Preemptive Love
Founded in 2007 by Jeremy and Jessica Courtney, The Preemptive Love Coalition is a nonprofit that offers relief and job creation to the war-torn countries of Syria and Iraq. Unlike many of its peer organizations, Preemptive Love offers aid as close to the front lines as possible – sometimes just blocks away from active warring.

In 2016, The Coalition made $9.98 million. Of that revenue, $9.75 million was raised through contributions, grants and gifts. Preemptive Love uses that revenue to fund its aid projects.

In contrast to many similar aid organizations in Syria and Iraq, Preemptive Love works to ensure that the services they provide offer local solutions to local problems. As a result, people in an area are not stranded if The Coalition leaves; they will continue to have local sources of aid set up by The Coalition.

Background and Focus

Preemptive Love began by offering medical aid to those affected by the Iraq war, providing families with desperately needed surgeries and therapies for their children. However, while witnessing surgeries performed by doctors from around the world, The Coalition saw that none of the doctors were training the local people to perform these life-saving medical procedures.

In response, Preemptive Love began to bring doctors into Iraq to teach medicine to refugees. The Coalition soon expanded the practice to Syria. Now, there are many clinics run entirely by Iraqi and Syrian doctors and nurses who are capable of performing procedures for which war-torn families previously waited for months.

This led to a new focus for Preemptive Love. First and foremost, The Coalition seeks to provide immediate relief to pressing issues that refugees face. But after providing immediate aid, Preemptive Love stays in those areas and helps the refugees gain the education and tools they need to create a better future for themselves.

When ISIS fully formed in 2013, Preemptive Love saw a unique opportunity to help those affected. The Coalition was already a trusted relief organization thanks to six years of relationships built with the people of Iraq. Beginning in 2014, Preemptive Love began offering relief to people affected by ISIS in both Iraq and Syria.

Current Aid Efforts

Today, The Coalition offers various types of aid in five different categories: food and water, hygiene, medical care, emergency shelter, and various essentials.

For food and water aid, Preemptive Love offers long-lasting food packs, emergency kitchens and clean water. In this effort alone, Preemptive Love has provided 29,292,350 liters of water to families in conflict zones and given 411,690 people a month’s worth of food. The Coalition also offers hygiene kits that include sanitary pads, refugee-made soap, shampoo, detergent and other essentials. Medical care is provided by mobile clinics on the front lines of war in Syria and Iraq, supplying immunizations and training for refugee doctors to serve other refugees. Emergency shelters, as well as supplies to rebuild homes destroyed by war, are provided for families on the run from violence. The Coalition also offers various essentials to help families survive displacement due to war, enabling them to eventually return home.

Empowerment Through Business and Livestock

In addition to aid, Preemptive Love strives to meet and connect with the people of Syria and Iraq to help them lift themselves out of poverty. Preemptive Love creates jobs on a case-by-case basis by identifying skills each refugee already has, then empowering them to create their own income and fuel the economy of their local city.

Preemptive Love has also helped Syrian and Iraqi refugees start many businesses with empowerment grants, tools and business coaching. Sisterhood Soap and Kinsman Soap, organizations run by Iraqi refugees, provide a variety of hand-sewn products created and sold by women who fled from the Syrian civil war. Sales from hand-poured candles benefit widowed women in Baghdad. In addition to businesses, the livestock farming of chickens and sheep has provided nutrition and income for families, who benefit from the consumption and sale of the animals. Thanks to efforts like these, the return of bakeries, ice cream shops, restaurants and salons to cities across Iraq marks a shift to post-war normalcy.

Preemptive Love seeks to help those affected by war in Syria and Iraq regardless of location, socioeconomic factors or religion. Guided by their goal to “Love Anyway,” the nonprofit continues to make significant headway toward their goal of lessening the effects of war in Syria and Iraq.

– Savannah Hawley
Photo: Flickr