Ninewah, Iraq – 1st Battalion, 327th Infantry Regiment (Bulldog Battalion), 1st Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division currently operates in an advise-and-assist capacity in Mosul, Iraq. The Bulldog Battalion employs its forces to a myriad of mission tasks aimed at strengthening the Iraqi Security Forces (ISF) within Ninewah.
In late July 2019, Bulldog Battalion received 950 backpacks from Retired General Petreaeus’ foundation. Each backpack contained a variety of school supplies to include pencils, markers, notebooks, and rulers.
Because of Bulldog Battalion’s strong partnership with ISF and Iraqi government officials, it coordinated two separate backpack deliveries with local leaders to distribute backpacks to underprivileged children in Ninewah.
The first delivery was in the Ninewah Plains, East of Ninewah’s capital city of Mosul.
This area is home to many of Iraq’s persecuted religious minorities. Bulldog Battalion and one of its ISF partners delivered 300 backpacks to Saint Ephraim Church in Hamdania Village. Around 20 local children attended the event to receive backpacks, and the ISF plan to hand out the rest of the 300 backpacks at schools in Hamdania once the academic year starts in September.
500 more backpacks were given to the Mosul Mayor during one of Bulldog Battalion’s regular meetings at the Mayor’s office. 50 children from West Mosul received backpacks at the event, and the Mayor has arranged for another 450 to be passed out at orphanages in West Mosul.
The backpacks and school supplies are strongly needed by the children in both of these areas due to the poverty and instability in the aftermath of ISIS’s control of the region. In the Ninewah Plains, the predominantly Christian villages face persecution from various actors, and many of the families have not been able to recover financially since the defeat of ISIS in 2017.
Much of West Mosul remains in ruins. As families struggle to rebuild their homes and find employment, school supplies are a neglected commodity that parents cannot afford to purchase for their children.
The donations will help children in these areas as they pursue an education which will positively impact the overall recovery of the region. The remaining 150 backpacks were given to the ISF co-located with Bulldog Battalion in Ninewah to deliver to schools in Mosul.