

Distribution of emergency aid is like a giant jigsaw puzzle. A lot of pieces need to fall into place when the scale of a humanitarian crisis becomes as large as it is expected to be when the flow of refugees out of Mosul escalates.

16 Dec 2016 |

Mahmoud wants to be no 1 in his class

Eight-year old Mahmoud has a serious disability, but the Mission East mobile child centre has inspired him to go back to school.

By Kim Wiesener, Communications Officer

When Mahmoud was five years old, he started feeling the symptoms of the disease that has now tied him to a wheelchair. A couple of years later, when he was in second grade, his school sent him home. It simply was not equipped to handle a pupil suffering from muscular dystrophy.

16 Dec 2016 |

Mission East helped them through the winter

In December 2015, displaced Iraqi families received help to cope with the winter cold.

By Kim Wiesener, Communications Officer

Jihan, her husband and their four children live in an unfinished concrete house. The window frames are big, gaping holes, and the “entrance door” to their temporary home is a thin piece of cloth.

Soap and water is deadly serious

Infectious diseases can cost the lives of people who have fled from war. At the centres established by Mission East in northern Iraq, children who have fled from war learn how to keep infection away with soap and water.

Red, blue and green finger paints are spread over plates all around the floor, and next to them are large, white sheets of paper ready to be decorated. After a while the paper sheets are littered with hand prints, and the many children in the room raise their coloured hands in excitement. 

Caught in the chaos of war

First, their village was occupied by IS. After that, bombs fell. 13-year-old Yasser and his family are marked by the war they fled from. Now they get help from Mission East.

16 Nov 2015 |

Hope for the displaced on Sinjar Mountain

Thousands of Yazidis in North Iraq have now returned to Sinjar Mountain from where they fled when the Islamic State attacked the area more than one year ago. Mission East is helping them with sanitation, shelter and processing the trauma.

10 Nov 2015 |

Women and children freed from IS terror - now they need help to survive.

A group of women and children were freed from Islamic State while Kim Hartzner was visiting Kirkuk in northern Iraq. As with all refugees, they are in desperate need of everything in order to make it through the coming winter. Mission East is distributing food and hygiene kits.

"We saw a whole group of people who had been liberated from their ISIS captors the very same day," says Managing Director Kim Hartzner, who has just returned from a visit to a village near Kirkuk in northern Iraq.

Finding hope and a second chance in Iraq

Everything changed for Ade and her children when they had to flee their home in Sinjar and leave everything behind one early morning last year. Life as an internally displaced person in northern Iraq is desperately hard, but at Mission East’s centre for support for displaced women and children, Ade gets the chance for a new beginning.

By Mev Bardiqi with translation by Azad Rasho, relief workers, Northern Iraq

The children must not be let down 

A year ago, the Yazidi religious minority in Iraq suffered violent attacks from the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIS). The UN has not hesitated to describe the atrocities as genocide.  History has shown that it is important that these victims are helped to deal with the shock in order to ensure that future generations do not also suffer from the horrific deeds.

23 Mar 2015 |

Press Release: Danes help thousands escaping from terrorism

Mission East has once more given out winter help to the displaced people of Northern Iraq who are escaping from Islamic State. Secretary General, Kim Hartzner says “The displaced people are shaken, and their gratitude is touching”.

The terror attack in Copenhagen cost two human lives and shocked Denmark. In Northern Iraq, one million people are on the run from the terrorist movement of Islamic State. The terrorists brutal misanthropy is going at full blast and murdering men, raping women and force marrying girls.

20 Nov 2014 |

Press release: Funding from the Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs provides vital winter aid to 12,000 Iraqi Internal Displaced Persons

With the funding from Mission East’s Humanitarian Partnership Agreement with the Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Danish aid organisation now has the opportunity to help 12,000 Iraqi internal displaced persons who would otherwise be left without aid during the winter. Later this month Managing Director Kim Hartzner will travel to the area once again to participate in the distribution of the vital winter equipment.

13 Oct 2014 |

Mission East ensures winter help for the most needy in Iraq

While the fighting in northern Iraq and Syria continues, the Danish organisation, Mission East, intensifies relief efforts as winter nears in the Dohuk region of northern Iraq.

With temperatures dropping to freezing point in the upcoming winter months, relief aid is urgently needed in the Dohuk region of northern Iraq. In light of this, aid workers from the Danish organisation, Mission East, provide winterization for the most vulnerable displaced people.

30 Sep 2014 |

Mission East is operational in Iraq with a Team of Emergency Experts

The Danish emergency organisation Mission East has established a team of emergency aid experts on the ground in Northern Iraq which is currently witnessing one the largest humanitarian crises in the world. The team will secure clean water, food and shelter for internally displaced Christians and Yazidis in the Dohuk Governorate. 

By Per Bergholdt Jensen