From May 30 to June 3, 2014 ACDI/VOCA worked with four Marla Fund implementing partner CSOs (Haraa Humanitarian Organization (HHO), Al-Murshed Center for Economic Development (AMC), Amal Al-Watan Center for Development (AAW), and Al Malwiya Relief Foundation for Development (ARFD)), to provide training to victims of violence in small business development.
The Marla Fund assists innocent victims of military operations or terrorist activities from Diyala, Kirkuk, Ninawa, and Salah ad Din provinces. The recent training provided seven such victims from each province (28 in total) with the tools they need to become successful small business owners and managers. As well as training in bookkeeping, inventory control, logistics, management, local sources of microfinance and other key business skills, a former Marla Fund beneficiary from Dibis, Kirkuk related his success story of how the program has enabled the victim and his family to recover economically and socially. In addition, representatives from the Iraqi Government Sub-Commission for the Compensation of the People Affected by the Combat Operations, Military Mistakes and Terrorist Activities in the General Secretaries of the Council of Ministries provided information about their work and possible ways for the victims to also access government resources.
After the training, the victims chose a business project that suits their circumstances and preferences. ACDI/VOCA will help them by supplying a "kick-start" in-kind grant from the Fund based on their prepared business plans and feasibility studies.
The three-day training was conducted by Marla Fund CSO partners under the mentorship of ACDI/VOCA Marla staff, who provided guidance as needed during the training.