Syria: Aiding Kurds and other vulnerable refugees

by Peace Winds America
Syria: Aiding Kurds and other vulnerable refugees
Syria: Aiding Kurds and other vulnerable refugees
Syria: Aiding Kurds and other vulnerable refugees
Syria: Aiding Kurds and other vulnerable refugees
Syria: Aiding Kurds and other vulnerable refugees
Syria: Aiding Kurds and other vulnerable refugees
Syria: Aiding Kurds and other vulnerable refugees
Syria: Aiding Kurds and other vulnerable refugees
Syria: Aiding Kurds and other vulnerable refugees
Syria: Aiding Kurds and other vulnerable refugees
PWA beneficiaries use wheelchair ramp
PWA beneficiaries use wheelchair ramp

In 2021, Peace Winds upgraded 800 shelters in Duhok, Iraq and more than 500 in Erbil, Iraq, meaning that more than 1,300 Syrian families no longer have to worry about unsafe living conditions or whether they’ll be protected from the elements. Combined with Peace Winds’ 2018-2020 shelter upgrade projects, our teams have now upgraded the homes of 2,900 Syrian refugee families and counting. 

Because the 2020-2022 project focuses on adults and children with disabilities, older persons, pregnant women, and other refugees facing barriers to mobility, Peace Winds teams also completed 42 public infrastructure upgrades in Erbil in 2021 so that refugees with disabilities can navigate the camps safely.

This year, Peace Winds will continue to work with beneficiaries in Duhok and Erbil to complete upgrades to an additional 984 shelters as well as 26 upgrades to refugee camp infrastructure. Construction in both governorates has already begun so that beneficiaries can soon begin enjoying their new shelters. So far, the teams in Erbil have distributed the required materials to more than 50 shelters in two camps, and likewise in Duhok, 92 shelter owners have received the materials they need to start construction.

This project is made possible by the support of the U.S. Consulate General in Erbil, funding from the U.S. Department of State: Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration, and from the generous support of our donors and followers. Peace Winds remains committed to improving the lives of refugee families, helping them regain the sense of safety and dignity that everyone deserves.

Shelter construction in Erbil, Iraq
Shelter construction in Erbil, Iraq
Latrine in Erbil before upgrade
Latrine in Erbil before upgrade
Latrine in Erbil after upgrade
Latrine in Erbil after upgrade

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Peace Winds prides itself on our amazing staff, without whom our humanitarian work would not be possible. #FacesfromtheField is a video series where we interview our frontline staff and hear their experiences in their own words. This episode's guest recently celebrated her first work anniversary as Chief of Party working for Peace Winds in Erbil, Iraq. This year Belma and her colleagues have brought hope to more than 1,300 refugee families by completing upgraded shelters in Erbil and Duhok refugee camps. This project was made possible by a grant from the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration (PRM) as well as from your support.

Click the link at the bottom of this update to watch Belma's full eposode on YouTube.

Thank you, Belma, for all your hard work on behalf of Syrian refugees in Duhok!

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A Syrian refugee child and beneficiary of our work
A Syrian refugee child and beneficiary of our work

As we upgrade shelters for Syrian refugee families in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq, Peace Winds is paying special attention to the adults and children with disabilities, older persons, pregnant women, and other individuals facing barriers to mobility. Without proper shelters and camp infrastructure, refugees with disabilities and their families have a harder time getting around the camps, accessing services, and focusing on their personal goals. Peace Winds is working to construct better housing, provide food and schooling, and train refugees in various livelihoods so they can enter the workforce and earn a better income to support their families, helping them focus on what matters most.

Click the link below to watch the video and meet Yachi and Abdulrahman, two beneficiaries of our work in Erbil, and follow us on social media for regular updates and to hear more stories from staff and refugees.

Abdulrahman, a beneficiary of our work
Abdulrahman, a beneficiary of our work

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A family poses with their new home in Erbil
A family poses with their new home in Erbil

In October 2020, Peace Winds received additional funding from the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration (PRM) for a new two-year project that will provide upgraded housing for Syrian refugees, allowing us to continue our work within refugee camps in Erbil and Duhok in northern Iraq.

Peace Winds’ mission to improve the livelihoods of Syrian refugees began in September 2018 with the first two-year project which provided more durable housing for families who had previously been forced to live in tents. By the end of the project in November 2020, 1,493 families had upgraded homes, bringing them a greater sense of dignity and safety.

From now through 2022, Peace Winds will continue working to improve shelters and infrastructure across six camps in Erbil and Duhok, especially focusing on advancements for adults and children with disabilities, older persons, pregnant women, and other individuals facing barriers to mobility. The project will also offer livelihood opportunities through the cash-for-work program, which provides short-term employment to the refugees in these camps as workers for the project. 

Our teams in Iraq identified 1,289 shelters to be upgraded in 2021, followed by 984 in 2022. The project also includes 63 infrastructure upgrades in camps to increase accessibility for persons with mobility constraints. Construction has now begun so these deserving families can soon begin enjoying their newly improved homes.

Peace Winds prides itself on our amazing staff, without whom our humanitarian work would not be possible. Faces from the Field is a new video series where we interview our frontline staff and hear their experiences in their own words. In the first episode, Project Officer Bareza Baban discusses her work in Erbil, Iraq where she helps with our shelter upgrade project for Syrian refugees. Bareza was born and raised in Erbil, loves putting smiles on the faces of the refugees she works with, and sometimes even sings for her colleagues in her free time. We couldn’t do what we do without team members like Bareza!

Watch the full episode on our YouTube channel at https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCbZPpaSmV5g1fkzNp-qUDHA

Bareza, our first Faces from the Field interviewee
Bareza, our first Faces from the Field interviewee

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At the end of September Peace Winds completed it's two-year project providing upgraded shelters and cash-for-work for Syrian refugees in four refugee camps in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq. At the end of two years, 1,493 families had new homes.

As one mother told us, “During the summer, when it was extremely hot, I often fainted from the heat while I was pregnant. In the winter, my tent was covered in mud and rainwater. But I don’t feel forgotten by the world anymore. From now on, I don’t have to worry about the weather and I can live with my girls in peace.”

This project was made possible by a grant from the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration (PRM) as well as from your support. We have compiled a two-year report of our activities from September 2018 to September 2020 in the attached brochure. Please check it out.

BUT our work isn't done! Because the project was so successful, Peace Winds is now expanding its work in Iraq and began a new two-year project with additional funding from PRM.

Over the next two years, we will be:

  • Upgrading more shelters for Syrians in refugee camps, this time in two additional camps in Duhok Governorate.
  • Modifying shelters and camp infrastructure for persons with disabilities and functional limitations in the four camps in Erbil Governorate. The modifications will make it easier for these households to be self-reliant and improve their access to camp services. 
  • Providing temporary income to refugees through cash-for-work and continuing to operate the Tool Centers which lend tools in the four Erbil camps. 

We look forward to sharing more updates in the coming months!

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Organization Information

Peace Winds America

Location: Washington, DC - USA
Website:
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @PWAmerica
Project Leader:
Patrick Hurley
SEATTLE, WA United States
$16,042 raised of $26,000 goal
 
79 donations
$9,958 to go
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