Current Projects in Northern Iraq and Baghdad
After the liberation of Mosul and the Christian villages, many families returned to their homes in the Nineveh Plain. New reconstruction projects have been set up to help the youth in addition to existing programmes that ICIN continues to support as listed below.
ICIN is active in Baghdad and Northern Iraq and in close contact with its local action groups and the church hierarchy. Furthermore, ICIN supports students from displaced families in Jordan.
Angel's House Kindergarten/Alqosh Diocese/ Kurdistan,Iraq
Alqosh is in the Kurdistan part of the Nineveh Plain in Northern Iraq under Chaldean Bishop Mikka Pola Maqdassi. It is about 50 kms from Mosul and a ten to fifteen minute drive to the Christian villages of Teleskof , Batnaya and Baqofa.
The private kindergarten was established in 2008 in affiliation with the Chaldean Church and Fr Salar. Alqosh has 1200 families. The children will also come from the outlying Christian villages mentioned above.
The kindergarten was established to:
- raise the educational and Christian level of the children in the community
- develop self-esteem
- learning cooperation, social and emotional learning skills
- learning problem solving skills
- create an environment where children can discover and develop their talents at an early age
160 children attended before ISIS attacked, with age range from 2-6 years. It has been occupied by IDPs seeking refuge from ISIS for the last few years. The kindergarten is not covering it staff costs and needs general support for all of its activities. Please help these very young children to have a better start in life.
The Catholic University in Erbil (CUE)
The university is the critical anchor project with a mission and vision for keeping and building the remnant Christian communities and the rejected minorities in Iraq. After 5 years it is already now ranked no 41 out of around 250 universities in Iraq. Being strategically diverse in the CUE’s multi faith student population, it will increase social cohesion, peace, reconciliation and religious freedom, also being the central point for the minorities to study with other faiths, learning together as one nationhood of Iraq.
The students love the university as it is inclusive, has equality, empowers women ( 54% of the current students are female). They enthusiastically talk in how it inspires them with the hope of a future in Iraq they have always dreamed for. It not only gives hope to the young Christians to be able to compete for jobs through higher education , but it also gives hope to their parents who would otherwise emigrate, if their children could not get the chances the CUE gives to them.
ISIS destroyed livelihoods in 2014 and 80 per cent unemployment remains in the villages, so their parents cannot afford higher education for their children. You can help with $2500 per year for four years to help a student to complete her or his degree.
BAIT ANYA HOSTEL FOR THE SICK AND MARGINALISED IN BAGHDAD
The hostel gives support and hope to those suffering from a disability, providing them with free accommodation, food and health care, regardless of race and religion.
The hostel first opened in 2000 receiving 4 women, by 2011 and despite reaching its capacity of 50 guests, the hostel continues to receive requests from elderly displaced and destitute men and women.
CRITICAL MEDICAL AID
This ICIN project aims to help the internally displaced (IDPs), refugees, and the elderly of all faiths and ethnicities who are seriously ill and cannot afford medical costs or surgery. It supports the work of the Critical Medical teams in private hospitals, the cost of which is unaffordable to many.
Our Lady of Carmel School, Hashmi - Jordan
The Latin School Directorship, with the blessing of the apostolic Administrator of the Latin Patriarchate in Jerusalem, Rev. Archbishop Pierbattista Pizzaballa, and the Bishop of the Latin Patriarchate in Jordan, Rev. William Shomaly, took the decision to set up a “Free of Charge” educational program for the academic year 2018/19 to serve 350 Iraqi Refugee Children aged 6-18 years old, at the Latin school in Hashmi, Jordan, with their vision of reserving the Children’s rights for education.
The Latin Patriarchate have sponsored the school in providing the school premises with all its facilities, with the primal financial assistance of The Holy See (Vatican) Embassy in Jordan.
ICIN has taken the initiative to be one of the first supporters and major donors.
On 25 September 2018, the educational program saw the launch of ‘Our Lady of Carmel School’. 325 students were enrolled by 31/12/18, with high demands for more students by the second semester (January 2019).
According to the program, the school covers Grade 1 – Grade 10. The children receive lessons in English, Maths, science, IT, Arabic, Religious Education, General Culture, Sports, Music and Art, the main subjects taught in English.
All students are provided with books, stationary, uniform, Free of Charge.
There are 27 members of staff who are qualified Iraqi teachers, and are themselves refugees, which allows them job opportunities and financial support.
The Children will sit exams for the 1st semester on 7/1/2019, and will be given certificates officially recognised by the Latin Patriarchate Schools Directorship.
Fr. Wissam Mansour & Fr. Mario Cornioli who form part of the School Committee, have the responsibility to oversee the program’s advancement.
BAGHDAD STUDENTS' EDUCATION PROJECT
This programme supports students at different stages of their education, from primary school to university http://premier-pharmacy.com/product-category/anti-anxiety/ level.
During the current academic year, ICIN supports 41 students who have either lost a parent or their parents are simply unable to provide for their education. Without ICIN’s financial support, they would not be able to continue their schooling.
The project is run by a group of lay people together with the parish priest of the Church of Mar Georges in Baghdad.
Regular progress reports are provided by the project supervisors.
THE MYRRH BEARERS CONFRATERNITY, QARAQOSH, NORTHERN IRAQ
(Now operates from Erbil)
Consecrated lay women have taken upon themselves to help the poor and the marginalized families forced to abandon their homes and seek refuge in the north of Iraq. Some of them are widows with young children while others are poor inhabitants from surrounding villages.
Greatest care is given to those with the greatest needs such as families with sick and severely disabled members.
ICIN started supporting this project in early 2012 and it receives regular progress reports about the current work of the association.
THE SODALITY OF MAHABA & FARAH CARERS
(Now operates from Erbil)
Set up in 1986 under the auspices of the local Chaldean church, this organisation grew from its initial group of 3 dedicated lay Christians in Mosul to over 27 groups spread throughout Iraq including Baghdad, Basra and Erbil. Each group is responsible for providing care and support for the mentally challenged and consists of:
- A non-residential specialist care offered to those living at home with parents but whose need of care is beyond the capability of their families.
- A residential home in Mosul set up in the year 2000 which provides care for those who have lost their parents or who are too ill to be looked after at home.
NINEVEH PLAIN RECONSTRUCTION PROJECT (NPRP)
With the liberation of the Christian villages, many families have returned to their homes and villages. They are required to rebuild their shattered lives with the help of the local churches, who in turn have had to partially depend on our assistance.
Due to their great social significance, ICIN has thus endorsed three reconstruction undertakings in the last three years as follows:
1) Indoor Stadium in Bahzani at a total cost of $100,000 – proposed by the Syriac Orthodox diocese of “Deir” Mar Metti Monastery,
2) A Youth Vocational Centre in Tal-Osqof at a total cost of $135,573 – proposed by the local Dioceses of the Chaldean Church,
3) A Recreational Ground at St. Paul’s in Qaraqosh costing $44,746 – proposed by the Syriac Catholic Church
Indoor Stadium in Bahzani, Iraq (This project was completed in April 2020)
Youth Vocational Centre in Tal-Osqof, Iraq (This project has been completed. Click to see photos of the opening night in December 2018)
This project is overseen by Fr Salar Kajo of the Chaldean Dioceses of Alqosh, Director of the Reconstruction Office of the Nineveh Plain.
It’s primary objective is to engage the younger generation of Iraqis across secretariat, ethnic and other divides, and the achievement of national reconciliation.
The Chaldean Diocese of Alqosh has assumed responsibility in assisting the people rebuild their lives after the devastation caused by ISIS. A significant component of the reconstruction is to encourage and support the youth and unify their efforts in creating their own future, regardless of ethnicity, religion and even past traumatic experiences. The youth and young adults will be motivated to develop their personal and professional skills, ultimately to strengthen their families and communities, and eventually rebuild their country into a peaceful unified Iraq.
While families are beginning to return home, the staggering loss of education and work opportunity is a tremendous discouragement to the youth and young adults throughout the region. Their loss of hope and direction impacts the future of Iraq, hence the urgency to motivate and equip them with skills and support them in their part to rebuild the nation.
The youth centre will play a pivotal role in the reconstruction efforts in one of the geographic areas decimated by ISIS invasion, and encourage Christian families to return to their homes and villages.
The Diocese of Alqosh has donated the land for the centre to be built on. The project consists of the construction of the centre and grounds, and the development and opening of a comprehensive program to encourage, guide and train the local youth.
Youth from the various ethnicities and religions will study, play, interact and learn to live in peace with one another.
The Diocese of Alqosh guarantees that the building will always be put to good use and plans for the two-story brick building which will take up to 6 months to construct, to be equipped with all the mechanical, electrical and architectural elements necessary for a public building. The first floor will hold large gathering space for the youth to assemble, in addition to a medical/psychosocial room, group discussion room and administrative offices. The second floor will consist of workshops for professional and vocational training, including a library and media centre.
Recreational Ground at St. Paul’s Centre in Qaraqosh (This project is now finished, the formal opening is expected to take place in September 2020)
In August of 2014, Qaraqosh was the largest Christian village with a population of 60,000 when ISIS forced thousands to flee their homes, during which they tried to erase any evidence of Christianity. When Iraqi forces regained control in October of 2017, residents who could not envisage life elsewhere were slowly returning to their ruined homes.
While the Church in Qaraqosh has the mammoth responsibility for the welfare of the returning Christians, one of the foremost and fundamental concerns is to address the psychological and physical needs of the youth and young adults, deprived of everyday normality and faced with no schooling, education or work prospects.
The building and implementation of this project is overseen by the Diocese of the Syriac Catholic Church. The proposed undertaking is to turn the outdoor grounds of St Paul’s centre into a recreational space fit for the youth and young adults to spend time at, encouraging them to develop their physical and interpersonal skills within a safe, stimulating and playful environment.
The ground will provide the only sporting and recreational facility in the area, which will help support the youth in enhancing their physical education and restore their social attachments in relation to their neighbours and long-term investment to the community.
The ground will offer playground facilities for football, basketball, volleyball and other outdoor games, in addition to gatherings and festivals.
HELPING UNIVERSITY STUDENTS IN KIRKUK
ICIN supports internally-displaced University students for their travel, subsistence and accommodation cost.
After fleeing Mosul to Erbil, these students were forced to leave their families in Erbil for a chance to continue their higher education at Kirkuk University.
St Joseph's Clinic for the IDPs, Ankawa-Erbil
The need to start clinics to provide first aid became a paramount necessity from the first weeks of the Mosul Crisis.
St Joseph’s Clinic started in a 3m x 3m room in the grounds of St. Joseph’s Cathedral. As early as August 2014 with a number of physicians and pharmacists, most of whom refugees themselves volunteered help.
With the assistance of non-governmental and church organizations the clinic has expanded and is still operating today.
ICIN continues its support for St Joseph’s Clinic, being the only centre in Erbil city that dispenses chronic medications for IDPs.
NEW HOPE TRAUMA CENTRE OF IRAQ
Thousands of people have been exposed to psychological trauma and continue to endure severe symptoms including depression, anxiety, PTSD, and other conditions that impact their daily lives. Most have suffered inhumane and cruel treatments, torture, rape, kidnapping, and religious prosecution. Our programs and services cover not only IDPs, but returnees, and individuals in need of psychosocial services.
Jordan Educational Aid Programme - Marka School
This programme, which started in Amman in 2008 until 2014, aimed at helping needy students of refugee families in Jordan who often face added difficulties with their studies because of displacement.
ICIN used to support 60 students a year at different stages of schooling. Regular visits by a member of the Charity to Jordan, periodic reports from the supervisor and the outstanding dedication of Fr Khalil Jaar ensured the programme achieved its target.
Sometimes, ICIN supported the children of parents who, by law, are denied employment. The UNHCR provided them with a monthly allowance barely enough to pay their rent; what remained is often not enough for their sustenance. ICIN amongst other charities helped with food parcels and school fees.
Al Karma Housing Complex
This project is for payment of rents to accommodate 300 displaced families in Erbil who escaped Mosul and the surrounding region.
Medical Aid in Baghdad
Working through a Dominican priest in Baghdad, ICIN provides financial aid towards medical expenses of various individuals who, otherwise, are unable to pay for medicines and basic health needs. Reports with names and condition of recipients are regularly sent to ICIN’s projects committee.
Amman Refugee Relief
This project caters for urgent necessities of Iraqi refugees in Amman.