June 2011 Capacity Building Training

June 2011 Capacity Building Training: Strengthening Iraqi NGOs to Deliver Life-Changing Services for Orphans

August 5, 2011


The Sponsor Iraqi Children Foundation (SICF) joined a well known Iraqi organization – the Human Rights Foundation and Civil Society NGO – to cosponsor training in June in Baghdad for Iraqi community organizations that serve more than 10,000 orphans. The training, billed as “You Should Know,” also included NGOs committed to helping widows and promoting human rights.

Many Iraqi NGO’s are led by very committed community leaders with a powerful vision: to help the extremely vulnerable orphans and widows in their communities. However, their ability to deliver concrete, life-changing results for orphans and widows depends on their organizational strengths, leadership, and capacities. These Iraqi NGOs must be able to develop strategic plans, manage projects effectively, recruit staff and volunteers, raise resources, engage in effective advocacy, and develop accountability tools to monitor and measure results. These organizational abilities are not easy to build in the US. They are even more difficult to build in a country like Iraq that has suffered decades of war, sectarian violence, economic sanctions, and repression under Sadam Hussein.

Iraq has an estimated 2.5 million orphans today. One of the most effective ways to help these children is through community based NGOs that work with orphans, widows, and extended families that care for them. SICF believes that building the capacity of these indigenous Iraqi organizations is one of the best ways to provide lasting, effective help for orphans.

The capacity building training will be followed later by a creative new training initiative to develop “Community Care Workers” (CCWs). This initiative has been developed by SICF and the award-winning Children’s Village of New York. Candidates to be CCWs will be drawn from Iraqi NGOs and equipped to understand a broad range of child development concepts. They will also be trained in simple but powerful tools to address trauma, PTSD, and bereavement among orphans of various ages, and instead build resilience and a sense of hope among these vulnerable children.

SICF President Maxwell Quqa said: “Failure to address these deep emotional and psychological needs among orphans leaves them vulnerable to recruitment by criminals and terrorists. We simply cannot let that happen.”

SICF’s mission is to come alongside the families and communities of Iraq in providing compassionate care for needy orphans. We are committed to doing this under the leadership of the Iraqi people.

Cindy Fogleman