This Quarter @ The Foundation
Winter: January - March Activities, Issue 77
Dear Friends,
IF is excited to share its Winter successes and accomplishments covering activities from January - March 2013. Beginning with this issue, we will be shifting to a quarterly schedule for our newsletters. 
In February, IF launched a new UN-funded initiative, Empowering Female Candidates (EFC) in Iraq. This project includes an intensive training program to enhance the competitiveness of women political candidates in Iraq and Kurdistan!
As part of our Widows Initiative for Economic Sustainability (WIES) project, economic experts in each province met with women to learn about their skills and determine how to apply these skills in the local and national markets. IF and partner NGOs held meetings with a local bank, international organizations and government institutions to obtain loans and develop trainings! 

Under our Peaceful Empowerment, Advocacy and Cooperation to End violence (PEACE) project, IF held a training for women lawyers to provide services to women victims of gender based violence (GBV) through legal clinics. In February, the legal clinics were finally opened, and lawyers began assisting women with various legal counseling services. In March, IF held women caucauses' meetings engaging women leaders to discuss issues facing women victims.

IF is also very excited to share the successes of youth participants in the Post Election Democracy Project (PEDP). In January, IF held a drawing exhibition in Baghdad, and broadcast a video on TV with the theme of overcoming sectarianism. In March, IF held the first civic leaders workshop in preparation for the drafting of the Third Democratization in Iraq Report!

Women's Equitable Legislation (WEL) project staff held preliminary meetings with partner NGOs to establish a campaign promoting stronger and more effective legislation aimed at protecting women's rights in Iraq. In March, IF held the 4th Roundtable Meeting and met with ministry officials to advocate for the adoption of WEL recommendations!

Finally, IF successfully concluded the Empowering Iraqi Widows to Thrive (EIWT) project in March. Over the course of this project, 1,112 widows were trained on citizenship, women's rights and life skills! In the extension period, IF reached out to even more widows and provided training, grants and other assistance!

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

Tara Dewan-Czarnecki 
Communications Officer
Iraq Foundation 
IF Launches *NEW* UN-funded project!

In February, IF launched the Empowering Female Candidates (EFC) project in Iraq with a grant from UN Women! The project includes a training program for women candidates in local elections to enable them to participate in upcoming elections with greater confidence and ability to attract votes.


Training will be conducted in cooperation with local partners on a variety of constitutional and political topics. IF will also carry out evaluations of the capabilities of local partners as well as those of the 300 women candidates trained as part of the project.


To date, IF has conducted a training session for trainers and cascade trainings of women candidates in a number of provinces! Stay tuned for more info about this project in our next newsletter!

IF Engages Community Partners to Benefit WIES widows!
In January, economic development experts, Dr. Emad Al Ani  and Dr. Abdulriza Alkhamas, met with beneficiaries of Widows Initiative for Economic Sustainability (WIES) to learn about skills suitable for the job market. These experts will talk to business owners, employers and institutions to match skills to the local economy's needs. Additionally, by the end of March, 560 total interviews were conducted between women and experts and partner NGOs in 5 provinces: Baghdad, Basra, Maysan, Diyala and Nineveh!


Outreach meetings were held on February 11 between the IF team and the Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs (MOLSA) and on February 19, WIES project coordinator visited Ashoor Bank, where she established an agreement to help women beneficiaries get loans with decreased interest rates. The regular rate is around 11%, but the bank agreed to give WIES beneficiaries a rate of 5%!


In March, economic experts and partner NGOs reached out to local and international organizations, banks, MOLSA and Small Business Development Centers to discuss opportunities for WIES participants! Ashoor bank in Baghdad pledged to help participants apply for loans to launch their businesses. IF is coordinating with Small Business Development Centers to provide job skills trainings for women!



IF Provides Services for Women Victims of Violence and Engages Women Leaders! 



In January, IF started training lawyers as part of its Peaceful Empowerment, Advocacy and Cooperation to End Violence (PEACE) project. The training was conducted by Ta'meem Alazawi, who has significant experience in the field of family law. Mrs. Alawazi trained 25 women lawyers in Basra, Baghdad, Diyala, Erbil and Babil!

In February, the lawyers started providing legal assistance to women victims in five provinces. The meetings will continue for the next 14 months, and their objective is to improve support to women who are victims of violence. During these meetings, the lawyers will conduct one-on-one interviews, inform the women of their legal rights, assist them in filing suits and provide them with various counseling services.
In March, IF and partner NGOs held meetings with women leaders to present case studies reports about victimized women. Women leaders included heads of NGOs, businesses and local state institutions. Meetings discussed problems confronting women and families, the unaddressed needs of women affected by violence, and the ways by which women leaders can contribute to ending violence and preventing conflict. 


PEDP Holds Art Exhibition and Civic Leaders Workshop! 

The Post Election Democracy Project (PEDP) continues to successfully implement youth small grants activities!


On January 25, 2013, IF held a drawing exhibition in Baghdad. Topics aimed at raising national awareness, highlighting national identity, and creating a spirit of communication among university students, while also emphasizing group work among painters. The event was covered by multiple television channels including Al-Iraqia, Al-Rasheed, Al-Masar-1, and Al-Najaf TV!

Also in January, IF broadcasted a short video on the theme of overcoming sectarianism on Al-Iraqia Satellite Channel. "Al-Khaima" (The Tent) by Mr. Ali Al-Ka'bi from Al-Muthana, and student participant in IF's Interfaith Cooperation Project produced the video as part of a competition on peaceful coexistence.

From March 13-15, IF with Freedom House held a 3-day workshop for civic leaders in Erbil! The workshop aimed to prepare participants to draft the "Third Democratization Report in Iraq," which will cover political parties, the Council of Representatives, freedom of assembly and demonstration and media freedoms. The meeting was headed by IF's Executive Director, Ms. Rend Al-Rahim, and attended by 11 leaders and 4 guest consultants. 
IF Holds Meetings for WEL Project & Prepares for Advocacy Campaign!




In January, the Women for Equitable Legislation (WEL) project team conducted a preparatory meeting with WEL advisor, Judge Rahim Al Ugaily, and WEL research expert, Mr. Ryadh Ibraheem, to put together a work plan on upcoming project activities.


In February, WEL staff held preliminary meetings with partner NGOs to put together a unified advocacy campaign. This campaign will include locating posters, deciding on brochure distribution locations, planning advocacy meetings, participant selection, and agreeing on radio spot content. 


In March, IF held the fourth roundtable meeting, which included more than 80 legislators and ministry representatives and aimed at presenting the draft legislation including amendments to the existing legislation prepared by experts! IF's Executive Director, Ms. Rend Al-Rahim also attended the event.IF staff also met with ministry officials from the Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs to advocate for the adoption of recommendations drafted by WEL experts in existing laws! 


Please refer to the Arabic website for more information:


Learn More about WEL...


Read More about January & February's Activities...


Read More about March's Activities... 

EIWT Project Successfully Concludes!




In January and February, IF awarded grants to 25 widows to help them launch their small businesses in Baghdad, Maysan and Basra as part of the Empowering Iraqi Widows to Thrive (EIWT) project. Widows used these grants to establish small businesses based out of their homes, to provide services for their communities. 


EIWT concluded in March following the completion of 28 educational training programs at 7 centers in 5 provinces. 1,112 widows were trained on citizenship, women's rights and life skills, including family health and well-being topics and interpersonal skills! These women also received vocational mentoring and developed personal goals and action plans! 694 widows received vocational training! In total, IF identified 491 job opportunities and connected 209 widows with small grants and other resources to jump start their businesses! 


In the project extension period (October - February), 50 widows received marketing training to craft sustainable strategies for their businesses! 15 widows received tailored coaching to access loans and help their businesses succeed and 25 widows received mini grants to start their own business! Finally, 15 widows received assistant in accessing job banks and increasing their visibility with private employment agencies!


Learn More about EIWT...


Read More about January's Activities...


Read More about February's Activities...


Read More about EIWT Project's Conclusion...

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In This Issue
IF Holds Meetings & Facilitates Loan Access for WIES Widows
IF Trains Women Lawyers & Opens Legal Clinics as part of PEACE!
PEDP Holds Art Exhibition and Broadcasts Video! Apply for Youth Camp & Web Workshop
IF Holds Meetings for WEL Project & Prepares for Advocacy Campaign!
EIWT Project Successfully Concludes!
Quick Links
Quick Links:

Apply for the Reagan-Fascell Democracy Fellows Program!
IF encourages applications to the Reagan-Fascell Democracy Fellows Program of the National Endowment for Democracy. For more information, please visit NED's website. This federally-funded exchange program enables democracy activists, practitioners, scholars, and journalists from around the world to deepen their understanding of democracy and enhance their ability to promote democratic change. Deadline to apply is October 1, 2013.