Youth Iraq – Working Together for a Brighter Future
Bringing Peace to Iraq
The genocide of the Yazidi people by the self-titled ‘Islamic State’ has left deep scars. Many families still do not dare go back home. For those who have returned many are unable to rebuild their lives due to the difficulties on the ground. This is not even mentioning the current tensions caused by varying ethic and political groups who are fighting for influence in the region.
It is into this context that we are hoping to see the spark of hope turn into a fire. Together with our local partner, HOCA, and with funding from the Foreign Office via IFA (Institute for Foreign Relations), we are running a project that creates safe spaces for young people to work together on art-related activities. Often, due to the complexities of life in this region, many of these young people would never have the opportunity to work together. But by using creative pursuits, like art, it provides a way to bypass religious, ethnic, and cultural barriers. With this project we not only see the birth of new art but also of friendships.
For example, at the end of the first course the youth decided that they would like to do something that was advocating for the care of the environment. Originally they wanted to plant trees as a sign of hope in their community. But due to the lack of accessible water this amazing idea has to be changed. Instead they improvised and used the resources they had at hand and ended up buying and setting up a number of colorful waste bins in public places.
Together we are all working and hoping towards a more peaceful future in Northern Iraq. As an organization we are so thankful that we are able to contribute towards the projects like this that are really making a difference!