Work is a huge part of our lives. It provides security, meaning and a sense of belonging. It’s part of who we are.
Many AMAR staff, like the people they serve, have been displaced by war and violence. Working for AMAR provides structure and a semblance of normality.
But work means many different things to different people. To mark International Women’s Day, we’re asking some of the women of our workforce, “what does working for AMAR mean to you?” Read on to hear their stories.
THE COMMUNITY HEALTH WORKER
Iman is originally from Mosul. She fled the city in 2014 after the arrival of ISIS. Even before this, she’d witnessed Kurds being persecuted in the city, so her decision to leave was an easy one.
She soon heard about AMAR, and that we were looking for volunteers for the Women Health Volunteer (WHV) programme, so she quickly signed up.
As a WHV she visits people who have been displaced and are living in camps. She checks up on their health and provides vital mental health support.
“There is so much sadness here, I want to do anything I can to help solve this. I originally graduated as a social worker, but AMAR’s training sessions are helping me to further develop my skills. I help families, and AMAR helps me too. AMAR is my heart and my family.”Iman, AMAR WHV
THE LEGAL CONSULTANT
Sazgar lives in Erbil and works at the AMAR centre as a legal consultant. She’s married and has a son.
She specialises in violence against women and runs monthly workshops for women in the community to teach them about their legal rights.
Sazgar says most women don’t know about these rights, but she helps inform them and guides them through whatever situation they find themselves in – providing practical and emotional support.
“Working here, I realise how many women in Iraq are invisible. But AMAR helps them to surface, and allows me to help them.”
Sazgar , AMAR legal consultant
Shahd and Mijda are AMAR nurses.
Both specialise in helping pregnant women and assisting new mothers to start breastfeeding.
A lot of women struggle to breastfeed in the IDP camp where Shahd and Mijda work. Many are traumatised, stressed and malnourished.
The two women help guide women through the process, and also give weekly lectures to help women in the community.
Helping new mothers to find their feet in the most challenging circumstances motivates Shahd and Mijda every day.