Bait Anya Hostel for the Sick and Marginalised
The hostel’s mission is to give support and hope to the marginalised and those suffering from a disability, providing a free service regardless of race, religion or sect.
The seed for Bait Anya Hostel for the sick and marginalised was sown in 1994, when a group of young men and women realised their vocation in sympathy with hospital patients and formed the "Love is Giving" mission. “Solidarity with the sick and the discarded” became the slogan under which they would visit hospital patients, especially those who had no family, to give support and help recover their dignity. The mission work expanded to include the poorest areas in Baghdad.
During the first six years, the mission came across cases of women on the brink of homelessness due to their disability and lack of finances. The serious cases of four women in particular initiated the idea of Bait Anya Hostel; a free of charge shelter.
The money to rent a house for one year for this purpose was raised, and on its opening day, 1 May 2000, under the blessing of the diocese of Catholic Syriac church in Baghdad, the hostel received the four women, providing them with accommodation, food, and health care. The hostel was officially licensed by the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs, and by the end the year, the number of guests grew to 25.
After the first year, a Christian family living abroad, offered their home in the Jadriya district, rent free for ten years. During those years, the mission reached 50 guests. It was discovered that elderly women were abandoned by their own families because of their old age, or had lost their carers due to migration or death. With the agreement of the owners of the house, a new section was built on the side of the garden to house them.
The hostel also received calls from elderly men with disabilities and hence, in addition, it was decided that a new section be opened to accept urgent male cases.
At the end of the ten years, in 2011, the mission had to find new residence for the hostel, as the owners needed to sell the property. Thus another property was rented, and saw the celebration of its 11th anniversary, with 62 guests which included both men and women.
Despite reaching its capacity of 50 guests, the hostel received further requests from women displaced by the attacks of ISIS on Mosul and Anbar, which led to emergency extensions to accommodate them. The mission also cares for patients with poor and destitute families in different neighbourhoods in Baghdad.
All the in-house services are provided by two consecrated sisters living at the hostel, assisted by a group of young volunteers, in addition to 7 employees. There is no fixed number of volunteers, but they are young people offering their services through several churches in Baghdad.
The hostel depends wholly on local philanthropists, however, many are immigrating and it's become increasingly difficult to locate funds.
Additionally, according to the economic and security situation of the country, great difficulty is encountered in securing supplies of medical and living necessities.
The hostel is in desperate need to secure the following provisions per annum (all in USD);
Personal needs (clothes, etc.), $18,000.
Medical escorts and medications, $33,000.
Fuel (kerosene for the generators, oil, gas, petrol), $52,000.
Continuous maintenance of water pumps and electrical devices, $20,000.
Sanitary materials (cleaning, sterilisation, diapers), $28,000.
To support this project, please visit our Donate page and click on the relevant box.