With the support of Catholic charity Aid to the Church in Need in Spain, the Dominican Sisters of Saint Catherine of Sienna were able to restore their convent, which had been destroyed by the Islamic State in Iraq. Today, they offer classes to hundreds of children who had been displaced by the war.
"We try to help the children, giving them peace: in our convent we offer them a safe place," Sister Ilham told ACN in late December. Despite the expulsion of ISIS, security in the area remains unstable.
In May 2017, ACN funded the restoration of Our Lady of the Rosary Convent with a grant of $54,000. Located in Teleskuf, north of the plain of Nineveh, the convent is just over 20 miles outside of Mosul.
The sisters worked 12-hour days to prepare the convent to welcome the children, Sister Ilham said.
They provide daycare for children between three and five years old. In the mornings, they teach about 150 children between the ages of six and 12. In the evenings, they teach students 12 years of age and older.
Sister Ilham, 57, was working for a church in Mosul when the rapid advance of the Islamic State forced her and her community to flee. However, after the fall of the terrorist group, she returned to the area and today is helping those displaced from Teleskuf.