Baghdede, Nineveh Plain – Today the Beth Nahrain Organisation for Woman (BNOW) held the first of a series of six capacity building workshops in the newly opened Trainings Center for Women in the majority-Syriac city of Baghdede, Nineveh Plain, Iraq. BNOW was able to open the Trainings Center with grants from and in partnership with the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID).
Last year May, U.S. government sponsored NGO USAID announced its New Partnerships Initiative (NPI) aid program. The NPI in Iraq intends to find a more diversified, innovative and local base for humanitarian aid by strengthening capacity and commitment by partnering with local operating networks of community- and faith-based organizations.
The biggest tranches to recipients under USAID’s NPI in Iraq are for International Organization for Migration and Samaritan’s Purse (together $18 million) to support the return and recovery of displaced religious and ethnic minority communities in the Nineveh Plains and Western Nineveh Province. Smaller grants (totalling $4 million) under the NPI are for six local organisations in Northern Iraq to help religious and ethnic minorities recover from the genocide and atrocities perpetrated by ISIS terrorists and destruction brought about by ISIS: Philadelphia Organization for Relief and Development; the Catholic University of Erbil; Top Mountain; Shlama Foundation; Jiyan Foundation for Human Rights; and Beth Nahrain Organisation for Woman.
The grant rewarded to Beth Nahrain Organisation for Woman will be used for capacity-building training to reach the professional level the organization had before the invasion of ISIS. The capacity-building training will focus on organizational growth, financial- and program management, market analysis, humanitarian principles, and systems for monitoring and evaluation. This first workshop was given by Maryam Imad Elisa Hano from Iraq and program manager Sandra Korteweg from the Netherlands.
In the new Trainings Center, BNOW will also facilitate hairstylist training to twenty women and girls, in order to give them access to the job market and income and to restore self-confidence. These hairstylist training will be given over a period of three months and is certified.
On the start of the workshop series, BNOW program manager Sandra Korteweg said to SyriacPress: “I am very proud that USAID has decided to include us in the New Partnerships Initiative, and we much welcome this partnership. With the knowledge and network of BNOW we can offer women and girls in the Nineveh Plain, tools to become self-confident and independent citizens. Thanks to USAID, we can at the same time strengthen our own organisation in order to work more efficient and be a strong and reliable partner for governments that want to invest in the quality of life in the Nineveh Plain.”
Backed by donors the Shai Fund, Stichting Ismael Foundation, Operation Blessing and Eagle Watch, the Beth Nahrain Organization for Women initiated several other (ongoing) aid projects in the Nineveh Plain in Iraq. A recurring project by the BNOW, together with partner Syriac Cross, is the art-therapy to overcome war traumas project for children of IDP-families in Ankawa, Erbil. In 2017, BNOW and Syriac Cross supported the reopening of four businesses and shops, and reconstruction of sixty family houses in the Nineveh Plain. This project aimed to ensure a quick return to normal life for the Chaldeans-Syriacs-Assyrians to their homes in the Nineveh Plain.