Sharifa and her family are originally from Sinjar. For more than six years, they have lived in Mamilyan Camp for internally displaced people, near Akre in the Kurdistan Region of northern Iraq, after fleeing the Islamic State group. The chickens, 17 laying hens and two roosters, were given to them in March by the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), part of a project to provide a source of income and food security to 40 families in the camp.
Ibrahim Abdulkarim greets customers in the mobile shop where he works with the energy of his youth. He has recently completed a course on mobile repair and is excited to put his skills and new equipment to use. But behind the excitement, there is a sadness.
Hadi quit school at the age of 12 and went to work to help support his family, finding odd jobs on construction sites or in factories. When ISIS attacked in 2014, he and his family fled on foot. They walked for seven days to the border with Syria and then north to Zakho. They lived for a year in an unfinished building before an aid organization moved the family to a tent in Sheikhan camp.
Guljin is originally from Qamishli, northern Syria, but now lives in a refugee camp in Akre, northern Iraq. Guljin left Syria on April 20, 2013, two years after the conflict broke out. She and her brother went to Duhok to visit a sister who was married and had been living in the northern Iraqi city for years. They traveled with the plan of not returning. Guljin, her brother, and his wife and children were settled in Akre camp in central Akre, a former military barracks built during the time of Saddam Hussein.
Hazhar is originally from Qamishli, Syria. He grew up helping his father, a carpenter. He then chose to study industrial design and mechanics in school. When he graduated, he didn’t find work in his chosen field, but had a car so worked as a driver. In 2014, he was driving a regular route between two cities in northeastern Syria, taking passengers in a minibus. One day, four Syrian army soldiers were among his passengers when the minibus was stopped by Islamic State group (ISIS) militants. They released the women passengers, but detained the four soldiers and Hazhar.
In 2018, when bombardments started to come too close to their home in north-eastern Syria, Shahnaz and her husband decided they needed to bring their children somewhere safer. Shahnaz’s husband was ill, however, and the family didn’t have enough money to bring everyone across the border into the Kurdistan Region of northern Iraq. They had to make the difficult decision for Shahnaz to take the children and make the difficult trip alone. The youngest was just 2 months old at the time.
Chicken Coop at Gawilan Camp
This agri-business project provides food sustainability to Kurdistan’s most isolated refugee camp. Syrian refugees selected for food sustainability and livelihood projects in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq’s (KRI) most isolated refugee camp have begun receiving eggs from chickens they received as part of a UNIDO project which began last year.
“Carpentry has been a family trade for generations. Now it is my turn to establish my own wood workshop,” says 31-year-old Jakob from Dolo Town, a community neighboring a large rubber wood plantation run by a multinational corporation. Without access to employment, education or health care provided inside the plantation area, local residents often struggle to earn a living.
Carpentry as a tool for female empowerment. Becoming self-reliant through skills development and motivating others to follow her lead.
The 40-year-old single mother of five, Mami Joah, is an exceptional character in her community.