WHAT WE DO

SWIC’s working philosophy is based upon a simple yet profound principle: if you want to get to know someone, listen to them. Friendship is a two-way street. We know that despite our material abundance we need them to help grow our hearts every bit as much as they need us to help reestablish their communities. This is what growing kinship and effective working relationships are all about. This way of building relationships first, and finding solutions second, makes SWIC today one of the most successful Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) operating on the Nineveh Plains of Iraq.

Conceived and nourished by people just like you, our organization was started in 2015 by people that heard the cries of those who had suffered much and yearned for a new start. With encouragement and support from the Anglican Diocese of Cyprus and the Gulf, and the Episcopal Diocese of Pennsylvania, SWIC answered. Since its beginning SWIC has raised and distributed $144,000 from a variety of sources, including individuals, Dioceses and churches from multiple denominations, grants and private foundations.

Yet SWIC is much more than a crisis management organization.

Funding Sources: 2015-2019

  • Donations - Individual
  • Donations - Corporate
  • Grants
  • Fund Raising

Our Impact: 2015-2019 Funded Projects

  • Agriculture
  • Education
  • Water Wells
  • Displacement
  • Small Business Redevelopment

Expenses & Distribution: 2015-2019

  • Administration
  • Fund Raising & Promotion
  • Program Expenses
  • Program Distributions

2020 and beyond

SWIC anticipates continuing its agricultural and commercial revitalization efforts well into 2025. And at the same time, always with an eye on future generations, our hope is to significantly expand our support for schools including St. George’s School of the Redeemer and St. Efram’s as they and others prepare the next generation of Iraqi citizens and leaders.

While SWIC’s focus is on supporting imperiled Christian communities, our commitment is to all of the people of Iraq. We will offer friendship and resources without participating in the historic, ongoing, and often bitter rivalries that have beset the region for millennia. A new Iraq will depend on all of its groups finding and nurturing a common sense of humanity and national purpose. We will never seek to drive out darkness with more darkness, to fight hate with more hate. 

SWIC looks to the long-term and sustainable building of a new, more secure, prosperous, and tolerant country for Iraq’s extraordinarily diverse peoples. This is the dream of most Iraqis—despite the Western media’s representations to the contrary. If you doubt this, come with us sometime and ask them yourself!

2017-2020

After the military defeat of ISIS in 2017, SWIC shifted its focus to supporting families returning to their ancestral homes in towns like Qaraqosh/Bakhdadi, to make a fresh start on the Nineveh Plains. Responding to conditions on the ground, we have funded crucial projects including water wells (See Water wells in Qaraqosh video), and agricultural redevelopment grants, (See Veterinarian’s Day; Chicken Farms videos). SWIC also helped finance school construction, as well as administration, teacher, and student support (See St. George’s SOTR and St. Efram’s Qaraqosh/Bakhdadi videos).

2015-2017

SWIC was founded in response to catastrophic events that imperiled Iraq’s ancient Christian communities in 2014-15. Fr. Chris Bishop’s short documentary Where Is Our Place? (34 mins) graphically tells this story. From 2015-2017 SWIC addressed needs in the refugee centers in Erbil (See Ashur’s Copy Shop, Building Caravan Housing in Salemania, and Grocery Store videos).

Yet SWIC is much more than a crisis management organization.

SWIC stands alongside those who work for peace, and who want the best for Iraq and all its people.

 

View videos of all SWIC Projects.

OUR TEAM

BOARD OF DIRECTORS

The Rev. Christopher Bishop

Fr. Chris is an Episcopal Priest and the Founder of Stand With Iraqi
Christians (SWIC). The son of an Episcopal Priest, he came to the priesthood as a second career, serving churches in New Jersey and Pennsylvania. At the founding of SWIC, he was the Rector of St. Martin’s Church in Radnor, PA. While at St. Martin’s Fr. Chris met a parishioner who had worked in Iraq and had seen firsthand the desperate situation of Christians in Kurdistan caused by attacks from Da’esh (ISIS). Upon learning this, he resolved to go to Iraq to see for himself. SWIC was originally a mission of St. Martin’s. Fr. Chris and companions first traveled to Erbil, Kurdistan in 2015 to learn more about the situation, listen to the Iraqis, start building relationships, and to distribute material aid. While in Kurdistan he resurrected his previous career as a documentary filmmaker and filmed “Where Is Our Place?” Fr. Chris made two additional trips to Iraq since that original mission. SWIC has grown beyond St. Martin’s Church into a 501(c)(3) non-profit under the IRS group designation for The Episcopal Church in the United States.

The Rev. Frank Allen

Rector, St. David’s Episcopal Church, Wayne PA. Frank attended Virginia Theological Seminary and was ordained in 1995, and was called as Rector of St. David’s in 1997. Frank has served on the Standing Committee for the Diocese of Pennsylvania and has been elected Deputy to The General Convention of the Episcopal Church. Frank is a Canon for Mission in the Episcopal Diocese of Guatemala and serves on the Board of the Gathering of Leaders.

Buck Blanchard

Episcopal Global Missioner. Buck has worked on mission and outreach ministries for 14 years in Virginia, Colorado, and as a member of the Presiding Bishop’s staff. Buck is passionate about connecting with and learning from Christian communities throughout the world. SWIC’s mission and ministry aligns well with Buck’s passions and interests.

Vincent Dixon

is an advertising photographer and father of four children living just outside Philadelphia. Vincent met Fr. Chris when he presented his documentary “Where Is Our Place” and gave a talk at a local church. He was both moved and inspired by these Christians who have lived on the Nineveh Plains since the time of the apostles. Vincent quickly became involved with SWIC and visited Iraq in 2018 with Chris, hopefully only the first of many trips there in the future.

Mary Kohart

Esq., Mary is a nationally honored commercial litigation trial lawyer and has been repeatedly recognized as one of the top fifty female attorneys in Pennsylvania. She also presently serves as the Chancellor of the Episcopal Diocese of Pennsylvania and served for eight years on the board of the Philadelphia branch of the American Civil Liberties Union.

Albert B. Murphy

Senior Vice President, Head of the Private Bank and Director of Relationship Management with Bryn Mawr Trust, Bryn Mawr, PA. Trained in Architectural Engineering, Al has spent much of his professional life in financial management as a Principal and Partner for various Philadelphia based investment firms. Al was instrumental in assisting SWIC in navigating the complex process of moving project funds into Iraq both during the military conflict and after and is pleased to offer his considerable expertise in finance and fund-raising going forward.

The Very Reverend And Venerable Dr Bill Schwartz

OBE, Archdeacon for the Anglican Diocese of Cyprus and the Gulf, Current Dean, St Christopher’s Cathedral, Manama Bahrain. He is one of the most senior appointed missionaries of the Episcopal Church who has served the Church in the Middle East for more than forty-five years and speaks Arabic. As Iraq is one of the countries within his archdeaconry Fr. Bill visits Iraq regularly, interacting with the Anglican community there and leaders of other Christian denominations. He contributes helpful insight on Iraq’s particularities as a board member of SWIC.

Ian Wilcox

A Global Human Capital leader with experience across the life sciences, private equity, manufacturing, retail, and professional service industries. Expertise in creating performance cultures, leading organizational change, and global talent management. Recognized for cultural fluency and ability to bridge the gap between mixed workforces in cross-cultural environments. Dual citizen of the U.S, and Canada with a working knowledge of French and Italian.

Lynette Wilson

Lynette is a New York City-based journalist, editor and multimedia producer.

Early in her career she reported on public schools in Mississippi and Louisiana and then on the environment in the Florida Panhandle. It was in the Bible Belt where she became interested in the topic of religion as a form of cultural expression, specifically how people of faith live out their values. Upon returning to New York, she joined the staff of the Episcopal News Service viewing it as an opportunity to better understand the role of faith in public life and to do national and international advocacy journalism.

In the decade she has worked as a reporter and editor for ENS she has focused on stories that seek to move readers to address food insecurity, homelessness, unequal access to education and health care, economic inequality and environmental injustice. She has reported stories on subjects ranging from the trans-Atlantic slave trade and slavery’s legacy in the United States to forced displacement in Central America’s Northern Triangle to the migrant crisis along the U.S.-Mexico border, from climate change’s impact on a barrier island in the Arctic to the 2015 Paris Climate Agreement.

As someone raised working class in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, she does not take for granted the opportunities she had to learn about the world through travel mostly for work to more than 30 countries and 49 of 50 states, and to have spent time living in El Salvador. She earned a master’s degree from the Graduate School of Journalism at Columbia University and spent the 2017-18 academic year as Ted Scripps Fellow at the University of Colorado Boulder’s Center for Environmental Journalism. She has lived in the Midwest, South, West and the Northeast.

Pam Faber

Pam embraced the SWIC mission right from the beginning in 2015. Her background is in International Finance, and her professional career spanned the public, private and non-profit sectors which positioned her well to serve as the SWIC Secretary/Treasurer. She is proud to be a part of the SWIC mission, is passionate about making sure that the Iraqi Christians are never forgotten and is adamant that SWIC’s financial resources are used to provide the greatest impact.

Deborah Bressoud Parker

Deb’s role as Executive Director of SWIC began in 2017 following an 18-year career as an Education Manager at Newsweek and Corporate Marketing Director at BusinessWeek magazine. This business background, as well as being a Christian Formation Director at Episcopal churches, provides her with a global perspective grounded in the Christian faith. She also served on the board of multiple non-profit organizations where she coordinated efforts with groups of volunteers particularly in the field of fair trade. If you wish to ask questions, make suggestions, or donate time, talent and/or treasure, please write to Deb at ExecDirSWIC@gmail.com.

TRUSTED PARTNERS

There are many ways to Stand With Iraqi Christians, and many different and diverse individuals work with us toward a new future for Iraqis. We have a unique opportunity, in this present moment, to make a positive and crucial difference when it matters most in the lives of Iraqi’s diverse and resilient Christians.

Your financial contributions put tools in their hands and hope in their hearts. Additionally, SWIC envisions a grassroots effort that requires gifts just like yours- awareness-raising, online communications, networking, strategic planning, and, of course, prayers. None of us can build a house alone. But if we each provide one brick, together we can make a new home where there was rubble. Every gift, whether of the heart or purse, goes a long way. Just ask our past and current partners. Let’s take the next step together.