“I’m not really sure about my future here in Iraq”, says ten-year-old Helda who, with her family has just returned to their home town of Qaraqosh in northern Iraq.
“I would want to go abroad with my family if we have to continue suffering war and persecution; how long it will take for us to finally be safe and secure? My message to the West is to do as much as possible to support Christians in Iraq because they are close to extinction. Help us.”
Helda fled Qaraqosh in northern Iraq in 2014 as Islamic State invaded. She recalls: “We had to escape the living hell of violence and terrorism. I went along, crying, with no hope of ever returning to my town, my school; with no hope of ever seeing my friends again. We had no idea how long we would be displaced.”
However, her family, along with many other Christians in the region, now face new threats to their security and an uncertain future.
“I do not know where to start because things are still so unsettled,” she says. “What will be next for us? It’s so hard to tell right now.”