3rd Round – HRAI Small Grants Awardees: September – November 2009

 

September 2009

During the month of September, IF awarded three human rights organizations in Iraq small grants to bolster Iraqi human rights advocates and strengthen the culture of civil and political liberties in Iraq!

IF received 20 small grants proposals in response to a request disseminated in August. After IF reviewed the proposals, HRAI and IF Staff selected 3 to award. The winners were: The Akad Organization- Baghdad, The Humane Organization for Human Rights- Kut, and the Himam Institution for Civil Society Building, Basra. IF signed grant agreements with the awardees and provided them with basic mentoring on IF’s implementation and reporting criteria and requirements. These organizations will receive $3,000 each to implement projects related to human rights advocacy. The 3 selected organizations will advocate for 1) The right to practice one’s own religion, 2) preventing violence in schools, and 3) children’s rights. To date, IF has awarded 10 small grants as part of the HRAI project.

October 2009

IF small grants awardees -third round- started implementing their projects during the months of October. IF monitored project implementation through field visits in the provinces of Basra, Baghdad and Kut.

The Akad Organization- Baghdad- held two conferences on “Promoting the right to practice one’s own religion” on October 13 and 22. The conferences brought together between 30 and 35 participants including members of the Christian, Sa’bea, Faili Kurds and Muslim communities and discussed people’s right and freedom to practice their own religion in the Iraqi society. Discussions included interventions from various participants who voiced their concern about freedom of religion in their community. Participants pointed out to the important role of government and media in promoting tolerance and raising awareness about the virtues of ethnic diversity.
The Himam Institution for Civil Society Building- Basra- held two workshops on “Promoting Children’s rights” on October 20 and 26. The workshops were attended by about 40 participants each including the head of the Basra office of the Ministry of Human Rights, Mr. Mahdi Al-Tammimi; local officials; tribal leaders; schools and university representatives; and local and international NGOs. Discussions included the UN convention on the rights of the child, and the government’s role in complying to this convention.

The Humane Organization for Human Rights- Kut- held two conferences on “Preventing Violence in Schools” on October 19 and 28. The conferences were implemented in collaboration with the education directorate in the Kut/Wassit province and brought together about 30 participants including representatives from the Wassit education directorate, education institutions, and local NGOs. Topics covered included awareness raising children’s rights, the necessity to encourage collaboration between civil society and the education directorate in the Kut province to deal with school violence. The workshop also discussed the reasons and repercussions of violence in schools and presented a real life teachers’ accounts of school violence. Participants issued recommendations including: holding awareness raising workshops to teachers and to students; creating and activating parents associations; providing meals during school days; encouraging extracurricular activities.

November 2009

IF small grants awardees -third round- continues implementing their projects during the month of November. IF monitored project implementation through field visits in the provinces of Basra, Baghdad and Kut.

The Humane Organization for Human Rights, located in Kut, held its third conference on “Preventing Violence in Schools” on November 11. The conference was implemented in collaboration with the Education Directorate in the Kut/Wasit province and brought together about 30 participants including representatives from the Media Directorate of Wasit Education Directorate, 21 educational teaching staff, group of students’ parents, and 2 local NGOs. Topics covered included awareness raising about children’s rights, the necessity to encourage collaboration between civil society and the Education Directorate in the Kut Province to deal with school violence, and the criteria for measuring school violence under the principles of the Convention on the Rights of the Child. The workshop also discussed the reasons and repercussions of violence in schools, the reasons behind violence in schools. Participants pointed out to the repercussions of violence against students includingnegatively impacting children’s creativity and integration, and its inefficiency in improving children’s academic achievement. The workshop came to the conclusion that nurturing and democratic environments help improve students’ confidence and overall performance.

The Himam Institution for Civil Society Building, based in Basra, held its third and fourth workshops on “Promoting Children’s rights” on November 9 and 18. Both workshops were attended by about 30 participants each, including local officials; tribal leaders; and schools, human rights, and children’s rights’CSOs representatives. Discussions included a presentation of the UN convention on the rights of the child and discussed health insurance, education, progress, and life. The third workshop was held in Abu Al-Qaseeb Local District, while the fourth workshop was held in Al-Dayer District – North of Basra.

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