This Father’s Day, we take a moment to recognize the resilience of the many fathers who make AMAR’s work possible, and we celebrate those that strive to rebuild lives for their families and for the people of Iraq.
The humanitarian crisis in Iraq is entering a new phase. Combat operations against ISIS have ended and hundreds of thousands of displaced people are returning to their homes and communities. But more than 2 million vulnerable people are still living in camps or substandard accommodations, and an estimated 8.7 million will require some form of humanitarian assistance in 2018.
Abbas Saleh and his family were among the millions of Iraqis impacted by conflict and economic downturn during the last 4 years. Widespread unemployment and deteriorating public services threatened his community, his livelihood, and his family’s well-being.
“I was an unemployed married man with 6 children,” Abbas remembered. “I was the sole breadwinner for my family and for my elderly parents. It was necessary that I find a job opportunity to support my family.”
That’s when he discovered AMAR’s INVEST Center. The INVEST (Inclusive Vocational and Entrepreneurship Skills Training) Center opened in Abbas’s community in Najaf in 2016, along with 5 other Centers across Iraq. Each Center provided public programming such as job skills training, legal counsel, and psychosocial support for both internally displaced people and host communities.
In 2017, Abbas enrolled in one of the men’s skills training courses offered at the Center – a sewing class designed to teach tailoring skills and essential on-the-job skills. The INVEST Centers also provide networking opportunities and small-business starter grants to help course participants find jobs in their communities or launch their own businesses.
Abbas graduated from the sewing course last May. Following his graduation, he was hired on at a men’s tailoring shop in Najaf.
Today, Abbas continues to use the skills he developed at the INVEST Center to provide for his family. His story is just a snapshot of the thousands of success stories of graduates who are using their skills training to rebuild a life for themselves and their families. After two years of running on AMAR funding, 4 of the 6 INVEST Centers are now self-sustaining and will continue to provide courses and training opportunities for incredible parents, like Abbas.
AMAR skills training courses provide new economic opportunities to displaced and underserved families, individuals, and communities. This Father’s Day, we invite you to pledge your support to Abbas, his family, and the thousands of other fathers like him by making a gift to AMAR. Your support helps rebuild the lives of hundreds of families, by providing them with new economic opportunities through skills training courses.