Serving Displaced Christians and Refugees in Iraq
Partnership Name: Serving Displaced Christians and Refugees in Iraq
Ministry Name: Educational and Cultural Center (EACC)
Ministry Type: Helping the Poor, Evangelism
EACC is a Christian mission that has been working with local churches in Kurdistan since 2007 bringing hope and seeking to transform communities. In partnership with the local churches, they have been involved in helping refugees from various religious backgrounds through the distribution of food, blankets and essential equipment and supplies. They have provided refugees with training opportunities in sewing, electrical skills, and start up kits to those completing their programs. They have trained more than 350 Syrian, Iranian and Iraqi refugees in the region, many of whom have gone on to find work with local businesses or self-employment. They have won the trust of the government and established a very good working relationship.
Since 2015, because of the ISIS conflict, 120,000 Christians were forced to flee Nineva. In Ankawa, there are 8,000 Christian displaced people distributed among four camps. At present, they have no hope of returning to their villages or cities or of leaving the country. There is a great need for them to find work to support themselves and to feel like they can make a contribution to society once again. Since there is no current plan for them to be resettled anywhere else, it is vital to provide practical assistance in preparing for a better future. Whether they end up staying in Northern Iraq or returning home when safer conditions permit, they will continue to derive long-term benefit from the training opportunities provided by the EACC.
As a Christian mission, EACC also aims to sew the seed of the gospel into people’s lives. They do this by offering their students Bible study and at the beginning of each course inform them that the reason they are there is because of the love of Jesus.
Current status of the project
In January 2016 a suitable building was rented and government permission gained for its use. The location is ideal—only a few minutes walk from the refugee camp. Teachers were recruited for men’s hairdressing, women’s hair and beauty treatment, sewing, and basic IT skills. They have enrolled the first batch of students: 15 in men’s hairdressing, 8 in women’s hairdressing, 14 in the sewing classes, and 12 students in IT. Two courses started in the first week of January in Men’s hairdressing and sewing. Two more courses began in February in women’s hair and beauty treatment and IT.
The objective of the project
- To enroll and train 800 students a year in five vocational courses: sewing, women hairdressing, men hairdressing, English language, and basic computer skills.
- To offer cultural activity such as learning a musical instrument.
- To offer training in counselling skills and marriage courses.
To achieve this:
EACC has rented and equipped a suitable building within walking distance from the camp. They employ refugees from the camp to teach and staff the center.
Each course enrols 15-20 students.
Outline of vocational training
Six weeks of course training, six hours per week. This provide 36 hours total training which will enable trainees to gain the basic skills to make a start in their chosen area. Each candidate who completes the course will receive a certificate accredited by the Ministry of Education.
EACC is planning to extend their work by setting up similar centers for the Yazidi and Muslim refugees in the north of the country. These would have the same values and vision.
Jamal Liddawi, head of the EACC, has been faithfully working among the Kurds and in Iraq since 2007 pastoring, mentoring, and training leaders. He has built strong relationships with the government as well as with the head of the Yazidi refugee community. His organization is trusted, and providing a vital service to those refugees who would otherwise be without hope.
Project Budget: $8,000
Global Opportunities for Christ