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A former refugee gives back to those who face the same troubles

2015-03-10

Sister Hatune Dogan was born in southeastern Turkey in 1970. Her family fled the country in 1985 because of religious persecution, and they settled in Germany. At 18, she joined the St. Ephrem Monastery in Holland and also began doing charitable work.

Her family had religious freedom and relative prosperity in Germany, but Dogan says she could not stand by when she heard about injustice occurring in her homeland.

SISTER HATUNE DOGAN
Founder, Hatune Foundation
"I heard about the Middle East, how there again was persecution, and my heart was boiling.”

For 26 years, her foundation has grown and helped people throughout the world. It now has thousands volunteers in 35 countries. She said the foundation has helped countless people over the decades in different ways. 

SISTER HATUNE DOGAN
Founder, Hatune Foundation
"This is the work which our foundation is doing worldwide: housing for the homeless, we are doing wells for the thirsty people; free medical care for the sick people; dress for the naked people; and food for the hungry people.”

The Bible's call to help all in need inspired the organization's decision to provide a broad range of services.  Hatune travels often to carry out charity work, sometimes to unsafe locations.

Hatune recently went to Northern Iraq and met with women who had been kidnapped and abused by ISIS.

SISTER HATUNE DOGAN
Founder, Hatune Foundation
"Now ISIS has kidnapped over 5,000 girls and ladies, some Christian but the majority are Yazidis. We are helping without difference: Caste, race, religion.”

As someone who was once a young woman forced from her home because of persecution, Hatune has a special bond with women refugees. She said she tries to relieve some of their stress and pain.

Being able to help so many people throughout the world has made her "the luckiest and happiest person on Earth.”


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