Sons of Liberty International (SOLI) is committed to helping the Assyrian Christians of Iraq by supporting their military forces and providing humanitarian aid for the civilian population.
In 2016, Sons of Liberty International (SOLI) held an Easter egg hunt in the town of Al Qosh for orphans and the children of internally displaced persons who had fled the nearby town of Teleskof, introducing this beloved Western tradition to Al Qosh for the first time (this may have been the first Easter egg hunt ever held in all of the Nineveh Plain region of Iraq as well).
Matthew VanDyke and his team of SOLI trainers filled approximately 300 plastic Easter eggs with candy, which they then hid in the Saint Fadi Garden in Al Qosh. Around 30 children attended the event and had a great time. In addition to keeping the plastic Easter eggs filled with candy, each child was given a chocolate Easter bunny.
The children who attended the Easter egg hunt were from the Orphanage Saint Hanna for Girls and the Orphanage Saint Joseph for Boys, and the children of internally displaced persons from Teleskof who have sought refuge in Al Qosh Elementary School.
As you can see in the photo above, during part of the event smoke was rising from a large explosion in the distance (Al Qosh is only a 15 minute drive from the front line), likely the result of an airstrike against ISIS positions.
In 2015, Sons of Liberty International (SOLI) purchased and gave more than 6,000 Christmas gifts in 1,200 gift bags to 1,045 Assyrian families (over 3,500 children!) in the Ashti 2 refugee camp in Ankawa, Iraq.
In 2014, SOLI founder Matthew VanDyke launched a fundraiser on IndieGoGo to raise funds to help Assyrian Iraqi Christians. The funds were used to help purchase around 2,000 Christmas presents for around 1,500 Assyrian children, sweaters for 127 Assyrian children, enough food to feed impoverished Yazidi families for several months, and a video projector for Assyrian children and families to watch movies together. SOLI also provided Santa costumes and Christmas decorations for a large celebration.