02 Jul 2014

Iraq Foundation - Activities Update

Update: Due to the ongoing violence in Iraq, some of our June activities have been suspended to ensure the safety and security of our staff, project partners and participants. We are monitoring the situation in Iraq closely. 
National Youth Orchestra of Iraq
It is with great regret that the Iraq Foundation announces the cancellation of the National Youth Orchestra of Iraq's plans to travel to America. Instability in Iraq has made it impossible for orchestra members to complete the visa process that would allow them to travel, though thankfully all NYOI musicians are currently safe. 

Widows Initiative for Economic Sustainability (WIES)
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.
This May, WIES participants completed the apprenticeship program in Baghdad and Basra at a hair salon. 25 women participated in a charity market in Baghdad and Ninawa and were able to sell their products as part of the networking activities. 16 women obtained employment opportunities in Basra, Maysan and Ninawa. 
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 May 31st, IF conducted the second meeting for the TABEIR network. During this meeting, IF and partner NGOs discussed the training manuals to be used in upcoming cascade trainings and an agenda. 

Hewar Initiative to Enhance Judicial Outreach and Transparency
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).
 From May 24 to May 28, a five-day conference was held in Beirut. The workshop was attended by 12 Media Specialists from the Higher Judicial Council (HJC). Under the supervision of Judge Abdul Sattar al-Bayrakdar, HJC-official spokesperson, participants focused on ways to enhance their outreach goals. This workshop aimed at adding more informational techniques on developing media communication among judiciary stakeholders and the general public as well.

Parliamentary Internship Project
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.
The training was provided by IF with the aim of helping the interns better market themselves. Conducted on May 10 at the Iraq Foundation training hall, the session was led by Dr. Sadoun Jetheer, a university professor specializing in marketing.  During this one-day training, the interns received personalized guidance and job interview skills in order to prepare them for the job market. 
Peaceful Empowerment, Advocacy and Cooperation to End violence (PEACE)
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.  
This May, the PEACE team obtained letters of support from local and national government officials. The team also continued its effort to raise awareness of the project through the distribution of posters in Baquba and Miqdadiya. 7 hearing sessions were held in Baghdad, Erbil and Diyala. Representatives from local governments, religious clerics, tribal leaders and women victims of violence attended these sessions.  The task force introduced the national charter and victimized women had the chance to tell their stories to the audience. Legal clinics and counseling lawyers continued providing services beyond the required period enabling 51 women to obtain legal assistance during the month of May. 
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