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The Iraq Foundation (IF) is pleased to report that 4 WIES beneficiaries were linked to job opportunities during this reporting period. Three started working as tailors in Al-Akhawin Factory in Baghdad, and one started working as a housekeeper for a Lebanese firm based in Basra which is specialized in biological research for the oil industry, she was hired for $700/ month.   As part of the marketing strategies developed by WIES, improving marketing for businesses-owned by females heads of household (FHH), IF contracted Al-Nijoom Company to produce 100 electronic ads to help WIES beneficiaries advertise their products. During this reporting period, IF was granted a 3 months no cost extension (NCE) for the project from October 31, 2014 to January 31, 2015 in the provinces of Baghdad, Basra and Maysan. IF amended its memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the Iraqi Women Association in Maysan, Al Ferdos NGO in Basra and contracted 2 NGOs in Baghdad: the Iraqi Women’s League in Baghdad and Um Al Yateem. As a result ofthe NCE, the following was achieved:   27 FHH received advanced marketing for their businesses in Maysan.   33 WIES families (33 women, 7 men) in Baghdad and Basra attended family financial planning sessions. Female and male members of the household gathered with a third party to reflect on the proper allocation of  income generated by project activities.   IF contracted The Voice of Joy radio station to produce 100 radio spots advertising WIES supported businesses in the three provinces.

WIES beneficiaries started working in Al-Akhawain Tailor Factory

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Family Financial Planning Sessions-Basra

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Financial Planning

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Family Financial Planning Sessions-Baghdad/Karkh

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Advanced Marketing training in Maysan

Financial Planning Maysan

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IF conducted the second national conference for its PEACE project in Baghdad on the 22nd of December 2014. The event was held at the Almansour hotel in Baghdad. The conference was headed by IF’s president Ms. Rend Al-Rahim and was attended by 136 people representing a wide range of stakeholder groups including the government, non-governmental organizations, and media groups.

The participants reviewed the accomplishments of the PEACE project, how to utilize the project’s momentum moving forward, progress achieved on the National Charter, the PEACE project data base, and the project’s score card. The score-card measures the progress in legal, social, and economic reforms based on the indicators established by the National Charter and the progress made by national and local government agencies.

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On November 13, the Iraq Foundation held a reception at the National Press Club to say farewell to Ms. Selwa Gailani and welcome our new Executive Director, Ms. Basma Fakri. Ms. Gailani was with the Iraq Foundation for 9 years and she will be dearly missed.

Photos of the event:

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IYLEP 2015 Apply Now Application Graphic

The Iraq Foundation invites undergraduate students to apply for the 2015 Iraqi Young Leaders Exchange Program (IYLEP). IYLEP allows talented and dedicated young leaders from Iraq to participate in a five-week, fully-funded intensive summer leadership program in the United States. The program places students at universities across the United States for a thematic leadership program, with a short orientation in New York City and a post-program workshop in Washington, D.C.

Apply online: www.meridian.org/IYLEP2015

The application deadline is December 10, 2014

As part of WIES support for FHH’s businesses, IF has established web based ad’s promoting for FHH’s business as part of marketing and networking assistance provided to the FHH’s.

The ads were disseminated through social media and Electronic journals in attempt to help marketing the FHH’s products and linking them to small contracts to support their businesses.

IF Advertises

The Iraq Foundation is pleased to introduce our new Chief Operating Officer (COO), Ms. Basma Fakri.

Working tirelessly to empower Iraqi women, support freedom and democracy in Iraq since immigrating to the US in 1982, Ms. Fakri co-founded the Women’s Alliance for a Democratic Iraq (WAFDI), an organization dedicated to a free and democratic Iraq with full and equal individual rights for women. She sat on the steering committee of the Network of Iraqi American Organizations in Michigan and was a member of the Women for a Free Iraq campaign. Ms. Fakri organized, led and managed many training sessions on women’s political participation, ending violence against women, economic empowerment and rights in Baghdad, Beirut and the US. She worked as a voter education officer and national counting officer with the International Organization for Migration (IOM) during the first Iraq out-of-country voting. Additionally, she cooperated with high-level policymakers:  addressed the UN Security Council in a closed session about women, peace, security and the role of Iraqi women in building the peace in Iraq. Ms. Fakri holds a Bachelor and a Master Degrees in Civil Engineering, and a Master in Public Administration from Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government.

The Iraq Foundation condemns, in the strongest terms, the barbaric war crimes conducted by the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) against Iraqi men, women, and children, particularly those who are members of religious and ethnic minority groups. These activities have included mass killings of Turkomen and forced conversions amongst members of the Yazidi and Shabak communities. IF condemns this and other forms of religious persecution, targeting of minorities and extremist violence. IF also wishes to draw attention to the plight of those who have remained, whether by choice or by force, in their ancestral homes, particularly in the Ninawa province, only to face increasingly stringent demands at the hands of ISIS leaders. Reports are distressingly common of ISIS involvement not only in the forced conversion of minorities to its own version of Islam, but also of beheadings, confiscation of property, and female genital mutilation (FGM), amongst other injustices wrought onto the innocent communities native to these towns.

We are gravely concerned by the violence, including sexual violence against women and girls belonging to the Yazidi and Christian religious minorities in Iraq who are being raped and sold into slavery with the aim of giving birth to  Muslim children and thus “ethnically cleanse” these groups. Furthermore, if released, these victims face the threat of honor killings by their relatives. The Iraq Foundation condemns the deaths of hundreds of Yazidis, mostly children, on Mount Sinjar and cases of child kidnapping. We cannot overemphasize the need for intervention, without which ISIS will continue to spread and perpetuate these abuses.

The Iraq Foundation seeks to work with the Iraqi government, the Kurdish regional government (KRG) and the international community to address this tragedy. We at the Iraq Foundation are particularly concerned about the provision of psychosocial and physical services to women victims and the strengthening of appropriate resources, such as safe houses, where women can be provided with such rehabilitation services. The Iraq Foundation is currently working on the ground with local NGOs to provide much-needed humanitarian aid, including food, potable water, and medical supplies for internally displaced persons (IDPs), particularly children. Please consider donating to allow us to continue this work: http://www.iraqfoundation.org/if-assists-idps/

Mediators Beyond Borders is holding a training in September: “Women in Peacebuilding: Enhancing Skills and Practice.”  MBB

IF would like to recognize the efforts of Ms. Suaad Allami, a human rights lawyer and a longtime partner of IF. She was recently honored at the 13th Annual Vital Voices Global Leadership Award, attended by Hillary Clinton and held at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. IF leveraged her legal expertise to provide support for PEACE and WEL (Women for Equitable Legislation). See below a photo of Suaad.

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photo courtesy of Inclusive Security

To read more about her story, please click here.

 

With refugee camps  in Dohuk, Erbil, and others of the country already past capacity, aid organizations struggling to provide basic services to victims of ISIS  are ill-prepared to serve the new influx of IDPs.

  • Christians in Mosul have been targeted by ISIS fighters. Despite an initial promise that they could remain if they paid a special tax for non-Muslims, reports indicate that those who have chosen to stay are being stripped of their possessions and killed.
  • An IDP camp in the Shekhan district of Ninewa province has doubled in size in the last two weeks, straining limited resources and placing immense pressure on aid workers to increase the rate of tent construction.
  • In Kirkuk province, local authorities estimate that a further 16,000 families have been displaced in the previous two weeks.

The worst conditions are faced by Yezidis fleeing Sinjar.  Having faced the atrocities of rape and summary execution, they have taken refuge  in mountains with little access to basic necessities. Assyrian inhabitants of Baashiqa have also fled into the mountains .

The Iraq Foundation is working closely with local humanitarian organizations with which we have established long-term relations to provide essential needs to IDPs through a fundraising campaign. To date, IF has raised $7,250, and we hope you will generously support this effort. Hammourabi Human Rights Organization (HHRO) in Ninawa has received IF-raised funds and  provided food, water and children’s health supplies to IDP communities in Bartalla (Ninawa province) in acute need of water, shelter, and health provisions. Pictures below indicate some of the work we have done so far:

In the past month, a new wave of 200,000 internally displaced persons from Ninawa province  have fled the onslaught of ISIS. Following ISIS takeover of Sinjar, hundreds of Yezidi men were summarily executed, women were raped, and thousands of Yezidi families have fled to the mountain, where they face thirst and hunger in blistering heat. Their need for water, food, and shelter is critically urgent.

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Your contribution to the Iraq Foundation may be tax deductible under section 501(C)3 of the Internal Revenue Code. Please consult your tax adviser. The Iraq Foundation’s tax identification number is available on the click and pledge page.

 

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