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News from the Iraq Foundation
June 2009 Activities, Issue 35
Dear Friends,

Throughout the month of June, we have been working hard to implement projects to promote our vision of a free and democratic Iraq.  IF Executive Director Rend Al-Rahim traveled extensively throughout the month and appeared on Iraq's Alhurra media as well as hosted a press conference for Iraqi NGOs that advocate for human rights in Iraq.  IF also launched a media campaign to raise awareness of and advocate for the rights of children, which will utilize billboards, radio spots and television spots throughout the month and end July 31st.  The implementation of IF's small grants program, also part of the Human Rights Advocacy Initiative (HRAI) project, is also well underway and two NGOs have already begun implementing projects.  Supported by UNDP, IF staff continued its literacy training programs in the southern governorate of Mdaina and concluded the information technology training program as part of the Mdaina Education Project (MEP).  We are also pleased to announce that our efforts to improve the lives of Iraqi widows continued throughout June as part of the Widows Empowerment Project. In addition, IF's HRAI team produced its sixth newsletter this month, which reports on the HRAI project and the human rights situation in Iraq.
As always, please do not hesitate to contact us should you have any questions about our projects or activities!

Joseph Sandor
Communication Officer
Iraq Foundation

IF Holds Press Meetings for Human Rights Groups in Iraq

On June 1st, IF held a press meeting for Iraqi NGOs that support human rights.  Part of our Human Rights Advocacy Initiative (HRAI), IF is endeavoring to forge a stronger link between human rights groups and the media by sponsoring regular press sessions for its HRAI network.  During the first meeting, which was presided by IF's Executive Director Rend Al-Rahim, NGOs discussed their activities as part of the HRAI network and shared findings from the monthly newsletters they create and ways the press can use information generated from the HRAI project to better report on human rights in Iraq.  Participants also discussed expanding the impact of HRAI and the important role of continued media involvement in additions to then pressing  current issues of the proposed NGO law, which is under consideration in parliament. IF also used this opportunity to introduce the media to two Iraqi widows from IF's Widow's Empowerment Project.

IF Conducts Children's Rights Media Campaign
IF launched a television, radio, and billboard media campaign as part of our human rights advocacy efforts on June 4, 2009.  The goal of the campaign is to promote the rights of children. The campaign will run until July 31st and feature 70 television spots and 90 radio spots in additional to 10 billboards placed throughout Baghdad in strategic locations.The media campaign is part of the Human Rights Advocacy Initiative project launched in May 2008. 

View Television Spot (Arabic)...

IF Small Grants Awardees implement projects in Diwaniyya and Babel

IF is pleased to report that two Iraqi NGOs, which were awarded small grants of 3,000 USD each, are implementing their projects in the Diwaniyya and Babel provinces. 

The Mawtini Organization in Diwaniyya implemented three radio program on June 19. The programs aired from 1:00 to 2:00 PM on Al-Diwaniyya radio and hosted prominent local officials such as the head of the Human Rights Ministry's office in Diwaniyya, Mr. Fadil Ali, to and discussed human rights in international conventions and in the Iraqi Constitution, CEDAW, and the human rights legal safeguards in Iraqi laws. 

The Ashtar Center implemented two trainings for journalist in the Babel governorate. Each trainings gathered 20 participants to discuss human rights in Iraqi journalism and international conventions as well as the press' role in the defense of human rights.

Learn more about HRAI...

IF Continues Literacy Trainings in Southern Iraq

Thanks to a grant from the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), IF continued holding literacy training courses, as part of the Mdaina Education Project (MEP).  The training courses, which began in May, 2009, target illiterate and semiliterate adults.  The first course targets 100 illiterate adults and focuses on teaching basic literacy and on building a solid foundation in basic math. The second course targets 150 semiliterate adults and focuses on enhancing the participants' reading and writing abilities. Both courses will be conducted over the period of 3 months. MEP also provides computer literacy courses as part of the project.

IF is pleased to announce that we have successfully concluded the IT  training component of the MEP project during the month of June.  The IT component provided advanced technical training to IT personnel in Mdaina.  In the coming months, IF staff will begin training teachers and small business owners in basic computer literacy.

Learn more about Mdaina Education Project...

IF Continues Training Iraqi Widows in Baghdad and Basra
Throughout June, the second cycle of training courses have continued in all four training locations in Baghdad and Basra, as part of our ongoing efforts to improve the lives of Iraqi widows through the Widow's Empowerment Project (WEP).  In addition, IF project staff continuing their efforts to secure additional employment opportunities for participating widows in both the private and public sector. IF also continued its mentoring activities, which began on May 26, for participants of the first cycle of trainings.

The WEP project, which began in May 2008, is designed to empower widows with practical job and income generation skills as well as an enhanced understanding of their rights and civic responsibilities.

Learn more about the Widow's Empowerment Project and View Photos...
In This Issue
IF Holds Press Meetings for Human Rights Groups in Iraq
IF Conducts Children's Rights Media Campaign and implement Small Grant Projects
IF Continues Literacy Trainings
IF Continues Training Iraqi Widows in Baghdad and Basra
IF In the Media
IF Publishes 6th Human Rights Newsletter
radio tower
IF In the Media:
During the month of May, IF's Executive Director  Rend Al-Rahim traveled extensively in the Middle East and interviewed with Alhurra in Iraq on the ramifications of the Iraqi NGO law on Iraq's budding civil society.

HRAI Newsletter
IF Publishes 6th Human Rights Newsletter!
The Human Rights Advocacy Initiative (HRAI) published its sixth newsletter in June.  This newsletter reports on the human rights situation in  Iraq. Formed in May 2008 by the Iraq Foundation, the  goal of the HRAI project is to empower Iraqi human rights leaders to be better advocates for human rights. Published in Arabic, HRAI's monthly newsletters are available on our website.

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