In a project supported by United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the Government of the Netherlands, a consortium of three partner organizations, Public Aid Organization (PAO), the Alliance of Iraqi Minorities (AIM), and Fight for Humanity (Ffh) are working together to empower and engage local authorities and communities to promote social cohesion between different ethno-religious communities. Twelve locations in the Ninewa and Kirkuk governorates in Northern Iraq have been identified for the project.
Sunnis, Yezidis, Arabs, Kurds, Turkmens, Shabaks, Kakais, Shias, Christians – the Ninewa and Kirkuk governorates are home to a number of ethnoreligious groups. Following the conflict with the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), the level of distrust between communities has increased, and therefore essential to “rebuild the social fabric” in areas that were hit hard by the conflict such as Mosul.
The consortium has worked to build the capacity of local authorities, police and security personnel and community members on conflict analysis, positive peacebuilding, dialogue, and mediation. Fight for Humanity participated in the elaboration of a training curriculum on how to build social cohesion with a human rights perspective. Fight for Humanity undertook training and mentoring with around 15 people who have become primary trainers and have already delivered dozens of training workshops, focus-group discussions, and mediation sessions for local authorities, civil society organizations and security forces. Through these sessions the consortium aims to help construct and improve social cohesion as well as developing local peace agreements in the target localities.