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IF completed EIWT’s fourth cycle in Baghdad’s two centers, (Karkh & Risafa) and Basra’s center (Zubair).

IF met with a number of local government officials and civic leaders to discuss possible options to help the widows find jobs and/or generate income opportunities. This includes Ms. Mahdia Abd Hasan, Member, Baghdad Provincial council, members of the Social Solidarity NGO on May 21 and Ms. Shatha Naji, head, Women for Peace NGO, on May 31.

On May 21, 2012, the graduation ceremony was conducted in the Fuhood District council. Among the attendees were Mr. Zaki Hussien Mahmoud, Chairman,  Fuhood district council, and Mr. Ahmed Kadhum, Member,  Fuhood district council. This ceremony was covered by Al Fayhaa satellite channel which conduct interviews with the NGO members, widows and the officials. They all expressed their gratefulness to IF for all the effort for the widows and encouraged IF to continue the great work in AL Qada.

IF’s staff in Basra held a mentoring sessions to EIWT widows on the International Committee for the Red Cross (ICRC) mini grants. IF invited old ICRC grantees (EIWT widows) to talk about their experience in obtaining these mini-grants with IF support.

As a response to the widows’ request IF held vocational training on craftworks, a professional trainer delivered training on best seller products that the widow can start their own profession with. IF believe it’s another opportunity for the widows

Selected Photos from Activities:

Group mentoring- Zubair center, Basra

Computer skills training- Zubair center, Basra

Group session- Zubair Center, Basra

Educational Mentoring- successful EIWT widow Sundus Mohammed shared her positive experience with EIWT’ s fourth cycle widows

Vocational training- successful EIWT widow Emtithal Tahir provide training on craftworks Rusafa center, Baghdad

Vocational training- hairdressing – Rusafa center, Baghdad

 

Vocational training- computer skills – Rusafa center, Baghdad

Vocational training- Hairdressing – Karkh center, Baghdad

IF completed EIWT’s fourth cycle in Maysan’s center and Dhi Qar’s Fuhood center.

IF held a number of exciting meetings and events this month. On April 9, IF met with IRD cadre to discuss terms of collaboration in supporting women household in general and marginalized women in particular. On April 16, 2012, IF arranged and in coordination with women and childhood committee in Risafa district council for EIWT widows to participate in the “Orphans Day” activity to sell some of their products. The widows’ products received high attention from the attendees and our widows were able to sell all their goods.

IF staff invited several prominent community members to participate in EIWT educational mentoring. This includes Mr. Mohammed Nasih, Mayor of Qurna Qada’a, and Nabel Major, a local lawyer. Mr. Nasih encouraged to the widows to benefit from EIWT activities and promised to provide assistance to the widows in the Qada’a. Nabeel Major provided legal aid to the widows. Mr. Major was able to provide assistance to EIWT widows in obtaining their rights through the legal system.

As a result of the Family Hygiene and Wellbeing Program, IF facilitated the delivery of the Tetanus vaccine to all 40 widows in Al Qurna center, nearly half of whom did not have the vaccine previously.

Selected Photos from Activities:

“Tetanus vaccine day” Al Qurna center, Basra

IF visit to Maysan Vocational training- food production

IF visit to Maysan Educational training

IF staff visit to Women NGO in Maysan

Educational training in Fuhood center, Dhi Qar

Vocational training in Fuhood center, Dhi Qar

Educational Mentoring- Lawyer Nabeel Major provide legal aid for EIWT’s fourth cycle widows

Educational Mentoring- Qurna Mayor meeting with EIWT’s fourth cycle widows

Vocational Mentoring IF staff & ICRC representative Aseel Al Hashimi – EIWT Widows on ICRC mini grants

“Orphans day” activity EIWT widows were able to sell some of their products

IF launched EIWT’s fourth cycle in six centers: Baghdad’s two centers, (Karkh & Risafa), Basra’s two centers, (Zubair& Qurna),  Maysan’s center and Dhi Qar’s Fuhood center.

IF is pleased to announce that EIWT project staff succeeded in training almost double the predicted number of widows in vocational skills during the third cycle without exceeding the project’s approved budget. While IF planned to train 60 widows, staff and local partners succeeded in training 118 after receiving 58 additional requests from other widows to participate in the vocational training.  IF is also pleased to report that staff connected 23 widows with small grants and several other resources that provided them with the means to generate income and thus become economically self-sufficient. Widows used these grants to establish small businesses based out of their homes, which provided services for their community. They join 117 other widows from the previous EIWT cycles, who have benefited from EIWT’s vocational and entrepreneurial training.

EIWT mentoring continued throughout the training centers. Notably, IF and in collaboration with the partner organization, Women NGO in Maysan arranged mentoring sessions with Maysan Governor, Mr. Ali Dawai Lazm , the International Committee for Red Cross (ICRC) and Mr. Abdul Satar Al Shemary, Head of Al Boa’sa’a NGO.

Selected Photos from Activities:

EIWT’s fourth cycle – Vocational training in Risafa

Fatin Ibraheem, a successful EIWT graduate, served as the assistant trainer of the sewing vocational training in the fourth cycle in Baghdad

Educational training in Fuhood center, Dhi Qar

Mentoring session in Maysan center

Mentoring session in Maysan center- Visit of Abdul Satat Al Shemary- Head of Al Bo’assa’a NGO.

Food Manufacturing- Fourth cycle vocational training in Maysan center

IF staff visit to the partner NGO Nature Iraq to the Fuhood center in Dhi Qar

IF staff hold a mentoring session with EIWT widows in Fuhood center, Dhi Qar

Life skills component training in Maysan center

Educational training of the fourth cycle in Qurna center, Basra

Vocational Mentoring with ICRC in Basra

IF staff helping EIWT widows apply for the ICRC mini grants- Vocational mentoring

Vocational training in Maysan center

Health & Hygiene component of EIWT life skills training in Maysan

Educational training in Maysan center

Visit of Maysan Governor to EIWT widows

This month, IF celebrated the graduation of the 3rd cycle of EIWT widows from training centers in Baghdad (Karkh and Risafa). About 100 guests attended each graduation ceremony, held at the Cultural Hall of the Ministry of Oil. Following the distribution of diplomas to graduates, IF awarded particular widows with certificates of achievement. The 4th training cycle is now underway in Dhi Qar and Maysan Provinces.

During the month of February, IF staff advocated in the community to assist widows in finding gainful employment. At the graduation ceremonies held in the two Baghdad centers, a representative of the Prime Minister’s Office pledged to employ 20 widows in the coming months.

Selected Photos from Graduation Ceremonies:

Ms. Rend Al-Rahim, Executive Director of the Iraq Foundation, congratulatesBaghdadi widows on their achievements.

During the ceremony, IF made the widows’ products available for sale. Proceeds directly benefitted the widows.

Dresses made by the widows were also sold at the ceremony.

Educational training session in Maysan to kick off Cycle 4.

Educational one-on-one mentoring session.

With IF’s assistance, four widows from Shat Al Arab, Basra were awarded grants to start their own small businesses during January by an international organization. The grants enabled these women to purchase food stocks, small appliances and house hold items, such as pots and pans, to start small family owned grocery stores and home goods stores run out of their homes. These neighborhood shops supply neighborhoods with basic household good and small appliances such as kitchenware and other needs in addition to groceries.

In addition, six widows in Basra were able to receive their government benefits as a result of IF’s intervention and the cooperation of Provincial Council Members, who supported EIWT widows to overcome all obstacles! These benefits include a monthly living stipend, which help provide financial stability to the widow and their families .

We are also pleased to announce that several candidates are interviewing for jobs in Baghdad thanks to the cooperation and coordination of IF staff members and “Independent Iraqi Opinion,” a NGO and Newspaper organization based in Baghdad.

IF pleased to announce the successful completion of the third cycle of training in several centers as part Empowering Iraqi Widows to Thrive (EIWT) project during the month of January.  Training completed in both Baghdad training centers (Karkh  and Risafa) as well as in the Mdaina training center in Basra and Hamdania training center in Mosul.  IF will complete third cycle training in the remaining three centers in February.

During January, IF also conducted numerous meetings in order to enhance the employment prospects of widow participants as well as empower them politically and social as part of EIWT’s extensive mentoring program. On January 5, IF staff met with Relief & Economic Security Representative, and a field representative of the Red Cross in Baghdad in order to  assist participants apply for mini-grants.  These funds would enable the widows to establish small businesses and sustainable income.  IF and the Red Cross already cooperate in the implementation of this program in the southern region and would like to expand to Baghdad as well.

On January 22, IF met with the Director General of the Department of Labor & Vocational Training at the Ministry of Education in Baghdad to advocate for  loans aimed at Iraq’s widow population from a parliamentary fund.  In addition, IF took this opportunity to discuss cooperation with the Ministry to strengthen and support IF’s computer training programs, a popular vocational choice for widows in urban areas.

On January 22, IF staff also met with “Independent Iraqi Opinion” Organization & Newspaper in Baghdad to discuss securing transportation for widows.  The organization generously arranges for widows to buy cars, and provides payment plans that are manageable for widows.  Additionally, organization’s editor and chief agreed to lead a vocational mentoring session and has offered several employment opportunities to widows within the organization.  Currently several candidates are interviewing for positions!

Also for this month we have several other exciting sucess stories to report!

Seleceted Photos:

Selected Photos:


EIWT widows recieved RCC mini-grants as their first source of income (19)


EIWT widows recieved RCC mini-grants as their first source of income (18)


EIWT widows recieved RCC mini-grants as their first source of income (17)


EIWT widows recieved RCC mini-grants as their first source of income (16)


EIWT widows recieved RCC mini-grants as their first source of income (15)


EIWT widows recieved RCC mini-grants as their first source of income (14)


EIWT widows recieved RCC mini-grants as their first source of income (13)


EIWT widows recieved RCC mini-grants as their first source of income (12)


EIWT widows recieved RCC mini-grants as their first source of income (11)


EIWT widows received RCC mini-grants as their first source of income (10)


EIWT widows received RCC mini-grants as their first source of income (9)


EIWT widows recieved RCC mini-grants as their first source of income (8)


EIWT widows received RCC mini-grants as their first source of income (7)


EIWT widows received RCC mini-grants as their first source of income (6)


EIWT widows received RCC mini-grants as their first source of income (5)


EIWT widows received RCC mini-grants as their first source of income (4)


EIWT widows received RCC mini-grants as their first source of income (3)


EIWT widows received RCC mini-grants as their first source of income (2)


EIWT widows received RCC mini-grants as their first source of income (1)


EIWT widows received RCC mini-grants as their first source of income

As part of our efforts to improve the lives of Iraqi widows, IF is pleased to report that 280 widows took part in the third training cycle from 7 training centers, located in five provinces throughout Iraq during the month of December as part of the Empowering Iraqi Widows to Thrive (EIWT) project.

During the training program, participants relieve vital education in life skills, health, conflict and family management, democracy, mentoring, and vocational training for select participants.  Upon completion, if hosts a graduation ceremony for the widows to celebrate their achievements.  Last month during November, IF held two graduations for participants from the second cycle in Basra. IF also conducted the graduation ceremony in Ba’ashiqa.  Both events were well attended by selected figures and well covered by the local media.

View photos from the all the graduations for Cycle 2 training October – November 2011…

As a result of one of these activities, IF is thrilled to announce seven success stories the month of December.  Learn more about the successes!

Select Photos from Project Activities:


Vocational training-Maysan


Vocational Training-Chabaysh


Vocational training-Baghdad


Vocational Training Baghdad1


Educational training-Chabaysh

Vocational Mentoring-Saif Majid-Tijara1


IF meeting with Mubarat Al Shakreen


IF attended social security reform


Health & Hygene-Basra


Health & Hygene training-Baghdad

With IF’s assistance, seven widows from Shat Al Arab, Basra were awarded grants to start their own small businesses during November by an international organization. The grants helped four participates to purchase small supplies and house hold items, such as pots and pans, to start small family owned stores run out of their homes.  These neighborhood shops supply neighborhoods with basic household good and small appliances such as kitchenware and other needs.  Three widows received sewing equipment and other necessary equipment and materials to run a small sewing shop from their homes as a result of these small grants.

Selected Photos:


Success story-Nadia & Hawraa


Success story-Awatif Muhsin (2)


Success story-Awatif Muhsin

As part of our efforts to improve the lives of Iraqi widows, IF is please to report that 280 widows took part in the third training cycle from 7 training centers, located in five provinces throughout Iraq during the month of November as part of the Empowering Iraqi Widows to Thrive (EIWT) project.  During the training program, participants relieve vital education in life skills, health, conflict and family management, democracy, mentoring, and vocational training for select participants.  Upon completion, IF hosted a graduation ceremony for the widows to celebrate their achievements.  During November, IF held two graduations for participants from the second cycle in Basra. IF also conducted the graduation ceremony in Ba’ashiqa.  Both events were well attended by selected figures and well covered by the local media.

View photos from the all the graduations for Cycle 2 training…

IF recognizes the importance of mentoring and guidance in implementing such a life changing training.  As part of these mentoring sessions, IF works hard to link beneficiaries to community resources and inspirational speakers.  In Baghdad, IF arranged for EIWT participants to meet with the Head of the Umtuna NGO, an organization that specializes in providing finance opportunities to widows to get sewing machines at a reasonable price. IF also invited Mr. Saif Majid, coordinator for the TIJARA fund, which provides microfinance opportunities in Iraq.  During the mentoring session, Mr. Majid explained the loan process and other conditions and regulations required to get funding from TIJARA. IF Baghdad also conducted Educational mentoring sessions, inviting Lawyer Eman Abdul Rahman to share her experience as a successful widow. During this session, Ms. Abdul Rahman assisted the participants with legal advice and introduced them to Lawyer Suhad Abdullah, who is specialized in personal status law . IF Baghdad invited successful widows from the previous training cycles to also share their experience and success stories with the current participants.

Mentoring sessions take place in all centers.  For example, in the Maysan center, IF cooperated with the Women’s NGO of Maysan to conduct educational mentoring session, inviting Dr. Maysoon Abdul Jabbar, Head of Women Issues Department in Maysan to discuss the widow’s stipend process and follow up on some of their pending issues.  IF also worked with the Yazidi Solidarity Organization in Ba’ashiqa conducted Educational mentoring sessions. Mr. Hussien Kujar, Head of Democratic Organization Center in Mosul, and Mr. Younis Ahmed, a Political Party Official, both participated in these sessions and are also working to assist widows with pending stipend issues.   Mr. Kujar also donated three sewing machines to the widows. During the month, IF also conducted numerous meeting to support the project, including site visits, meetings with regional and international NGOs, other organizations.

As a result of one of these activities, if is thrilled to announce seven success stories the month of November.  Learn more about the successes!

Select Photos from Project Activities:


Vocational training-Maysan


Vocational Training-Chabaysh


Vocational training-Baghdad


Vocational Training Baghdad1


Educational training-Chabaysh

Vocational Mentoring-Saif Majid-Tijara1


IF meeting with Mubarat Al Shakreen


IF attended social security reform


Health & Hygene-Basra


Health & Hygene training-Baghdad