31. January 2022 – BACK TO LIFE


The BACK TO LIFE Women’s Empowerment Center in Northern Iraq is constantly developing: since the end of 2021, HÁWAR.help has been offering new courses in the IDP camp.

Since the establishment of BACK TO LIFE Women’s Empowerment Center, we have been offering literacy and sewing classes, workshops and psychological support. The skills the course participants acquire here are the foundation for an independent and self-determined life. Every day, we can see how the women outgrow themselves. In addition to those courses, which contribute significantly to giving the camp residents a perspective, we have now started new classes.

At the end of last year, for example, we launched a Digital Literacy course to offer women and children the opportunity to gain access to the digital world. Currently, we are training the teachers, who will soon start passing on their knowledge to the course participants. Some of the trainers are residents of the camp themselves. This not only creates an atmosphere in which our multi-religious and multi-ethnic team learns from and with each other, it also strengthens trust among the camp’s residents.

The Digital Literacy course instructor, Ava, studied Computer Science at the University of Dohuk and hopes to discover the next Ada Lovelace, a mathematician and the first female programmer, among the course participants: “Maybe there is an Ada Lovelace in the camp, and we just need to find her.”

In addition, an English course is now being offered, aimed at both beginners and advanced students. The beginners’ course is already in full swing, with mostly children taking part and even coming to the course after school to improve their English skills. This shows us how ambitious the young camp residents are and how much they enjoy learning English!

In addition, we were able to open the HÁWAR.help Sportspark. Here, the children can let off steam, under the guidance of our trainer Sipal. Sipal is from the region, plays on an Iraqi soccer team herself, and has received her training through GiZ’s “Sports for Development” program. What a great role model for our girls!

Sports classes are also being offered to the adult women. Exercise is incredibly important for physical, but also for psychological well-being: Sports lifts the spirits and offers the women and children a distraction from everyday camp life. In addition, team spirit is strengthened, and new friendships are forged. Thus, the courses create a place of strength, community and empowerment.

We are happy to be able to offer the residents of the camp a perspective and that they are contributing to the BACK TO LIFE project with so much commitment.

We would like to thank our partners who support BACK TO LIFE: Bundesministerium für wirtschaftliche Zusammenarbeit und Entwicklung (BMZ), Deutsche Gesellschaft für internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) and die Deutsche Postcode Lotterie.