Bag A Smile Project, Gloucestershire

An enormous thank you to the lovely ladies who run the "Bag A Smile" project in Gloucestershire, and all the people who have donated to their appeal. They filled 147 "dignity bags" for displaced women and teenage girls. They raised the money and lovingly put together each of these bags which our partner has distributed this week to displaced women and girls in Dohuk city in Iraq.

These women and girls are living in informal camps, settlements and unfinished buildings which you can see below. Displaced people (IDP's) living in these circumstances tend to be missed by the larger aid organisations who usually focus on the formal camps meaning that IDP's living outside these big camps are often trying to survive in more difficult circumstances.

The need for these bags has become very apparent over the last 18 months during our aid distributions. Our partner in Dohuk has been faithfully distributing our aid for the last 20 months and he is so thoughtful and intuitive when it comes to observing and communicating the needs of the people there.

Often, his sister goes with him to distribute our aid. He told me that every time he takes his sister, the displaced women always go to her asking whether they have any sanitary towels. Usually, we don't have anywhere near enough to match the number of women and girls in need in these places.

The amazing ladies at Bag A Smile also raised £1,000 which has helped us buy the operating table for our new mobile operating room which will be used as part of our second emergency hospital in Syria. We are hoping this will be opening in the next few weeks.

We will be starting a new aid appeal very soon, and would love people like you to collect aid in your churches, schools and communities for us to send to the Middle East. The word enormous really doesn't come close to describing the size and scale of the humanitarian crisis in the Middle East.

We have so much to give here in the West, and this is an easy way for everyone and anyone to get involved and do something practical that relieves the suffering of our brothers and sisters. It is also hard to describe the sense of purpose and meaning that people here in the UK gain from being involved in this essential and in many cases, life saving, work that we are doing. The work that we are doing through Samara's Aid Appeal is a ministry of love, and it is just as important for the people who are giving as it is for the people who are receiving.

To find our how you, your church, school or community can get involved, please fill out the form on this page, ensuring that you click on the link in the email you receive after you press the submit button.

Thanks so much.