Our crowdfunding project for Iraqi children has successfully terminated.

We are glad to inform you that our crowdfunding project for Iraqi children has successfully terminated at 23:00 on October 3rd, 2019. The donations from 402 people totaled 5,562,000 yen, far exceeding the initial goal of 4,000,000 yen! We sincerely thank all the donators and the people who helped us spread the information on the crowdfunding. We will effectively use your donations in our Iraq project. Please keep watching our activities!

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Join our Crowdfunding project for Iraqi Children!

JVC Iraq project has been providing support for 630 children and their families in total to relieve their psychological wounds, fear and trauma. We really need to collect funds for the project now, as psychological care support for children with trauma should not be delayed. If this support comes too late, these children might miss their chance for social rehabilitation and integration in the earlier stages. Although attention to the situation of Iraq is decreasing after the victory declaration over the IS, it won’t mean that all the problems caused by the IS have been solved. Unfortunately, support for the JVC Iraqi project has also been sharply decreasing alongside the…

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The year I spent with the Iraq project

[Ghamra RIFAI, Iraq Project (March 28, 2019)] It is already March, and everybody is so busy trying to finalize the details of next year’s plan. While everybody is so busy closing up the fiscal year, I want to take a moment to reflect on this year that I have spent with the JVC Iraq project as a project officer. I arrived at JVC fresh out of engineering school and I had no idea how to run a project. I only had a lot of dreams and determination to create change. The year was started by a big jumble of preparing reports and applications for funds, and despite the 2018 FY…

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Nonviolence-training workshop

[Ghamra RIFAI, Iraq Project (March 7, 2019)] During his last visit to Japan, Aree, the director of our Iraq partner organization “INSAN”, held many events including two nonviolence-training workshops with JVC. Nonviolence workshops have become a JVC-Iraq project annual tradition, during the Iraq staffs yearly visit to Japan. We hold these workshops to be a learning tool for the team but also to draw the attention of the Japanese public to various forms of violence that are being practiced unknowingly in daily lives and ways to avoid these kinds of violent tendencies that we all might have. In principle, most of us believe in cooperation, nonviolence, and acceptance of others.…

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FROM A FEARFUL CHILD TO A RESPONSIBLE WOMAN: THE JOURNEY OF TABLW, A VOLUNTEER IN INSAN AND PEACE YARD

[Ghamra RIFAI, Iraq Project (January 24, 2019)] Tablw Nozad Tayib, a junior high school graduate Kurdish volunteer, was born in 1993 in Kirkuk and currently lives there in the Raheem Aawa district. Tablw lives with her five-member family which consists of her parents and three siblings. Her sister, Tania, is a sixth grade student and her brother, Towana, does not go to school. Tablw lived a difficult life of deprivation and pain, her father was a taxi driver and was barely able to make ends meet. She said, “we lived in a rented place and because of our bad economic situation my siblings and I had to drop out of…

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AREE’S TWO WEEKS – Our Iraqi partner’s visit to Japan –

[Ghamra RIFAI, Iraq Project (December 13, 2018)] INSAN Iraqi Society works to build peace through building peace capacities of individuals and of civil society, enhancing good governance and participatory decision-making processes to ensure fair participation of all community components, as well as empowering communities through knowledge and development to ensure coexistence and cohesion. In 2008 JVC started cooperation with INSAN to introduce peaceful thinking to the Iraqi society through children. The cooperation started with JVC providing funds for peace building workshops for children in Kirkuk in Iraq and as the time has passed the project has developed to creating a place for children in which they can be themselves without…

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INTERVIEW WITH A PEACE YARD FACILITATOR

[Ghamra RIFAI, Iraq Project (July 12, 2018)] On July 12th, 2018 I had a video call interview with Miss Shelan Serwan, a facilitator of the Peace Yard of our Iraq project. We chatted about her life, her dreams, and her work with the children. At 40 °C degrees temperature, despite the power outages and the scorching heat Shelan started the video call with a big smile. When I asked her about herself, she said, “I’m from Baghdad, Kurdish, but my Kurdish is not that good, I speak better Arabic than Kurdish. I was born in 1994 and raised in Baghdad until 2007 when the sectarian confrontation between Sunni and Shia…

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MOSUL CELEBRATES THE SPRING FESTIVAL AFTER 16 YEARS OF SUSPENSION

[Ghamra RIFAI, Iraq Project (July 10, 2018)] On April 10, 1969 the first Mosul Festival was inaugurated and lasted for nine days. Many floats passed through the city in a huge parade presenting various periods of the Iraqi history such as Babylon and Islamic Golden Age, in addition to floats that represented the Pan-Arab mentality of the ruling Baath party. These floats included a model of Al-Aqsa mosque and the church of the holy sepulcher in Jerusalem. The festival was not limited to the parade but it included art performances, poetry reading and exhibitions such as the Mosul flower exhibition, and it was considered a great tourist attraction. After that,…

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Promoting Peace Building through ‘Peace Yard’ Activities

[Original by Ghamra Rifai, Volunteer of the Iraq Project Team and Emi Nakano, Assistant of the Iraq Project Team (6 March 2018); Translated by M. Kanai/R. Florea] Here is the report on the activities of ‘Peace Yard’implemented jointly by INSAN (Iraqi Society for Relief and Development) and JVC from August to October 2017. 1. Selection of participants In five districts including Rapareen in Kirkuk City, we approached the parents of children who were not attending school and called for participation in our Social Art Workshop. We had a meeting with the parents, explained our activities, and tried to obtain detailed information about the participating children. In cooperation with the INSAN…

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Towards “PEACE YARD” in August 2017

[Original by Emi NAKANO, Assistant of the Iraq Project (June 1, 2017); Translated by K. Adachi/R. Florea/M. Takahashi] The diverse ethnic groups such as Arab, Kurds, Turkmen, and Assyrian used to live together in harmony in Kirkuk prefecture located in the northeastern part of Iraq. Under the Hussein regime in 1980s, however, “Arabization” was carried out to immigrate Arabic inhabitants from outside and expel non-Arabic inhabitants, partly because of the rich oil resources. As a result, the tension among ethnic groups increased, and the security in this area was deteriorated. A local Iraqi NGO, INSAN, which means “human being” in Arabic, has been carrying out activity mainly in Kirkuk from…

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