IS, Islamic State formerly known as ISIS/ISIL, has been ethnically cleansing the indigenous roots of Iraq which belong to the Assyrians. As a result, Assyrians, Yazidis and other Iraqi minorities are facing a genocide which has forced the remaining to flee with only the clothes on their backs.
Many of us "grownups" in the west feel helpless. Simply sharing on social networks and going to rallies is not enough to drive the action we want. I hear these comments time and time again:
"Somebody should do something."
"We need help!"
"Why won't the world intervene?"
"Somebody should step up."
Here is my favorite:
"Thats so sad, I will pray for God's intervention."
The statements above are quite pathetic as they imply somebody else including God should do something instead of taking ownership to drive change ourselves.
Last week, a group of mothers living in California were spurred by the creative genius of a 7 year old girl, Izabelle, to help the effected Assyrian minorities in Iraq. The idea was simple, create a 'Lemoن - Aid' stand to raise money for the ACERO foundation that sends aid directly to those impacted. The arabic letter 'nun' is used by IS to mark the homes of the Christians targeted for death. The name of the lemonade stand is a beautiful play on words connecting the atrocities Assyrians are facing with the innocent and ambitious efforts of a young girl wanting to help out other kids that may not see their next birthday.
Izabelle's innocent and, quite frankly, genius idea raised over $3,000 in a matter of hours.
The 'Lemoن - Aid' stand got me thinking. If an innocent child can drive this type of local action, what other ideas would she have to help?
So I asked.
Her responses amazed me:
Question: "How would you help the people who don't have homes now in Iraq?"
Izabelle: "I would give them my toys and they can have all of my food."
Question: "What about the kids who are sick and need more than just toys and food to get better?"
Izabelle: "I would take those kids to the hospital."
Question: "What about the bad guys who made everyone leave their homes?"
Izabelle: "I would call 9-1-1 on them."
She would give all over her food and toys to the ones who don't have homes, take the sick ones to the hospital and call 911 on the bad guys. The deep and unflinching innocence was amazing in her comments. Isabelle would be willing to give up everything for her friends in Iraq and Syria to be safe.
Izabelle's spirit drives and motivates the Demand For Action leaders worldwide. Her desire to help gives the community hope for the future. The short term goal of a Safe Haven for those affected is worth the effort and puts the long term goal of an autonomous region in the Nineveh Plains in sight. The more Izabelles we have driving action in the community, the more likely the world will be saved from another genocide.
So if we "grownups" have ever thought about acting, donating and lobbying for what is humanly right, now is our time. Demand and drive for action!