2016-11-16 20:00:07

In this school, they put up a bad flag and we were scared that airstrikes could hit us because of it," he continued.

So for two years, he didn't leave his house.

"We were scared," he said.

Awsaja lies close to Qayara, a town that is home to an Iraqi air base and a large oil field that has been burning since June. And until three days ago, an oil well in Awsaja was burning covering the village in an oil cloud.

Oxfam has supplied clean water and materials to the children to help them understand the importance of hygiene - and the timing was just right, said Ray Offenheiser, president of Oxfam America, who visited the school Tuesday.

"So actually, it is turning out that the hygiene training along with the basic provision of goods that we are providing, soap and water and shampoos and so forth, are actually helping to be people remove the residue from the oil deposits that are coming down on them from the fires nearby," he said.

As he washed his hands, Sager, the 10-year-old, said he thought he was going to die from the oil smoke.

"My dad asked me, 'What is up with you today, you look happy'," he said.