We are excited to share information on April activities of the Iraq Foundation.
We are thrilled to launch our NEW website, www.iraqfoundation.org! Please excuse the slowness of the site as we update our server!
Iraqi Women Make Gains in Elections!
In the recent elections, Iraqi women won 22 seats in the Council of Representatives outside the quota system. This figure is indicative of the growing leadership of women in Iraq and increasing confidence of the electorate in women candidates!
National Youth Orchestra of Iraq: American Debut!
We are continuing to work with the National Youth Orchestra of Iraq! Called, "The Bravest Orchestra in the World", they are made up of Kurd, Sunni, Shia and Christian youth. Risking terrorist attacks, sectarian violence and fundamentalism, the young people of the Iraqi National Youth Orchestra share their love of music with the world.
These remarkable young people are headed to the United States for the first time this August for a concert and learning tour through Chicago and Washington, DC. You can support their trip!
WIES is funded by the US Department of State Secretary's Office of Global Women's Issues. WIES aims to economically empowering over 500 female heads of household in Iraq by building skills, promoting entrepreneurship, and connecting them with employment opportunities.
In Ninawa, IF's partner NGO secured 4employment opportunities for WIES beneficiaries, 9 WIES beneficiaries were linked to a philanthropist donation of ID 900,000 to start new business and 27 WIES beneficiaries were trained marketing strategies by IF marketing expert!
Activities in other provinces included:
- Baghdad: 4 WIES participants joined in a celebration at Karkh district council in Baghdad where they had the chance to market their products and celebrated the occasion of one participant's birth.
- Diyala: 4 WIES participants were trained on marketing skills
- Basra: IF and partner NGO secured three employment opportunities and two apprenticeships for women
Technological Advance to Bolster Freedom of Expression in Iraq (TABEIR)
TABEIR, meaning "expression" in Arabic, is funded by the Swedish International Cooperation Agency (SIDA).TABEIR works to provide greater strength and stimulus to efforts in Iraq to change the dynamics surrounding freedom of expression (FOE) and to protect and expand FOE in all forms. TABEIR targets journalists, citizen journalists, activists and NGOs in Iraq.
On April 10 - 15, IF held a 5-day training of trainers (ToT) in collaboration with the International Center for Journalists (ICFJ). 25 journalists were trained on securely using digital and mobile technology to cover activities, including the Parliamentary elections. These 25 trainees will develop training manuals and in turn train 2,000 local journalists and citizen journalists in their provinces!
Hewar, meaning "dialogue" in Arabic, aims to establish a more transparent and responsive criminal justice system through engaging both the media and citizens to foster greater public awareness of legal rights and the role of courts and trust in judicial processes. Hewar is funded by the US Department of State: Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL).
This month, the High Judicial Council (HJC), partner NGOs and justice stakeholders continued writing the First Stakeholders Meeting report, including recommendations to amend the HJC's communication strategy. These recommendations include indicators to measure stakeholders' communication progress. Reports will be compiled by HJC experts into one inclusive report.
This project is a UN-Women initiative and includes the design and implementation of an internship program for 12 young women leaders from Baghdad and the provinces, who will provide support for 12 women members of parliament engaged in women's issues.
On April 1, IF held the final conference and graduation ceremony which launched the final research document. The event was attended by the regional director of UN-Women, Dr. Samira Al-Twaijri, along with UN-Women Iraq director, Ms. Frances Guy, as well as 64 Parliamentarians, political party representatives, key ministers, senior members of the executive branch and 7 media channels. During the event Dr. Hatif, Director of the research center of Parliament, endorsed the program and stated that his department will work on adopting a similar program in the near future.
PEACE is funded by the US Department of State Secretary's Office of Global Women's Issues. PEACE seeks to promote peace and end violence through supporting a women-led advocacy and action coalition.
In April, IF and the task force team conducted one hearing session in Baghdad and two in Diyala. Representatives from local governments, religious clerics, tribal leaders and women victims of violence attended these session. Task Force members had the chance to demonstrate the national charter and the victimized women were able to tell their stories to the audience.
IF and partner NGOs continued the media campaign through distribution of brochures and pamphlets and through media interviews on TV and radio