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
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:
(£1=2,5 CHF / €1=1,5 CHF /
$1=1,3 CHF - all approx.)
- 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
for street children/youngsters
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.
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.
|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.
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
We now pass on this call for assistance
to specialised doctors and ask them kindly to contact KurdAid.
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 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
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
chart Problems). Based on these problems
and the solutions there were four commissions made (see
- Finances: concerned mainly with minimising
the financial deficit and accomplishing income generating
- 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,
- 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
- in drafting a documentation in which
all organs are mentioned and their functions are clearly defined
- 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
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
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.
11 to provide for 6
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
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.
- 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
e) The necessity of
f) Drug prevention
- Financial and legal support of
women mainly with children. Until April 2007 were
91 women (having 102 children) being supported:
children under 18 years
girls over 18 years
girls under 18 years
Furthermore PWG supports 19 students financially,
when ever it can.
- Empowering abandoned women and
increasing their earning power by finding them employment
- 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
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.
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
The cornerstones of the contract were:
- Six women be trained in a six monthly
- 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
- 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
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.
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”.
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.
|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 rent for this office and the salary
of the office employee are still financed by KurdAid.
|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.
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
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.
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.
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
A report of such projects and our assistance
with them is compiled as follow:
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.
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.
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.
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
|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
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.
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
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).
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
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.
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
|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.
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.
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.
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.
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
And now some good news - in summer 2011
we inspected the following successful projects:
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
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
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
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.
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.
4.1 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:
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
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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
We shall publish the report on the projects
of 2012 after translating the report hier after. Thank you for