A Socio-cultural Centre is benefiting thousands of people in Arbat, Sulaimaniyah
Arbat, 21 June 2017- “I have no words to express the suffering we went through. I managed to flee Yathrib along with my wife and our two daughters, yet the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) killed my three sons. Since then we are hosted in a camp in Arbat, and we thought we were forgotten. We are so glad to have a space where we can interact with other displaced people and members of the host community. We need support to heal our trauma.”
Ibrahim Kuthair Ahmed, 71, and his family are amongst thousands of people who are benefiting from a Socio-cultural Centre built by UNDP’s Iraq Crisis Response and Resilience Programme (ICRRP) in Arbat, Sulaimaniyah, with generous funding from the Government of Japan. Inaugurated on 16 May 2017, the Centre is now fully operational with support from UNDP and generous contribution from the Government of Germany.
Several services are available for over 50,000 people living in Arbat area. These include psychosocial and legal support as well as awareness sessions and trainings on sexual and gender based violence (SGBV) targeting communities and local civil society networks.
Additionally, the Centre offers community-based activities, such as language courses, sports and recreational initiatives, as a way to improve social cohesion amongst people from different ethnic and religious backgrounds. The Centre is run by international and national non-governmental organizations under the auspices of the Directorate of Art and Culture of the Ministry of Youth and Culture. Local volunteers are being mobilized to facilitate the activities.
In the first quarter of 2017, UNDP’s ICRRP promoted social cohesion and reconciliation in Iraq for over 5,000 women, men, boys and girls.