KurdAid, supporting social projects in Kurdistan
  accomplished projects current projects  

Year 2004

About six months after the establishment of KurdAid, i.e. in the summer of 2004, a first working group travelled to Sanandaj, the capital of Kurdistan in Iran (see map). This group could plan and implement some projects during several weeks owing to co-operation with natives as well as donation funds. The financial and other means for the following projects were as follows:

  • KurdAid’s own donation 2'000 CHF
  • 50 Euro donation in bar
  • Further 600 Euro donation in bar, which were expressly meant as contribution to the rent of a known shelter for street children/youngsters in Kurdistan
  • Many footballs and volleyballs as well as a box full of board plays
  • Making up implements (worth 21 CHF or 13.5 Euro)
(£1=2,5 CHF / €1=1,5 CHF / $1=1,3 CHF - all approx.)

Omid: Shelter for street children/youngsters

KurdAid's first call was to a shelter for street children/youngsters. In this shelter 15 young people aged from 12 to 18 years were cared for by a private organisation. The majority of them were in their third residence year in this shelter. The shelter consisted of a small office, a living room of approx. 4 m x 4 m, a dormitory, a modest bathroom and a kitchen of approx. 3 m x 3 m.
The rent of the shelter amounted to approx. 130 Euro. As mentioned above, KurdAid had before taking of for Kurdistan already some knowledge of the circumstances in the shelter and could therefore gain in advance a contribution of 600 Euro from a generous donor for some monthly rents of the shelter. In this shelter the kids are supplied with food and clothes. They have besides modest wash facilities and a common bedroom.

 

The dormitory was overcrowded with single beds, and after consultation with the director of the shelter, KurdAid purchased eight bunk beds.

 

Furthermore there was an urgent need for a large (6 litres) water cooker (so called Samawar) functioning with gas, which was also financed by KurdAid.

For office works, i.e. writing letters, reports and calculations, the manager in charge had to rely on external assistance. A computer with printer was the next need to be fulfilled. For this reason KurdAid negotiated with a company, which offers such devices on the market. After the negotiation the managing director promised to supply a computer, with software and printer within a couple of weeks, whereby he would take over 2/3 of the costs.

 

In the shelter were only a television and a very small table soccer game.

 

 

 

In agreement with the management KurdAid bought a Play station for the kids, which they had long desired. Some “peaceful” CD’s without aggressive contents were also supplied.


Many footballs and volleyballs as well as a box full of board games, which had been collected by Mary from Switzerland were donated to the boys in the shelter.

One of the youngsters could play key board (a musical instrument that is often used in kurdish celebrations and weddings). In order to promote the musical talents of the kids and to increase opportunities for their future, KurdAid was successful in negotiating with a local music shop to donate a keyboard to the shelter. This also helped to establish a local donor to support future work in the shelter.

Further native donors promised KurdAid to accommodate the shelter with wardrobes and a gas cooker. In addition a large football table game was donated.

 

Hati (with tetraplegy)

Hati (of her own wish her real name is not mentioned) is in her 30’s and one of 14 children in her family. She is severely handicapped (tetraplegy) due to an accident, which occurred about 15 years ago. Since then she can only move her head and hands with finger movements severely restricted. She mainly lies on her back in bed in a very primitive dwelling. For this reason she has many wounds on her back (Decubitus).

For hygiene and movement she depends entirely on her sisters. Hati has an old electrical wheelchair. This has, however, a very weak battery; its charger is separated and not integrated within the wheelchair itself. Hence, the battery cannot be charged outside of the house. If Hati wishes to go out on the wheelchair two of her sisters must always accompany her. They often have to push the wheelchair for the battery does not hold power for long.

As a frist step KurdAid got Hati writing material, so that she could make better use of her time while lying in bed. She wished to write her memoirs and some stories. Many weeks later she let KurdAid know through a letter that she had written up to then 17 pages of her memoirs.

In her small room (2 m x 3 m), Hati had an old small black-and-white television, placed away from her in a corner of the room. She was therefore unable to operate the television unaided. KurdAid replaced the TV by a small colour television set with remote control. Thereby she could watch any channel and at any time she desired.
Due to the modest income of the father, who was quite old, and the large number of dependents it was not just Hati but the whole family who were in need of outside help. In order to reduce the financial burden of the family and also to assist the sisters of Hati with an income generating work KurdAid provided them with a sewing machine.
Hati has further pressing needs, that KurdAid could not fulfil at that time due to lack of fund. Hati’s needs include a suitable electrical-adjustable bed, an antidecubitus mattress as well as a more functional electrical wheelchair.


Shelter for psychologically ill adults

KurdAid also visited a private shelter with more than 30 psychologically ill patients. These people were rejected from the environment and their families. According to the manager of the shelter these patients would probably have to remain there till the end of their natural life.(For obvious reasons the identity of the patients are not shown in the picture).

The manager of the shelter insured KurdAid that there was no need for financial support. He emphasised, however, the dire need of knowledge and know-how in dealing with the patients, “we need urgently psychological knowledge, so that we can help these human beings also in psycho-medical terms.”

We now pass on this call for assistance to specialised doctors and ask them kindly to contact KurdAid.

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Year 2005

Shelter Omid

In December 2005 KurdAid paid a visit to the shelter "Omid" in the city of Sanandaj (capital of Kurdistan province in Iran). The shelter had undergone major changes. The shelter had been relocated to another part of the city and all management and workforce personals had been replaced. The whole executive board was also new with ladies in majority.

After getting to know the new members and analysing the current situation a decision was made, to run a short management course for those involved. This exchange of experiences was greeted by the executive board. Hence KurdAid organised spontaneous and intensive seminars on Management. During the two weeks and the active participations of all involved using self-made charts the whole issue of management in an NPO (non-profit organisation) environment was brought across to the members of the executive board. The care workers and the kids as well as the director and the manager in charge took also actively part in this process.

The core of the seminar was to transfer the know-how in the field of management according to the method of management by objectives. The gaols of this seminar were:

  • The promotion of the team spirit and the improvement of the climate between the participants
  • The promotion of working with goals to reach in a defined period of time
  • Organising working groups in order to reach the defined goals
  • Definition of tasks as well as division of responsibilities

This know-how was not just written down but also actively put into practice. At the same time as knowledge was transferred the whole issue of working with gaols and schedules was put into practice, analysing the problems to beginn with (see chart Problems). Based on these problems and the solutions there were four commissions made (see chart Commissions):

  • Finances: concerned mainly with minimising the financial deficit and accomplishing income generating projects
  • Public Relations: concerned mainly with gaining members and donors and mobilising other Resources
  • Children: concerned mainly with the improvement of the situation of the kids and the shelter as well as organising advisory groups i.e. physicians, psychologists, teachers, lawyers etc.
  • Supervision und Coaching: accompanying the commissions on their way to their aim

Each commission discussed in all involved sessions to specify urgent goals and projects, which it had to reach within the next 2,5 months till the end of the Iranian year, i.e. on the 21. Mars 2006. KurdAid assisted the commissions with the followings:

  • in drafting a documentation needed for the public presentation of the shelter (see chart Orgaisation)
  • in drafting a documentation in which all organs are mentioned and their functions are clearly defined (see chart Tasks)
  • in examining projects and the associated budget e.g.a workshop producing clothing, a bakery, buying and managing a car.
  • in helping to organise the working time-table of the caring staff as well as defining their duties (see chart Time-table)

Further more KurdAid could gain native donors who accommodate the shelter with a large washing-machine and a large lockable filing cabinet needed mainly for the medical files of the kids. In addition the commission for public relation was given a furnished office free of charge in the centre of the city.
At the end of the seminar and being proud of the work done by all the parties involved, including the kids, KurdAid invited them all to a super in a traditional restaurant.

Parallel to the seminar KurdAid purchased in agreement with the manager in charge for the shelter Omid
a) three computers
b) a printer
c) a telephone-fax
d) two freezers
e) a car

       

Hati (with tetraplegy)

KurdAid went to visit Hati (with tetraplegy) too. She was quite upset on the day, because she had heard knocking at the door but could not get up to open the door herself and had to cry out laud many times till her sisters heard her and came open the door (this is apparently a common occurrence as her members of family live further away from the gate and they have no bell).

Thus KurdAid purchased her an intercom system with which she could call someone. She was, being for years in the same room, understandably feed up with the décor of her modest room. Through a donor KurdAid got her a nice carpet giving some colour to her surroundings.

She had taken the advice of past year of KurdAid very seriously and had written three long stories over 1000 pages by hand. On advice of KurdAid she will now try to write short stories for children, stories that have better chances of been sold.

To encourage her in doing so KurdAid provided her with a laptop, with which she could possibly type her stories in order to print them easier and a possible publication. A nice lady promised KurdAid to teach Hati use the laptop.

 


Working at 11 to provide for 6

KurdAid visited this year another family living in a slum area with four kids, one of them being handicapped. One of the kids, a boy aged about 11, was working for a tailor. In order to reduce the financial burden of the family and also to assist an income generating work KurdAid provided them with a sewing machine.

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Year 2006

Association “Protection for Women and Girls in Kurdistan” (PWG)

During the stay in Sanandaj in May 2006 KurdAid were introduced to and got to know the PWG association. The executive board consists of 11 women, who have been active in the organisation since 2001.

 

The PWG’s main areas of activity

  • Distributing information and public outreach work (workshops, distributing posters/flyers etc.) in connection with

a) Violence against women and girls in the family

b) Women’s rights

c) Compulsory marriages

d) Discrimination

e) The necessity of education

f) Drug prevention

  • Collecting donations
  • Financial and legal support of women mainly with children. Until April 2007 were 91 women (having 102 children) being supported:
 

No.

children under 18 years

abandoned

39

50

divorced

26

39

widows

8

13

girls over 18 years

13

 

girls under 18 years

5

 
 
 
 

total

91

102

Furthermore PWG supports 19 students financially, when ever it can.

  • Empowering abandoned women and increasing their earning power by finding them employment and training
  • Organising sports activities and international woman’s day events
  • Setting up a job training centre for the promotion of the financial independence of the women mentioned above

This year KurdAid has in cooperation with PWG purchaced the following items for the training centre, making it fully funktional. The items are many different sewing machines, iron and press-iron, tables and chairs, scissors, telephone, heating and cooling systems as well as material for sewing.

After only about five months since the cooperation of KurdAid with PWG in this project, the training centre was in November 2006 fully established. Under the supervision of a qualified lady till April 2007 eight of the mothers and women, who are under the protection of PWG, have visited the training.

KurdAid had many sessions with the executive board of PWG and the lady manager of the training centre, during which the future of the centre was discussed.

KurdAid exchanged also know-how in matters such as management by objectives as well as the importance of book-keeping and transparancy.

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Year 2007

Association “Protection for Women and Girls in Kurdistan” (PWG)

In 2007 the PWG was supported on two fronts: financially and know-how especially in matters of accounting.

The core of our support in 2007 was the training centre of PWG. With our financial support the centre became technically self-sufficient by the end of 2006. In 2007 it became necessary to mobilise the training centre as soon as possible. For this matter, a concept had to be defined, further financial support to be provided and the cooperation of all involved to be ascertained. We agreed in principal with the PWG that during a probationary period of three months we would finance all costs. These include: the salary of the young female managing director, the trainee wages, rent and the material needed to work with.

During the probationary period it became apparent, that the young ambitious director was not the right person to manage the training centre. Hence she gave in her notice and set up her own business. To find a new director was not easy, nevertheless, the PWG managed with hard search to find a replacement.

During this time we worked together with PWG on a comprehensive concept for the training centre. Due to lack of our presence at the centre, we had to rely on available forms of communications. This however, proved to be very time consuming. Following countless faxes, phone calls and emails, we were able to draw a concept. Based on this we made a cooperation contract with PWG (starting from the Persian new year on 21.3.2007 to 20.3.2008).

The cornerstones of the contract were:

  • Six women be trained in a six monthly sewing course;
  • PWG will assist them in the acquisition of a state diploma for graduates;
  • We fund the trainee wages, child allowances, the salary of the manager, the rent of the workshop, etc;
  • Joint supervision (of KurdAid and PWG) of the training centre;
  • Our further financial support for the office of the PWG (the rent and the salary of the lady in office);
  • KurdAid provides start-up capital to those graduates, who want to be self-employed

Although there were originally six women per semester planned, more had been taken in due to the difficulties, which the vulnerable women had to face and therefore had to break up the training. Taking part in the training gave these women the opportunity to get out of their home and experience independency. This was a new way of life to many of the trainees and in some cases not easy to cope with. Hence, some could not attend the course to the end or were unable to successfully pass their final exam. One was not ambitious to acquire a diploma and another was so badly harassed and abused by her husband that she no longer dared to leave her parents home. Another lady was severely beaten by her husband shortly before the examination. These were just a sample of problems facing these ladies.

Thus for most of the women a regular visit to the training centre poses a great deal of challenge. Yet most of them managed to attend the training until the end, and several even managed to pass the exam taken by the governmental office of labour.

Three months after the finishing of the first semester, i.e. end of 2007, the governmental office of labour took the exams. According to the President of PWG two of the first six trainees passed the exams and managed to achieve the national diploma. In the following semester the result was much better, i.e. five of the trainees achieved the diploma. In another attempt three more passed the exam, making all together ten out of twelve.

With the help of KurdAid one of these ladies got a sewing machine, with which she began to produce at home. Three others had expressed the wish to start their own project, which we together with PWG shall consider when we receive the requests.

Our next goal would be to support PWG an the trainees, so that more trainees pass the exams and obtain the diploma. But unfortunately neither we nor the PWG are able to stop the problems such as domestic violence that is a major obstacle on their way to financial independence. Nevertheless, we as well as PWG shall constantly analyse the situation as time goes by and try to adapt our concept through searching for better solutions.

With regard to basic duties we have provided PWG with expertise in accounting matters. Today she owns and operates an electronic database instead of piles of loosed paper. However, there's also a lot of work yet to be done as the technical handling of such data at PWG is currently very rudimentary.

Further financial support was provided to PWG. We took over both the rent of the office of PWG and the salary of her office secretary. This aid was urgently needed, as the local donations according to the president of PWG had drastically been reduced and an increase in the costs of living had made the situation worse.

With the donation of the Swiss Foundation Irene, the PWG organized a conference on women's rights, costing approximately 40% of the donation. The rest of the donation was forwarded to female university students and pupils in order to promote their training.

 

Former Shelter Omid

During our last visit the head of the office of guardianship promised us the return of the acquisitions, which we had given to the dissolved shelter “Omid”. This promise remained unfulfilled as the head of office of guardianship later left office. We had no more trust in the office of guardianship and initiated in summer 2007 our own search for the lost properties and succeeded. We not only found a significant portion of our purchases but with it the children of the former shelter Omid, all now in a new shelter. The reunion was a real joy, the children and youngsters were apparently much happier in this shelter. The director of the shelter confirmed receiving some of our purchases and he gave us a receipt (for two computers and two freezers). The director promised to send us a yearly report and based on the report we shall consider possible cooperation in the future.


Hati (paralysed woman)

Hati had aparently been living in her brother’s home for sometimes. According to her parents she seemed to be more comfortable at this location. Unfortunately, we were not able to visit her this time due to shortage of time.

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Year 2008

 

Association “Protection for Women and Girls in Kurdistan” (PWG)

In 2008 we actively supported PWG. The core of the support was based on the common project “the training centre”.

 

The develompents made

 

       
The history of this project goes back to May 2006, when we got to know the PWG for the first time. So far we have been through two phases of the project and the third and final is yet to come. In the first phase the foundation was laid. The players were selected, operational procedures agreed and the training centre was equipped technically. The second phase was the period of actual operation in which experiences were collected and subsequently analyzed. According to the initial concept and in line with the training, cloths should have also been produced and retailed. With time and experiences gained this concept was modified, so that only the training took place.

It all begann with a sewingmachine

 

In the first training period in 2007/2008 there were two training semesters with each 6 trainees in each semester. In the training period 2008/2009 the number of trainees was raised to 9 per each of the two semesters.

Upto now 33 trainees have been through the training centre. Ten of them have passed the exam taken by the governmental office of labour, which is a very welcome news, given the difficult circumstances of the trainees. During this time twenty children (under the age of 18) of the trainees have received child allowances from us.

The last phase of the project is a challenge for all. That is to improve the financial independence of women substantially. So far, PWG found three of the women a working place and one other was given a sewing machine with which she produces at home.

 

More about the training centre

Based on the feedbacks that the trainees were often hungry, we obtained a refrigerator for the training centre and budgeted a tea break. The trainees themselves organize the tea break.

The training centre was relocated, as mentioned in the last annual report. Finding new premises was very time consuming and difficult. The rent of the new location was, as feared, much higher. We took over the entire rent since the local donations of PWG had declined drastically due to the economical situation of the country. PWG was therefore unable meet the increase in rent.

 

The office of PWG

The rent for this office and the salary of the office employee are still financed by KurdAid.

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Year 2009

Association “Protection for Women and Girls in Kurdistan” (PWG)

In 2009 we actively supported PWG and our common project, the training centre.The centre had two training semesters in 2009. We are delighted to announce that 12 of the trainees have passed the exam (taken by the governmental office of labour) and now have a national diploma.

Less encouraging though is that, to our knowledge, only a few trained women have yet found a job. Up until now more than 30 trainees have attened the training centre, and almost a third of them have gained the national diploma. As already mentioned in the 2008 annual report, we therefore tried in 2009 to promote the financial independency of the women much more by encouraging them to take up their own projects. Despite the increased efforts on our part, only one has dared to make herself independent.

During our visit in August 2009 we discussed the situation of what happens after gaining the national diploma, with the teacher and trainees, with or without the diploma. The trainees mentioned that independency was, under the given circumstances, very difficult for them. One reason they mentioned was lack of money (i.e. monthly financial aid, the recognition premium for the graduation and starting capital). The aid which we would give to them was apparently not even enough for rent and the exorbitant deposits required. One possible solution, according to one of the trainees, would be to find a guarantor. Moreover, an official license was required for such a business, which is not easy to get, as it usually involves bribery and long administrative procedures. Another major problem so far has been the lack of these women’s management and marketing experience, something they find particularly daunting.

Together with the women trainees, we came to the conclusion that it is better that we give them all the financial aid in one step (i.e. the monthly financial aids, the recognition premium for the graduation and starting capital).

Despite the difficulties, all the women present wanted to hold onto the notion of promoting and encouraging independence. We also discussed the idea that two or more graduates could work together on a project. We also agreed that applications for projects concerning self-reliance, should be submitted to a commission for consideration.

Shortly after the end of the training year, six graduates put forward their applications for funding of projects to the president of PWG. We shall travel to Kurdistan this year and then report back on these projects. With PWG and the teacher, we will also be looking at more ideas to promote the financial independence of the women trainees, and how best to utilise their potential and opportunities. How to achieve this shall be on our agenda for 2010. One idea would be, for example, to financially assist employers that hire the graduates, in terms of wage compensation for a limited period of time. Another idea would be to extend the range of the training and education and so provide the women and their children, with better professional development opportunities.

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Year 2010

 

The training centre

We visited the training centre in summer 2010. Thanks to the donations gratefully received we finance the fixed costs of the training centre (the rent and the salary of the trainer).

The training centre has gone through three phases:

1. Phase

In the first phase (May 2006 till December 2006) the foundation was laid, the players were selected with whom the operational procedures were agreed upon. During this time the training centre was also technically equipped.

2. Phase

This was the actual operational phase where training process commenced. In 2007/2008 there were two training semesters with 6 trainees in each semester of whom 7 passed the exam taken by the governmental office of labour and thereby obtained a diploma certificate. In 2008/2009 the number of trainees was raised to 9 per each of the two semesters of whom 12 got the diploma of the office of labour.

2009/2010 was as successful as the previous years. In the first semester 8 trainees participated in the training of whom 6 passed the exam mentioned above (foto). In the second semester 5 of the 9 trainees passed the exam.

All in all 50 trainees have attended the training centre in the last three training periods of whom 30 have obtained a diploma.

3. Phase

In this phase, starting from the second quarter of 2009 we have tried rigorously to promote the financial independence of women whom have obtained the diploma, by encouraging them to work hard on their project and strive for independence. At the same time we have searched for job opportunities for them.

A report of such projects and our assistance with them is compiled as follow:

The projects of the graduates and our assistance

In summer of 2010, we were pleased to find that our efforts had produced very concrete results. Some of the graduates have taken up their own project and work either at home or in their own sewing studio. We visited some of these ladies and the following assistance as given to each individual:

1. GalawejShe is a single mum with a young boy and lives with seven other members of her family in a one bed room flat.

Following the completion of her exams she wasted no time and purchased a sewing machine with borrowed money and commenced working at home.She told us that her lady customers would rather go to her friend’s hair dressing shop to try the cloths on rather than at her home in fear of possible nasty comments by the neighbours.

We supported her by paying back her debt and also to buy stuff she needed.

2. Sonia

She lives with her divorced mother who works as cleaner. Sonia has four sisters who come to stay with them in summer. The father has married again and does not contribute anything towards the up keeping of the girls.

We supported Sonia by buying a sewing machine and for further sewingneeds.


3. Chiman

Her mother is a housewife, her father works at building sites.

She is one of the four kids of her family and has a secondary school diploma in drafting. After obtaining her diploma in sewing she acquired a sewing machine with which she commenced working at home. She told us that she would rather go to university, an ambition that is not fulfilled due to lack of finances. We gave her financial aid and payed also for the fees of the university entrance exam.

Consequently we received news of her success in this exam, hence we gave her a scholarship for the fees of the first semester.

4. Maria

She is 29 years old, divorced and lives at her parents flat. Her ex-husband only allows Maria to visit their 9 year old daughter once a month. Maria has six brothers and sisters, three of whom still live with the parents. Her father, a worker, worked on call. The flat in which they live consists of two rooms. In the corner of one of therooms there is an open kitchen where Maria and her sister Sara had with debt set up a small sewing studio with two sewing machines. She told us that they got sewing orders from the bazaar and were paid per item of clothing they they make.

We gave Maria the double of a normal allocated start-up capital for a project, for she had managed to put her sister to work. In addition, we provided her with a second hand sewing machine, which originally belonged to Fatima (see no. 7).

Sara was in her last year of the secondary school. To encourage her in her studies we provided her in summer 2010 with a scholarship. Later on in December we gave her provisionally the same amount but this time for passing the university entrance exam.

5. Sharmin

Her father has died, her mother is housewife. She is one of the hardworking graduates, who managed to set up her own sewing studio in a village in the vicinity of Sanandaj. Half of the capital she had borrowed from her brother in law.In her studio she had employed a girl.

The landlord increased the rent by 50% after a few weeks 50% – fine example of precarious situation of rent in Kurdistan. We offered her the double of the promised starting capital for her project, for she had managed to put some body else to work. Further we promised her more support in paying back her debts fully. We also helped her obtain sewing material, so that she could produce for the market. Since she had no knowledge of advertising, a matter which she seemed to need, we promised her more financial support for this matter.

6. Sara

She was last summer in the training centre and wanted to continue her middle school in autumn. She would have had then three semester of school ahead of her. That is one and half more years till her national diploma. We promised her for her period of middle school a scholarship.

But unfortunately we never heard of her again.


7. Fatima

Her father is a worker and her mother a housewife. Fatima lives with her sister and brothers at the parent’s house in a village in the vacinity of Sanandaj.

Like Sharmin she too has set up her own studio which runs quite good.
She told us that she desperately needed a stronger sewing machine so we bought her one.

In return, she gave her own less powerful sewing machine to Maria (see number 4 above).

8. Arzu

She is a divorced young mother of a small girl that lives with her father. The father of Arzu was once a labourer who is now disabled as a result of an accident at a building site many years ago without having had any compensation through insurance or government. Her mother suffers from amnesia. All three live in a small one-room flat in a poor neighbourhood and get state benefits of about - believe it or not - prox. 21 CHF monthly (=15,5 Euro = 200’000 Rial) which is paid to them very irregularly. In comparison: a construction worker earned at that time in Kurdistan approx. 14.5 CHF a day (= 11 Euro = 140'000 Rial). Arzu has a brother and a sister who are both trying to study and work to finance their education. Arzu told us that her sister was due to enter the university.

Arzu had acquired a small sewing machine and works at home producing also things such as plastic flowers bouquet.

We gave Arzu the promised start-up capital, and her sister a small aid for the moment, and promised her more if she manages to enter University.

9. Asrin A.

She is 23 years old and has a younger sister who goes to school. Her mother is housewife. The pension of the retired father amounts to approx. 416 CHF per month (=308 Euro = 4'000'000 Rial) which is quite low for an household of four.
Asrin was in her fifth semester at the university and had three more semesters ahead to complete her bachelor as midwife. She cannot afford to pay the semester fee all at once, therefore she pays it in instalments. By doing so she owes the university a lot. We have promised her a scholarship for each of the three semester left. The first instalment or the spring semester of 2010 she has received from us already.

 

4. Guaranteed jobs at "Kok"

The teacher who joined our training centre last year wanted to know, whether she could count on our financial support, if she would set up her own dress-producing facility. Since we were in the early stages of working with her, we could not have given her a positive reply. However, she has ever since brought a lot of the trainees through the exams and thereby gained our confidence. In the summer of 2010 she was on the verge of realizing her project and asked us again for assistance.

Following a joint meeting with the president of the Women's Association PWG, the teacher and the attending graduates, a contract with the following content was concluded with the teacher:

  • Four of the industrial sewing machines of the training centre would be handed over to the teacher on loan for her own project. In return, she would provide the training centre on loan with five to six of her own sewing machines which are suitable for the purpose of teaching the trainees. Each party is responsible for the repair and maintenance of their sewing machines.
  • The teacher provides four permanent and three temporary jobs for the graduates of the training centre.
  • This agreement is limited to six months and is renewable upon fulfilment of all points for further six months.
Two days after the signing the agreement, the opening of the facility "Kok" was celebrated. In March 2011 we received the news that eight of the previous graduates in the dressing-production facility "Kok" had found jobs.

5. Carpet-weaving at “PAI“

Another possibility way to promote the empowerment of the women in need is to extend the offers of training to them. This idea we have put into realization, together with a training institute for women called PAI, being managed by a lady since thirteen years. In this training institute carpet-weaving, sewing, computer classes and bookkeeping are taught.

As a pilot project PAI has trained five of our trainee ladies in carpet-weaving. The training took three months. Three of the trainees have passed the exam taken by the governmental office of labour and gained the diploma in carpet-weaving. Two of them would like to produce carpets at home.

6. Guaranteed jobs at “PAI“

With PAI manager‘s cooperation we seek further jobs for our graduates. The idea is that PAI sets up a dress-production facility. To accomplish this project appropriate tools such as sewing machines

and related equipments are needed.

In the meantime PAI manager would apply for the operating permit. We have agreed to grant her the credit in the above-mentioned amount. In return, PAI shall employ two of our graduates by means of working on the sewing machines. This project is yet in its implementation phase. We shall therefore report on it once again after our next visit to Kurdistan.

7. The office of PWG

Thanks to the generous donations we are still financing the rent of the office of “Protection for Women and Girls in Kurdistan” (PWG) ssociation and the salary of the office employee.

Furthermore, we have on the request of PWG sposored the flyers informing the public about her annual activities.

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Year 2011

1. The training centre and the trainees

We visited the training centre once again in the summer of 2011. This centre is the product of our co-operation with the “Protection for Women and Girls in Kurdistan” (PWG) association. The centre has been successfully running for five years. So far, thanks to donations, we have paid for all the fixed costs, i.e. the rent, the salary of the lady instructor, sewing material etc.

Before moving on, I would like to inform you of a small reminder: until the end of the training period March 2009- February 2010, 50 trainees in total, (including those who had previously left), visited the training centre. Of these, 30 passed the exam of the office of labour and in doing so, gained the state diploma in sewing.

During our visit in summer 2011, the new training instructor requested a small industrial sewing machine needed for the training which we purchased.

In the training period March 2010 – February 2011 (Iranian year: 1390) two groups of trainees took part in the training. In the first group there were 7 women, and in the second 5 women trainees. From the first group, whereby many were illiterate, only one passed the first half of the state exam (the other half was not due yet).

Unfortunately, only after the second groups’ failures did the training centre’s supervision team notice that the new instructor was somewhat inexperienced for the task. After discussing the matter with all parties involved, a new instructor was found in February 2012.

The rent of the training centre was 25% increased suddenly in summer 2011. Mid of October 2011 we received the news that the landlord had renounced the contract and therefore the training centre had to be relocated. Despite this unfortunate event, we ensured the training continued by sending some of the trainees to the training institute PAI. Our co-operation with PAI began last year as she in a joint pilot project five women in carpet-weaving trained (see the following paragraph under PAI).

2 The projects of the graduates

And now some good news - in summer 2011 we inspected the following successful projects:

1. Fatima
Fatima is 32 years of age and single. We visited and supported her in her studio last year where we purchased her a stronger sewing machine. In return, she gave her own, less powerful sewing machine to Maria, a former graduate of our training centre.

Thanks to her determination and hard work she had relocated her studio to a larger place, where two women worked for her on call. Under the condition that she would possibly give one of the women a working contract with regular times of work, we bought her an industrial sewing machine. At the end of the year we heard that none of the two women had stayed at her studio. For this reason, to comply with her original promise, Fatima turned to PWG (Protection for Women and Girls in Kurdistan association) asking for one the graduates to go work for her. But as Fatima works outside the city in a village, unfortunately none of the graduates were fit to work for her. She shall therefore try to recruit one of the women in her neighbourhood for firstly the training and then hopefully to fully work for her later on.

2. Nahid N.
Nahid is one of the graduates of our training centre who after working for one year at the dressing-production facility "Kok" (see further below under Kok), is now responsible for the Marketing. In summer 2011 she informed us, that she wanted to have her own production facility and if we would assist her. We promised her (and later on acted accordingly) to finance the working permit for the facility, under the condition that she would give one of our graduates a working place. Furthermore, we issued her the start-up capital because of her successful graduation at our training centre.

According to the latest news, Nahid is in high speed trying to set up her own production facility. We shall inform you about this in our next report.


3. Faranak M.

Faranak is 35 years old and has a daughter who attends primary school. Faranak graduated last year in our training centre and shortly after acquired a sewing machine, using at home. We gave her a start-up capital. We also supported her for the education of her daughter (see below under Students and puble).

4. Sairan & Nasrin N.

Sairan is 28 years of age and has two sisters and four brothers. She graduated last year at our training centre. Like Faranak she too had acquired a sewing machine. She worked with her sister at home and they notified us that they received sewing orders from the bazaar and were paid per item of clothing they made. Both of them recieved a capital towards buying sewing needs.

5. Kobra Sh.


Kobra is a 47 years old divorcee and the mother of Rojin (see below under “Students …”). She receives orders from producers and private clients and carries them out at her home. We supported her in purchasing a special iron which she desired.

6. Hasiba


Hasiba has two children and had a tough life with her rigid minded husband. She visited on our advice to gain more financial freedom from her husband our training centre last year and gained the diploma in sewing. We purchased her a sewing machine.


3. Jobs at "Kok"

In summer of 2010 we made an agreement with the teacher of our training centre that we would hand her over some of the industrial sewing machines on loan and in return she would provide us with four permanent and three temporary jobs for the graduates of the training centre.

A year later, we visited the dressing-production facility "Kok" and Nahid, one of our graduates was the marketing manager there. There were also five other women graduates and also a young male master tailor mainly responsible for the cuttings.

We have therefore helped in creating seven working places. According to our teacher, two of the women employed were registered by the state social security insurance. Late summer 2011, the marketing manager and the master tailor left Kok due to disagreements with the management. They later set up with us half their own production facility (see above under “Projects of the graduates). Towards the end of 2011, we realised that more women had left Kok. We shall surely inspect Kok on our visit and try to find out what is going wrong there.


4. Training institute PAI

4.1 The graduates

In co-operation with PAI we let five women with weak financial backgrounds be trained in carpet-weaving, costing each up to apporx. 130 Euro. Three of them passed the exam taken by the governmental office of labour and gained the diploma in carpet-weaving. During our visit in summer 2011 we spoke to them. They were:

1. Shanaz
She is the mother of a ten year old boy, living with her unemployed husband in a small two bedroom flat in a poor district. With the active support of the manager of PAI, Shanaz got her atelier in summer 2011 financed by KurdAid. Shanaz wanted to make six small carpets. Almost six months later she achieved her goal.

Carpet-weavers are considered as self-employed. They must therefore pay for their own social security insurance. But people like Shanaz with a start-up project cannot afford such insurance. We therefore promised her to take over the costs of the insurance for one year, until she gets on her feet.

2. Najiba
Najiba also passed the exam in carpet-weaving last year. However, since then, as she lived in a badly soundproofed flat where the noises made by carpet-weaving could disturb the neighbours living below her, she decided to weave the so called painting carpets i.e. small carpets framed and hung on the wall. She is supported her in her project financially and guaranteed the takeover of the costs of her social security insurance for a period of one year.

3. Asrin S.
She too gained the diploma in carpet-weaving in 2010. But instead of setting up an atelier for her she preferred to continue her studies in Psychology and asked us for financial support. Further on this matter I inform you below under “Students an Pupils”.

4.2 Further 15 trainees

Since the outputs in our own training centre during last year almost came to a standstill, we expanded our co-operation with the training institute PAI in order to ensure the training and empowerment of the women in need. In 2011 we let PAI train ten women in sewing and five in carpet-weaving.

 

4.2 Guaranteed jobs

In our co-operation with PAI last year another aim of ours was to create jobs. The idea was to help PAI set up a dress producing facility in her own premises. For this reason we gave her a credit to gain the production license and also bought her three strong sewing machines and some other working tools.


In return PAI should employ two of our graduates, whose fees of social security insurance we would pay for during one year. But PAI war unfortunately during 2011 far away from realizing these objectives, then the lady manager of PAI was yet tirelessly dealing with the bureaucratic hurdles for the license.


5. Students and pupils

This year we didn’t granted the scholarships without conditions. With the students we made a lady’s-agreement: in return for the scholarship each would help three women/girls living in modest conditions in any way they can. A woman or girl in need could be one needing basic care at home due to age or health problems, or she could be a student or pupil needing help in her studies and so on. With such an agreement we aim at strengthening the social responsibility of the students. We also preserve their dignity by giving them the feeling that in helping others, they earn a wage (the scholarship) and are by no means just donation recipients.

The students and pupils are as follow:

1. Asrin S.
Asrin graduated last year as a carpet-weaver at PAI. Because she wanted to pass her last semester of Psychology at the university we granted her a scholarship as high as her last fee instead of a start-up capital for carpet-weaving. Passing the exams successfully she is now looking forward to her master studies.
Her promised and fulfilled social assistance: she taught three women the indigenous art of “Klashbafi” i.e. making shoes with special chops.

2. Asrin A.
She is 25 years of age and is expected to gain her diploma in midwifery in spring 2102. We also helped her out last year with the fees. In autumn 2011 she started her last semester and meanwhile passed the exams. The fees of this semester were realised in our accounts. In winter 2011 she passed the practical part of the exams and in spring 2012 she will have her final exams.
Her promised and fulfilled social assistance: in co-operation with a local non-profit organization she helped collect and distribute non monetary donations for resp. among women in need.

3. Asso
Asso graduated last year in sewing. She had to marry at the age of 14, today she is 25 years of age and divorced. Her eight year old daughter lives with her father. In autumn of 2011 she started with her second semester of a three year study in bookkeeping.
Her promised and fulfilled social assistance: she passed on her knowledge of bookkeeping to three women.

4. Kobra A.
She is 30 years old and one of five kids of the family. Her mother is cleaner and her father is retired and unable to work. In autumn 2011 Kobra started with her last semester in English.
Her promised and fulfilled social assistance: she gave three fellow students of lower semesters tuition assistance. Around the end of the year she informed us, that she has to repeat some of the subjects due to chaotic organisation at the university (teachers not attending).

5. Nasim
Nasim is 20 years of age and has two sisters, one of whom still goes to school and with Nasim, live with their parents. Her father is a driver and her mother a part time teacher in. Nasim needed slightly more than her parents joint monthly wages last year for the fees of her first semester. She started in autumn 2011 with the second semester of her four year study in French. We have since taken over the fees for both semester.
Her promised social assistance: she would co-operate with a local organisation (for patients with kidney problems) and in that sense, that she would take over their administrative works. But as this intention of hers did not work she proclaimed she would help some others in need. Unfortunately, as she could not fulfil her promises, we suspended further scholarships.

6. Rojin A.
She is the daughter of one our graduates of the training centre (Kobra Sh.), who is divorced. With the support of KurdAid Rojin started in autumn 2011 with her studies in bookkeeping that she had given up a year before due to the lack of finances.
Her promised social assistance: she wanted to go to one of the shelters run by the office of guardianship to become a hairdresser there, but the mentioned office refused the co-operation due to reasons that are not known. Instead, she wanted to help two old women and assist them in their daily needs.
In winter 2011 we heard that Rojin, being meanwhile engaged, had not visited the classes regularly so has been suspended and despite many efforts we could not reach her anymore we suspend further scholarships to her.

7. Sara
Sara is the sister of Maria, one of our very hard-working graduates, of whom we have already reported in our annual report of 2010 (Maria has meanwhile married again and works with her husband in their small sewing-atelier at home). Sara lives with her parents. Her father works on demand and her mother weaves carpets at home. Sara finished secondary school and passed the entrance examination to the university in December 2010, for which we supported her financially. In autumn 2011, she began with the second year of her study in Mathematics which takes in all four years. Of the fees for her two semesters there was a part which she could not afford and we assisted. The fees for the semester in autumn 2011 were paid by KurdAid.
Her promised and fulfilled social assistance: she helped a girl in mathematics and taught three others sewing.

8. Chiman
She was one of the graduates of our training centre. Last year she started with her studies in insurance-management. In autumn 2011 she was in her third semester. So far, we have granted her a scholarship. But since her father has returned to works again, she is therefore no longer under the protection of the PWG women’s association, )with whom we work together) so, we cannot grant her anymore scholarships.

9. The daughter of Faranak M.
Faranak graduated last year in our training centre. Of her request we assisted her child financially in her schooling.


6. The office of “Protection for Women and Girls in Kurdistan” (PWG) association

We have provided financial support to PWG. We have taken over both a part of the rent of the office of PWG and also the salary of her office secretary.

 

       

Year 2012-2015

Dear friends

We shall publish the report on the projects of 2012 after translating the report hier after. Thank you for your understanding.

 

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