RENOVATION OF THE PARK OF ALQOSH

50 Kilometres from Mosul, Alqosh a small predominantly Christian town, dominates the plain of Nineveh. In 2014, as ISIS advanced upon the Plains, Alqosh held firm, but many of its people fled in terror.

 

The park, located in the middle of the village, was built many years ago but since the arrival of ISIS in 2014, it had been abandoned and severely damaged.

According to the mayor and several inhabitants of Alqosh, the park was once a very beautiful and well-maintained place, was a full of life and frequented by all inhabitants of the village. The children played there every day, and the adults came to play dominoes and cards, to sit, chat and enjoy. One of the two buildings in the park also housed a small local business.

 

The volunteers of SOS Chrétiens d’Orient, worked on the reconstruction of this park so that Alqosh could once again echo with the sounds of children’s laughter in this little park.

Alouarn, former volunteer in Iraq

We spent long days rebuilding the public park. It was rough, but what a pleasure to see kids laughing and having fun on swings and slides! I think we couldn't have better reward for our work. We see with our own eyes this park resuming life, it's wonderful.



The park was completely empty with grass growing up to full height, facilities in bad condition and shops empty... there were no signs of life, laughter or sharing here.  One of the important objectives of SOS Chrétiens d’Orient is the complete rehabilitation of the Christian villages of the Nineveh Plains and as we respond we can play a part in helping the Christians in the East to remain on their historic lands.

This park is a renaissance symbol for the village. It enables the local economy to revive by reopening local businesses and by hiring local artisans to assist with the project of work.

The renovation of this site started in 2017, first of all to remove the overgrown grass, to repair and repaint the swings and slides and other children’s play equipment and then to restore both water and electricity to the park.

Once the first work was completed, the team moved onto the kiosk, which was previously a little shop adjacent to the park. Volunteers spent hours painting its doors and windows in preparation for its reopening so that once again the villagers could buy for themselves fresh drinks, pancakes and coffee as they enjoyed the park.

Since the park was not intended to belong to SOS Chrétiens d’Orient, its management gradually moved from the French volunteer of SOS into the hands of the inhabitants of Alqosh. And so, we saw the creation by the association of the AQPAC (Alqosh Park Action Committee), which would take over the control of the park.

 

After 200 days of work and with 1200 square meters of garden installed, the park reopened. Proudly equipped with six swings, four slides, four nacelles, a toilet, a kiosk and a water fountain. On 13 May 2017, Monsignor Maqdasi, Bishop of Alqosh, officially reopened the park and gave it his blessing.

Thanks to you and your support, this park has blossomed once again. From all the children of Alqosh: thank you!

Project Cost: 5000 euros

HELP US HERE TO HELP THEM OVER THERE

BECOME VOLUNTEER !

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.