In the Nineveh plains of Iraq, devastated by civil war and the occupation of the Islamic State, Focsiv launched a project to facilitate the creation of processes of social and economic inclusion and cohesion between different ethnic and religious groups. Within this context, CELIM will set up an agricultural cooperative that will help create new good jobs, promote sustainable agriculture and establish collaborative relationships among its members
Creation of a cooperative with 60 members aged between 18 and 35
Installation of 20 greenhouses for fruit and vegetable production
Creation of stable access to the local market
The new air that is blowing over the Nineveh plains is also age-old. Abraham, the patriarch of the three great monotheisms who lived in this part of the world is still the inspiration behind a new alliance between Christianity and Islam in the name of peace, rebirth and respect among different faiths.
Devised by Focsiv, the federation of Christian cooperation organizations, the project also involves CELIM, and starts from a dialogue aimed at rebuilding a nation destroyed by war and violence. It is no coincidence that the name chosen for it is ‘Altaeyush’, which in Arabic means coexistence between different cultures and religions in ‘respect for the other’.
The fall of Saddam Hussein’s regime in 2003 and the area’s takeover by the Islamic State in 2014 have caused the destruction of most of the infrastructure but also a sense of insecurity and political, economic, social and religious conflict and a migratory flow of religious minorities, especially the Christian one. The reconstruction process and the return migration flow are slow. The lack of initiatives in the field of training, employment and cultural exchange, meant as a space for dialogue and social cohesion, weakens relationships and opportunities for knowledge between the different ethnic-religious components. The proportion of the unemployed is growing and the agricultural sector, which used to be the main production sector, has been serious damaged as a result of land occupation.
The objective of Altaeyush is to help reduce inequalities and discriminatory practices on grounds of religion, sex, age, disability and economic status of Christian minorities in particular. Involving the different ethnic-religious groups in the Hamdaniya district, the project aims to strengthen resilience and dialogue, increase productive capacities in the agri-food sector and facilitate access to the labour market.
The community cultural centre that will be set up in Qaraqosh will be a meeting and exchange place aimed at strengthening social cohesion and social assistance and protection services (training of trainers and local operators, art and creative-expressive workshops) for everyone, giving priority to women, young people, minors and people with physical or psychological disabilities and who have developed post-traumatic stress.
CELIM will set up a cooperative that will contribute to the creation of good jobs, the promotion of sustainable agriculture and the establishment of interpersonal and collaborative relationships among its members, regardless of their ethnic-religious affiliation.
The planned work-experience and self-employment courses aim to promote the inclusion of the beneficiaries in the local socio-economic fabric. Beneficiaries will be identified based on particular criteria of economic and social vulnerability (age, gender, disability, income and family background, etc.) and will be equally distributed by ethnic-religious affiliation.
The project aims to reduce inequalities and discriminatory behaviours on grounds of religion, sex, age, disability and to improve the economic condition of vulnerable people and communities, Christian ones in particular, in the Nineveh Governatorate.
Altaeyush – Integrated and multidimensional community processes of inclusion and socio-economic cohesion to strengthen the resilience of vulnerable ethnic-religious groups
Giulia Giavazzi, [email protected]
July 1st 2022 – June 30th 2024
Focsiv, Associazione Francesco Realmonte, Cooperazione Paesi Emergenti, Ente Nazionale Giuseppini del Murialdo, Humanitarian Niniveh Relief Foundation, Sapan Organization for Agriculture Extention and Development
To support training workshops for young people
To help set up a cooperative
To help organize micro-entrepreneurship courses
To finance baby-care services