Involving local NGOs in Literacy programs in Iraq
Within its efforts to reinforce the participation of Iraqi NGOs, UNESCO organized the first workshop for the establishment of 18 Community Learning Centers in Kurdistan Region working within the framework of the “NGO Literacy and Life Skills Grant Program.”
Twenty-two high level officials from the Ministry of Education in Erbil (Directorates of Education), and representatives from five Kurdish NGOs participated in a training workshop for the development of implementation plans and a monitoring framework of the five selected projects submitted by Kurdish NGOs. The workshop was conducted in the Information Technology Academy - Erbil, Iraq from October 9-11, 2011.
The UNESCO Iraq Office in cooperation with the Iraqi Ministry of Education, launched in June 2011 a call for proposal for the establishment of community learning centers targeting vulnerable illiterates including women and unemployed youth in Iraq. The grant would provide national NGOs with funds for the establishment of community learning centers for literacy and life skills training in Iraq in partnership with national authorities and the Ministry of Education during the upcoming 2011-2012 school year.
127 NGOs all over Iraq participated in the call for proposal. Proposed activities included the provision of basic life skills along with literacy programs that will enhance work opportunities for unemployed illiterate youth and vulnerable communities throughout Iraq. As a result, 25 NGOs will be provided with a financial grant of 40,000 USD and the necessary equipment for the establishment of community learning centers. Five Kurdish NGOs were selected in KRG including Civil Development Organization; Alind Organization for Youth Democratizing; Al Messalla Organization; Harikar; and Public Aid Organization. The selected NGOs will open 18 Community Learning Centers in Dahuk, Sulaymaniyah, and Erbil.
The “NGO Literacy and Life Skills Grant Program” is part of the Literacy Initiative for Empowerment (LIFE) project in Iraq, which has been launched in 2010 in partnership with the Office of Her Highness Sheikha Mozah bint Nasser, First Lady of Qatar and UNESCO’s Special Envoy for Basic and Higher Education. LIFE is a four-year project that has been designed to empower the Government of Iraq and civil society in order to provide equal access to literacy to ensure the achievement of Education for All (EFA) goals of reducing illiteracy by 50% by 2015.