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News from the Iraq Foundation
September 2010 Activities, Issue 49
Dear Friends,

IF is pleased to announce many exciting events, including the launch of a new project to empower disadvantaged Iraqi widows throughout the country!  The Empowering Iraqi Widows to Thrive (EIWT) project kicked off early in the month of September and will be conducted over the course of the next two years.  As a result of the project's activities, IF will empower 1,200 Iraqi women through life skills and civic education and provide tailored vocational skills training to 280 women in seven training centers throughout Iraq!

We are also pleased to announce that IF is continuing to accept proposals from young Iraqis for our sponsored video competition on overcoming sectarianism as part of our Post Election Democracy Project (PEDP). The deadline to apply for the competition is October 31, 2010. In addition, IF launched its human rights fellowship program, awarding best performing students from the Youth Civics Camp with paid fellowships at human rights watchdog groups, trained by IF, throughout the country.  Also during September, IF's Integrity Monitoring Groups, which were set up in 15 Iraqi provinces as part of our Provincial Accountability and Governance (PAG) project, conducted numerous activities to curb corruption in Iraq including the broadcast of local radio programs and meetings with provincial officials. 

IF's Human Rights Advocacy Initiative (HRAI) coalition continued its TV and radio campaign throughout the month to promote the adoption of the UN Human Rights Council recommendations and expanded broadcasts to include three out of ten total new TV programs in collaboration with coalition members and provincial council members, which will run through October.  In addition IF's Executive Director Rend Al-Rahim spoke at a panel discussion at the University of Pennsylvania from September 23 - 24.

As always, please do not hesitate to contact us should you have any questions about our projects or activities!

Sincerely,

Joseph Sandor
Communication Officer
Iraq Foundation


IF Launches New Project: Empowering Iraqi Widows to Thrive (EIWT)!

IF LogoOn September 2, IF was awarded a new grant to continue our work empowering women in Iraq from the US Department of State's Office of Global Women's Issues.  The goal of the two-year EIWT project is to improve the quality of life of marginalized widows in disadvantaged areas and equip them to thrive as contributing participants in Iraqi society and in the Iraqi economy.  Over the two-year period, IF will empower 1,200 Iraqi women through life skills and civic education and provide tailored vocational skills training to 280 women in 7 training centers located throughout Iraq.

During September, IF has been busy laying the groundwork for the project, including identifying seven potential training locations, reviewing CVs of  potential instructors and  creating widows' selection criteria, and contacting potential partners in the project's implementation areas.

Learn more about  IF's new project!


IF Awards Best Performing Students with Human Rights Fellowships throughout Iraq!

In September, IF launched its "human rights fellowship" program for young, motivated Iraqi students. Best performing students from the Youth Civics Camp  were asked to apply for paid fellowships at the watchdog organizations trained and mentored by IF and Freedom House.  These paid fellowships will provide youth with practical experience in researching the state of civil and political liberties in their country and contributing to efforts at enhancing government transparency.

We're also happy to report that our Youth Civics Camps participants are now exchanging knowledge and information through the social networking sites that they were introduced to during the camps. These sites provide them with a space to exchange ideas about citizenship and overcoming sectarianism as well as values and attitudes that promote active participation in civic life.


Hear what the students are saying about IF's Youth Camp...

IF Accepts Submissions for Youth Video Competition!

radio tower IF launched its request for videos (RFV) on overcoming sectarianism last month as part of the youth component of the Post Election Democracy Project (PEDP). The RFV is inviting interested Iraqi youth under the age of 25 to compete in a 'video short' competition on the theme of overcoming sectarianism.  In the second and third years of the PEDP project, videos of the top three finalists will be aired on Iraqi national television, and Iraq Foundation staff will mentor the finalists as they submit their video shorts to regional and global film festivals, including Human Rights Watch's annual Human Rights Film Festival. The RFV was disseminated on several website including IF's.

Learn more and download application (Arabic)...

IF's Integrity Monitoring Groups Hold Meetings and Radio Call-in Programs to Promote Good Governance in Iraq
 
During the month of September, IF Staff worked hard to promote transparency and accountability in Iraq.  As part of the Provincial Accountability and Governance Project (PAG), IF's  Integrity Monitoring Groups (IMGs) conducted numerous meetings with local officials to implement an agreed upon Agenda for Change.  The Agendas for Change in all 15 provinces were approved on September 23rd and are currently being implemented in their respective provinces.  IMGs continued to broadcast local radio talk show program with provincial council officials in September.  During these programs, IMGs described the steps that need to be taken to fight corruption in their local community.

Learn more about the Agendas for Change...

Learn more about the broadcasts...

IF Broadcasts TV and Radio Programs and Writes Shadow Reports to Promote Human Rights in Iraq

IF continued broadcasting TV and radio spots on the UN human rights council recommendations to Iraq. A total of 300 TV spots and 240 radio spots will run until the end of October on Al-Sharqiya, Al-Iraqiya, Al-Sumariya, and Al-Furat TV stations on prime time. The campaign will also be complemented by newspaper ads and billboards.  In addition, IF's HRAI team also began working with local partners and provincial council members to produce and broadcast local TV programs on human rights themes.  During September, three programs were produced covering women's rights,  honor killings in Kurdistan, and the role of CSOs in protecting human rights.  A total of 10 programs will be produced in collaboration with provincial council officials through the course of this media campaign.


Also during September, IF's HRAI team continued its work on two shadow reports, based on training received from IF and its partner ALEF in July 2010.  The reports cover Iraq's adherence to CEDAW and the CRC, which relate to the rights of women and children respectively.


View IF's TV and Radio Campaigns on UN Recommendations...



Learn more about programs produced in collaboration with provincial council officials...
In This Issue
IF Launches New Project: Empowering Iraqi Widows to Thrive (EIWT)!
IF Accepts Submissions for Youth Video Competition
IF's Integrity Monitoring Groups Hold Meetings and Radio Call-in Programs to Promote Good Governance
IF Broadcasts TV and Radio Programs to Promote Human Rights in Iraq
Quick Links
Executive Director Speaks at UPENN

Executive Director Rend Al-Rahim spoke at a panel discussion at the University of Pennsylvania from September 23 - 24, 2010.  The University of Pennsylvania Law School and the National Constitution Center hosted this conference to explore the challenges that face rule of law reform in Iraq and Afghanistan.


Ms. Al-Rahim took part in the panel discussion "Iraqi Federalism: Balancing Federal and Regional Power under the Constitution" on Friday, September 24  at 10am.

This conference was free and open to the public and also webcast at the following address here.




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