WASHINGTON, Aug. 10, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Today marked the official launch of Nahwa, a non-profit organization dedicated to providing humanitarian aid to refugees and Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq, focusing especially on the needs of women, children, and families.
The semi-autonomous Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) division of Iraq is currently host to more than 3,000,000 refugees from neighboring countries, mostly Syria and IDPs from various conflict zones in Iraq. Refugees and IDPs make up more than one-third of the present-day population of the northern Iraq. The KRG has been a welcoming host to these victims, providing a safe haven and some assistance. The United Nations High Commission on Refugees along with other NGOs have been contributing to the relief effort, but there is a critical shortfall. Nahwa wants to fill that gap.
"It is Nahwa's mission to provide aid and organize assistance programs for women and children who have been displaced by the cruelties of war and other conflict in the region, regardless of their religion, nationality, or ethnicity," explains Ms. Zubeida Al-Alawi, Founder and President of Nahwa. "We see humanitarian aid to these populations not only as absolutely necessary for immediate relief, but also as providing a foundation for the long-range. This is reflected in our motto, Amidst Adversity, Eyes on a Better Future."
Nahwa's programs center around three major areas:
- Providing lifeline essentials such as hygiene products, medical support supplies like first-aid kits and ointments, drinking water, and weather protection, including coats and blankets for winter snow and sunscreen for summer heat that could exceed 100 degrees Fahrenheit.
- A signature set of child-focused initiatives, including specialized services in support of medical teams, and a cornerstone program called "Let Children Be Children" which aims to construct playgrounds, provide toys, art supplies, and other items to children.
- An assistance program that centers on providing education and skill training specialists to empower women; many of whom now find themselves in the unfamiliar role of being a single parent and the head of household.
In addition to Ms. Al-Alawi, Nahwa's executive team includes Dennis Reynolds, Vice President of Strategy and Programs. Mr. Reynolds has held leadership positions in a number of child-focused organizations, including as a Vice President at KaBOOM! and as Executive Director of the Child Life Council.