MOSUL, Iraq (ANS) — One of the best treats for Iraqi children and adults on a hot summer’s day is ice cream.
This week the Mosaic Middle East Team reported on the latest Nineveh SEED project, where the sweets, ice cream and pastry shop of Tel Kaif, in northern Iraq reopened bringing a small taste of normality in what was until recently a decimated conflict zone.
In a recent ministry update from Mosaic, Abdulrahman Isaac, Iraq Programme Manager for Mosaic, spoke about why this project is so important amongst the many others Mosaic Middle East has set up, including chicken farms, a bulgur wheat factory, and a calf farm project.
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“Finally, the Mosaic funded project can start to bear fruit in the middle of the joys and hopes of returnee children and their families,” Abdulrahman said.
“The sweet project is very important, because there are no similar factories in Tel Kaif and its surrounding areas. Thus, returnees can benefit from its products for themselves and their families. Also, the shop will be the main source for local people to obtain fresh sweets for their parties and wedding parties, which is such a strong and unifying part of Iraqi culture.”
He said: “Before the ISIS conflict, there were several sweet shops in the town, but after the liberation of the town there were no such shops anymore. The project has set up a wonderful bakery with great ice cream, giving a social meeting place for families with children in not just Tel Kaif, but the surrounding area too. Furthermore, and very importantly, it is providing jobs for at least 7 local young people; vulnerable Christian youths with no other source of employment. The Nineveh SEED programme is all about providing such livelihoods.”
Mosaic believes providing jobs is so important in enabling Christian and other communities to return to their homeland. The villages of the Nineveh Plain were one of the places Mosaic visited in April 2018 after the fall of ISIS. Tel Kaif was on the front line of the battle for three years and is just 11 miles from Mosul.
Mosaic says the transformation from destruction to hope has well and truly begun. However, there are still many pressures on these communities. It is reported that only half of the population have returned. Livelihoods are essential to enable people to stay. Young people now have work at the bakery and ice cream shop of Tel Kaif, provided by the Mosaic Nineveh SEED programme.
The author of this story, Michael Ireland, is a self-supported media missionary with ANS. Click here to support him as a missionary journalist.