| Sep 22, 2023
Shelter Upgrades and Livelihood Opportunities
Shelter upgrade in Erbil
Peace Winds is nearing the end of our latest project year of upgrading homes and providing livelihood opportunities for Syrian refugees in Iraq! In the last year, our teams in the Kurdistan Region have worked together with refugee camp residents to make improvements to more than 600 shelters. Peace Winds is particularly focused on making the camps more accessible for refugees with disabilities. Modifications to homes include wider doorways, wheelchair ramps, handrails, and more accessible latrines and showers.
Rather than hiring contractors like many NGOs do, Peace Winds’ unique cash-for-work program allows refugees to complete the construction work for their own upgrades in exchange for cash payments. All shelter owners who received upgrades in 2023 participated in cash-for-work, providing them with wages and skills they can use to find future employment.
In order to make public spaces more accessible for people with disabilities, Peace Winds has also completed more than 40 upgrades to public spaces in the last project year. These modifications make it easier for disabled refugees to access places like schools, camp management offices, hospitals, women’s centers, and other public spaces.
Finally, Peace Winds is supporting Syrian refugees through our tool service centers, which are co-managed with our local partner Barzani Charity Foundation. Here, refugees can borrow tools and use workshop spaces to make home upgrades and repairs or work on personal projects. They can also take courses on tool use and safety, helping them build skills that are useful for future work opportunities.
Peace Winds is also focused on making tool service centers accessible and useful for vulnerable groups including women and people with disabilities. In the past nine months, nearly 17,000 refugees have borrowed tools from the tool centers, and 1,500 have participated in training courses. Training courses specifically designed for people with disabilities have been popular, with 176 completing these training in the past nine months. Furthermore, more than 60% of all training participants have been women.
As we move into 2024, our teams in Duhok and Erbil will support upgrades for nearly 700 additional shelters and 40 additional public spaces, helping Syrian refugees with disabilities attain the sense of safety and independence that everyone deserves.
Our work supporting Syrian refugees in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq is made possible by the U.S. Department of State: Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration, the U.S. Consulate General Erbil, and contributions from our followers. Peace Winds is grateful for your continued support.
Shelter in Duhok before upgrades
Shelter in Duhok after upgrades
Tool center training course in Duhok
Accessibility upgrades in Erbil
Shelter upgrades in Erbil