Millions of Iraqi children have been orphaned by war over the past decade. Social psychologist Hush am al Thebe volunteers his time to run this stopgap operation.
An estimated five million children the Iraqi government estimates have been orphaned by violence over the past decade. Thebe said the orphanage survives on private donations, usually in the form of food or clothing. Despite the financial hurdles, he tries to provide the 32 boys here with an atmosphere more akin to a home than an institution.
The children, which hail from all of Iraq’s ethic and religious communities, all have horror stories to tell. Ahmed lost both his parents to a suicide bomber five years ago. The boys are encouraged to express their experiences through paint as well as dance and music.
Inclusiveness is considered key along with encouragement to express themselves and to develop skills that will help when they leave. Husham al Thabe said he tries not to think about the worsening violence in Iraq because he knows all too well what the consequences will be.
CCTV’s Jack Barton reports from Baghdad.