14 Aug 2014

ACDI/VOCA - Hope Renewed: How a family hit twice by loss has rebuilt their lives thanks to the Marla Fund

Ali Ahmed (name changed for security), 23 years old and a student at Yarmouck University College in Diyala also worked at a local coffee shop to contribute to his family’s income. On July 19, 2010, soon after Ali arrived to work, he was killed by a car bomb that exploded beside the coffee shop. Ali’s family was devastated by his death, and the loss of his contribution to the family income meant they could not meet their basic livelihood needs.
In 2013, ACDI/VOCA Marla Ruzicka Iraqi War Victims Fund partner Hara’a Humanitarian Organization (HHO) in Baquba heard of the family’s story and after the standard vetting and project approval process was able to help them establish a retail business selling mobile phones and accessories that could provide the family with much-needed self-reliance and income. Sadly, in June 2013, three weeks before the third anniversary of Ali’s death and only days before the business was due to open, tragedy struck the family once again. A car bomb detonated near the family’s home, again killing and wounding many people, among them Ali’s father.
The support offered by friends, ACDI/VOCA, and HHO helped them to find the strength to pull together once again. Adnan (name changed for security), the youngest member of the family, took on the role of manager and worked hard to start the business. After just a few months Adnan’s efforts were yielding profits and today the business earns the family up to ID 500,000 monthly. “Thanks to USAID/Iraq’s funding I can now support myself and my family,” Adnan said. “The success of the shop has not only given me confidence, but allowed me to continue my high school studies. It has also helped me pay off my late father's debts and contribute towards my brother’s marriage. This project has transformed the lives of my family members and saved us from much suffering,” said Adnan. “We thank USAID/Iraq’s BPCS program for funding this project and ACDI/VOCA and HHO for their hard work in implementing it. Ali and my father would be proud to see all that we have done and would be happy to know that we now have a good future.”
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