Players of People's postcode lottery supporting women in Iraq
Responding to the escalating challenges facing women in Iraq
Beginning in February 2018, we are delighted to be joining forces with players of People’s Postcode Lottery to significantly expand our services for women survivors of war in Iraq.
Since 2014, Women for Women International has helped to train over 1,200 displaced Syrian, Iraqi and Yezidi women in Iraq, through a network of local partners. An award £200,000 from players of People’s Postcode Lottery will enable us to launch our fully-fledged 12-month programme in Iraq and enrol an initial cohort of 300 women.
Over the year, Syrian and Kurdish women will come together to develop an understanding of their legal and human rights, information about health, nutrition and hygiene, and vital vocational and business skills by which to sustain an income through entrepreneurship or employment. The Iraq programme also provides counselling to help women overcome trauma, deal with stress, and build confidence and self-esteem – the first step to rebuilding their lives.
Regular classes enable groups to form tight social circles of support, breaking the isolation created by conflict and insecurity, and promoting cohesion and trust between women from refugee and host communities.
One of the women who Women for Women International has already helped is Kabira, who fled Syria in 2014 with her 3-year-old daughter. After seeing their neighbourhood destroyed by bombs and enduring a terrifying journey across ISIS frontlines, they eventually reached the KRI’s capital, Erbil. Kabira managed to join up with her sister, Sheiran, who had already registered as a refugee there.
The sisters managed to put a roof over their heads and food on the table, but the isolation of their new life was devastating. When she felt overwhelmed by painful memories and anxiety, Kabira had no friends or relatives to turn to for support. She says: "Being in the house all the time was soul-destroying. I didn’t speak the language and I was so isolated."
A women’s centre, funded by Women for Women International, was a lifeline for Kabira. She says: "One of the best things was getting outside, making friends, having conversations, telling our stories and sharing our ideas."
She completed social and economic empowerment courses, and took part in a leadership training. “This project has given me hope and the will to go on – to improve my life… I am learning about women’s rights, health and wellbeing, and how to prevent violence against women. Soon I will be learning how to do a market assessment and start my own business… We hope that one day, we can return to where we lived before…We want to rebuild our lives and our country.”
Clara Govier, Head of Charities at People's Postcode Lottery, says:
Women for Women International - UK’s Director of Fundraising and Marketing, Shivonne Graham, emphasised the impact of this award:
“At a time when one in every 113 people on earth – 65 million in total – have been driven from their homes by conflict, it is more vital than ever to invest in long-term solutions. This begins with providing opportunities and hope for women who have lost everything and shoulder overwhelming responsibilities to care and provide for their families. This year, players of People’s Postcode Lottery will help 300 women access to our life-changing programme - 300 women who will now have emotional support, skills to earn an income, and confidence to make their voices heard.”
About People’s Postcode Lottery
- People's Postcode Lottery manages multiple charity lotteries (also known as society lotteries). Players play with their postcodes to win cash prizes, while raising money for charities and good causes across Great Britain and globally
- A minimum of 31% goes directly to charities and players have raised £263 million to date for good causes across the country
- £10 for 10 draws paid monthly in advance with prizes every day. For further prize information visit: www.postcodelottery.co.uk/prizes
- Maximum amount a single ticket can win is 10% of the draw revenue to a maximum of £400,000
- Players can sign up by Direct Debit online at www.postcodelottery.co.uk, or by calling 0808 10-9-8-7-6-5
- Postcode Lottery Limited is regulated by the Gambling Commission under licences number: 000-000829-N-102511-014 and Number: 000-000829-R-102513-013. Registered office: Titchfield House, 69/85 Tabernacle Street, London, EC2A 4RR
- For details on which society lottery is running each week, visit www.postcodelottery.co.uk/society
- Learn more about responsible play including self-exclusion, GamCare, and GambleAware.