Since 2014, thousands of families from the Nineveh Plain have fled the jihadists of the Islamic State to escape a certain massacre. Displaced in Mangesh, a city in Iraqi Kurdistan, and deprived of everything, they live in dire conditions, uncertain of what will happen next day. This summer, the distance between Rio de Janeiro and Iraqi Kurdistan has never been so short. Young displaced Christians organized their own Olympic games in Mangesh.

Benoît, volunteer in Iraq

On my first visit to the IDP camp, there children are everywhere. But how many are there? Here's a little one running up towards me, giving me a ‘high five’ in his "Ronaldo" t-shirt and pink sweatpants! The football game is on for the older children and bungee jumping for the youngest. They don't stop! We are exhausted after all the activities, but we are happy.

Amidst the frivolity one can see that there is depth in the eyes of these little ones, a depth marked by the experience of painful hardships, though they are young. Yet inspite of what they have suffered, they are still children, and have lost nothing of their spontaneity!

Generosity knows no border! Let's go!

And so, this summer, to celebrate the Olympic Games, young athletes came from Ankawa II Camp, Karamles and the villages of Alqosh and Mangesh. Through various sports events, the teams of the different camps have been in an atmosphere of cheerful, fraternal and relaxed companionship enjoying the novelty of the ames.

While the older ones clashed on the ball field, the youngest took part in a series of many different fun activities and games (sports games, bracelet making, mask wearing, board games, visits, walks, wood construction...), all with such exuberance and playful energy.

For ten days, the volunteers of SOS Chrétiens d’Orient have allowed these young Christians to forget the war and its procession of misfortunes.

A big thank you to all donors. It is thanks to your support that 30 teenagers have spent a real week of vacation.



Volunteering is a commitment for a defined period. The volunteer is committed to a mission to serve others. To volunteer at SOS Chrétiens d’Orient you must:

- be older than 18 years old

- stay for a minimum for 1 month

- being in good physical shape

- have parental agreement for a possible departure

"I ask you to be revolutionary. Have the courage to go to counter-current. And also have the courage to be happy!" Pope Francis, July 28, speech to the volunteers of the WYD, Rio de Janeiro.

"I ask you to be revolutionaries. Have the courage to go against the grain. And have the courage to be happy!"

Pope Francis,

July 28, speech to WYD volunteers, Rio de Janeiro.