“We are a global movement of ‘first in, last to leave’ peacemakers committed to unmaking violence by confronting fear with acts of love.”
Jeremy Courtney first visited Iraq during the war and helplessly watched families trying to survive as their cities got ravaged, their homes destroyed, and bullets and bombs became the daily normal. He witnessed the daily reality of the most vulnerable victim’s of war and listened to their round-the-clock cries of babies and scared children echoing through the streets. Most importantly, he took note of the very little International aid offered to this region, and a spark ensued. More than 200,000 civilians have been killed in Syria and Iraq as conflict continues along. Millions of survivors have been left in poverty.
Jeremy returned home to the US, but didn’t stay long. Fueled by the visceral memories of families being torn apart, in 2007, at the peak of the Iraqi War, Jeremy and his wife, Jessica, decided to move to Iraq and provide help to victims of the conflict. Here, the Preemptive Love Coalition was born.
We provide essential relief—food, water, shelter, and medical care—for families on the front lines of conflict and empower refugees and IDPs in Iraq and Syria, survivors of war, violence, and disaster, through business grants so they can rebuild their lives.
In 2018, Preemptive Love was able to provide help for 2.2. million people, including more than 443,611 medical consultations at local clinics, and the creation of 798 jobs. Their focus on helping refugee women start businesses has resulted in more than 3,874 coaching hours for refugee-owned start-ups.
Preemptive Love focuses on the creation of local solutions to local problems, as they believe this is the most sustainable way. For example, in medical procedures, local doctors and nurses are taught by foreign aid workers and doctors how to conduct surgeries. Once the foreign doctors leave, local medical staff are able to sustain the job and keep performing surgeries.
In addition, Preemptive Love has been able to empower Iraqis and Syrians refugees through small businesses. Refugee-owned businesses include soap making, sewing, candle making, livestock farming, bakeries, and beauty salons. Around 200,000 bars of handmade soap provide sources of income for refugees. This organization has made clear their emphasis on rebuilding the local community. Donations contribute towards food, water, medical care, and jobs. Preemptive Love Coalition focuses on bringing relief and seeing through development.
Love in Action
Watch their moving 33 minute film Love Anyway below, which details their spark-up story, work, successes, lessons, and mission of their social movement to #LoveAnyway.