The Iraqi Children Foundation (ICF) hosted its second annual “IN THEIR SHOES” 5K fun run/walk at Cameron Run Regional Park in Alexandria, VA, on Saturday, May 10, 2014.
Participants ran to benefit desperately poor Iraqi orphans and street children after years of war. Iraq’s Ambassador to the US Lukman Faily ran as this year’s Distinguished Guest Runner.
According to a December 2012 UNICEF report, there are approximately 800,000 orphans in Iraq today. Many orphans and other displaced children work on the streets or in other dangerous environments to support widowed mothers or extended family.
This humanitarian crisis poses a threat to the future security and stability of Iraq. Unless effective action is taken in the next 5-10 years, manyof these children – especially those in desperate poverty – may reach adulthood without help for the trauma and suffering they have experienced, leaving them vulnerable to extremists, criminals, and human traffickers.
The Iraqi Children Foundation’s “IN THEIR SHOES” 5K is focused on raising awareness of the suffering, poverty, and vulnerability of these kids and mobilizing loving support for food, tutoring, emotional care, and more to address their basic needs.
Other participants in the run included ICF Chairman and Iraq war veteran Jonathan Webb; former Iraq Ambassador to the US and UN Samir Sumaida’ie; US Ambassador and Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Richard J. Schmierer; Gold Star Mothers of American servicemen/women who died in Iraq, distinguished members of the local Iraqi-American community, and youth from local area schools. Premier Sponsors were the Khudairi Group, Triple Canopy, and BH Defense.
The Iraqi Children Foundation is a US-based nonsectarian tax-exempt 501(c)(3) charity, based in Falls Church, VA, whose mission is to mobilize a life-changing surge of love for Iraqi orphans and street children who have suffered from years of violence. For more information, visit www.sicfiraq.org.