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Category: News

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AHC Welcomes Mar Qaradagh International School for an Inspiring Economics & Business Class Field Trip

We are thrilled to share the exciting news of Ankawa Humanitarian Committee (AHC) playing host to the brilliant minds of Mar Qaradagh International School during their recent Economics & Business class field trip. It was an exceptional and enriching experience for both parties as we delved into meaningful discussions about the impactful work that AHC tirelessly dedicates itself to within our community.

During the visit, we had the opportunity to showcase the various facets of AHC’s humanitarian efforts, giving the students valuable insights into the initiatives that contribute to the betterment of our society. The exchange of ideas and knowledge fostered a dynamic learning environment, and we were genuinely impressed by the enthusiasm and eagerness to learn displayed by the students of Mar Qaradagh  School.

A heartfelt shoutout to Mar Qaradagh School for their proactive engagement and genuine interest in understanding the intricacies of economics, business, and community service. Together, we are actively shaping a future where communities survive, thrive, and flourish. This collaborative effort between AHC and Mar Qaradagh School exemplifies the power of education and community partnership in paving the way for a brighter tomorrow.

Thank you for joining us on this journey towards positive change and community development. Together, we make a difference.


A Successful Conclusion to the Climate Change Responsive Schools Project

Championing Environmental Consciousness: A Successful Conclusion to the Climate Change Responsive Schools Project

As we bid farewell to February, we also mark the conclusion of the impactful Climate Change Responsive Schools project (CCRS). In January of 2023, the Ankawa Humanitarian Committee (AHC) launched the CCRS project with the direct and generous support of Embrace the Middle East, bringing about positive change in Ankawa, Erbil. The project was dedicated to enhancing the understanding and knowledge of school students and communities, with a particular focus on imparting basic climate knowledge and promoting eco-friendly alternatives.

What is the CCRS Project?

The CCRS project’s core objectives revolved around eliminating plastic bottle use and cultivating students’ knowledge about climate change and sustainability. By addressing the excessive use of single-use plastics and implementing improved waste management practices, the project paved the way for a greener and healthier school environment. The strategic emphasis on schools signifies a critical step in addressing climate change at its roots.

Climate Literacy Awareness Workshops

A cornerstone of the CCRS project was the implementation of educational workshops designed to enhance climate-sensitive awareness among school students. Before these sessions, the project team engaged in thorough focus group discussions to gauge the students’ climate change literacy. Based on these insights, a tailored curriculum was developed and presented in both Arabic and English, ensuring that students received a comprehensive understanding of climate change.

Recognizing the pivotal role of teachers in this endeavor, the project team also developed a curriculum for educators, encompassing topics such as the significance of climate literacy, understanding climate change, differentiating between weather and climate, human influence on climate change, and practical tips for mitigating its impact.

Water Filtering and Cooling Systems

The project implemented water filtering and cooling systems to ensure safe and sustainable drinking water for students. This initiative aimed to provide a healthier water source, eliminating the reliance on plastic bottles. The installation of these systems not only contributes to the practical application of knowledge acquired during awareness sessions and reduces waste within the school environment.

Reusable Water Bottles

A pivotal project element involved providing students with reusable water bottles, actively working to decrease reliance on single-use plastics, and mitigating plastic waste. This initiative promotes environmental sustainability and instills a sense of individual responsibility among students, encouraging them to contribute actively to an eco-friendlier school environment.

Green Policy

A significant achievement of the CCRS project was the development of the Green Policy, aimed at heightening awareness regarding individual impacts on the environment. This policy fosters advocacy for behaviors contributing to environmental enhancement and encourages ownership and responsibility for classrooms and the overall school environment. Sections within the policy cover energy consumption, water conservation, paper use, waste prevention, procurement, curriculum, teaching, and monitoring and review.

Crucially, the CCRS project team recommended establishing a Green Committee within the school to ensure continued efforts toward improving the school’s green profile. This committee, including students and teachers, ensures diverse insights and interventions for sustained environmental care.


As the CCRS project concludes, it leaves a legacy of positive change and heightened environmental consciousness, shaping a future where schools and communities actively contribute to a healthier, more sustainable planet.


AHC’s THABAT Project in Action

Empowering Erbil's Micro-Business Owners: AHC's THABAT Project in Action

In October, the Ankawa Humanitarian Committee (AHC) embarked on a transformative journey by initiating the THABAT project, fueled by USAID’s direct and generous support. This endeavor is specifically tailored to uplift micro-business owners in Erbil, aiming to equip them with the tools and knowledge necessary for success.

What is the THABAT Project?

The THABAT project, a joint effort between AHC and USAID, stands as a beacon for small business owners in Erbil. Focused on overcoming local market challenges, the project’s core goal is to elevate livelihoods by empowering micro-business owners and assisting them in overcoming sector-specific obstacles. Achieving this objective involves tailored support, resource provision, and comprehensive training programs covering various business management topics.

THABT Project direction sign at the Cathloic University of Erbil, Ankawa, Erbil, October 2023.
Business Management Training

From October through November, AHC implemented targeted business management training for project participants. The curriculum homed in on essential knowledge and skills encompassing business administration, marketing strategies, and financial planning. These courses were strategically designed to empower participants with the adaptability required in the local market, understand customer needs, and effectively position their products or services. The conclusion of these training sessions saw participants receiving certifications and acknowledging their acquired knowledge and practices. This formal recognition is a testament to their professional growth and development commitment.

A business management trainer during one of THABAT's business management training at the Catholic University of Erbil, Ankawa, Erbil, October 2023
Project participants celebrating their completion of the business management training
Small Grants for Business Growth

Integral to the THABAT project is the provision of small grants to participants. These grants are crucial financial support, enabling entrepreneurs to invest in their businesses, procure necessary equipment or inventory, and implement growth strategies. By strategically deploying these grants, the project aims to foster growth and sustainability among small businesses, ultimately enhancing economic opportunities and improving livelihoods.

Project participant receiving her 2nd installment of grant

The THABAT project, made possible by the unwavering support from USAID, orchestrated specialized training sessions covering critical business domains. These sessions equipped indigenous micro-business proprietors in Erbil with essential tools to enhance their operational efficacy. By imparting contemporary business management methodologies, ensuring enduring sustainability, and fostering prosperity, the THABAT project stands as a testament to the commitment to aiding micro-business owners in Erbil, systematically addressing challenges within the local market landscape.


Business Meeting with USAID Mission Director

Business Meeting with USAID Mission Director

On July 27, 2023, Vana Handola, AHC Executive Director, along with other local Iraqi NGOs attended a business lunch with Elise Jensen, USAID/ Iraq Mission Director, in Erbil. AHC and the other local organizations had the opportunity to discuss on-going projects, the challenges faced by local actors, and the unwavering support from international partners. Most Importantly, the meeting touched on localization and efforts to promote it and empowering local actors to make a difference. Elise Jensen applauded local operators’ impressive work.


التقت السيدة فانا حندولا، المديرة التنفيذية لمنظمة عنكاوا الانسانية، مع ممثلين آخرين من المنظمات غير الحكومية في العراق خلال وجبة غداء مع السيدة إليس جنسن، مديرة بعثة الوكالة الامريكية للتنمية الدولية (USAID) في العراق، في مدينة أربيل يوم 27 يوليو 2023. وخلال الاجتماع، كان لدى منظمة عنكاوا والمنظمات المحلية الأخرى فرصة لمناقشة المشاريع الجارية والتحديات التي تواجه الجهات الفاعلة المحلية، بالإضافة إلى الدعم الذي يأتي من الشركاء الدوليين. من جهى اخرى، تطرق الاجتماع إلى مناقشة مناصرة المحلية والعمل المحلي والجهود المبذولة لتعزيزه وتمكين المشاركين المحليين لإحداث فارق إيجابي. وأشادت إليس جنسن بالعمل المبدع الذي يقوم به المشاركون المحليون.


THABAT Project: Focus Group Discussions

AHC Conducts Focus Group Discussions for THABAT Project

Discovering inspiring stories! 

AHC connects with passionate small business owners in Erbil, learning about their work, challenges, and dreams. Through the THABAT project supported by USAID, we provide support including training, marketing strategies, and small funds to fuel their growth and success. Join us in creating a thriving business community! 

اكتشاف قصص ملهمة!  تواصل منظمة عنكاوا الإنسانية مع أصحاب الأعمال الصغيرة في أربيل، للتعرف على عملهم وتحدياتهم في السوق المحلية. من خلال مشروع ثبات، المدعوم من USAID، نقدم الدعم اللازم، بما في ذلك التدريب واستراتيجيات التسويق والتمويل الصغير، لتعزيز نموهم ونجاحهم. انضم إلينا في بناء مجتمع رائد!  



The Launch of Climate Change Responsive Schools (CCRS)

We’re thrilled to launch Climate Change Responsive Schools (CCRS) with the generous support of Embrace Middle East, in Ankawa, Erbil. This project is a transformative initiative following the success of AHC’s previous project, Climate Change Adaptation Solutions. Our mission is to educate and empower students, teachers, and families about climate change while fostering sustainable practices within schools.

With CCRS, we are taking steps towards a greener future. A primary focus of ours is the reduction of plastic waste. The project will shift the schools’ reliance on single-use bottles to eco-friendly, reusable water bottles, actively promoting a switch towards cleaner sustainable practices. This small change has the potential to make a significant impact by lowering the plastic waste of schools and raising awareness of the participants to adopt more responsible environmentally friendly behaviors.

Furthermore, participating schools will benefit from filtering and cooling water systems AHC will provide, ensuring access to clean and filtered water while simultaneously reducing their reliance on single-use plastics. This is an opportunity for us to make a tangible difference in our community.

Moreover, CCRS will actively collaborate with school administrations to implement green policies, transforming schools into environmentally friendly spaces.

For more information, check out CCRS’ webpage: Climate Change Responsive Schools Project – AHC (

يسعدنا أن نعلن عن إطلاق مشروعالمدارس المستجيبة للتغير المناخيفي عنكاوا، أربيل، بدعم من منظمة Embrace the Middle East وهذه المبادرة تأتي بعد نجاح مشروعنا السابقحلول التكيف مع التغيرات المناخية“. هدفنا هو تعليم وتمكين الطلاب والمعلمين والأسر حول التغيرات المناخية وتعزيز الممارسات المستدامة داخل المدارس.

من خلال هذا المشروع، نتخذ خطوات نحو مستقبل أكثر خضرة. يكمن تركيزنا الأساسي في تقليل نفايات البلاستيك. سنقوم بتبديل الزجاجات ذات الاستخدام الواحد بزجاجات مياه صديقة للبيئة وقابلة لإعادة الاستعمال، مما يعزز بنشاط التحول نحو ممارسات مستدامة أنظف. هذا التغيير الصغير لديه القدرة على إحداث تأثير كبير من خلال خفض النفايات البلاستيكية في المدارس وزيادة وعي المشاركين لتبني سلوكيات أكثر مسؤولية صديقة للبيئة

بالإضافة إلى ذلك، ستستفيد المدارس المشاركة من انظمة تصفية وتبريد للمياه، مما يضمن الوصول إلى مياه نظيفة ومنعشة مع الحد من الاعتماد على البلاستيك ذو الاستخدام الواحد. هذه فرصة لنا للقيام بفرق ملموس في مجتمعنا.

علاوة على ذلك، سنتعاون بنشاط مع إدارات المدارس لتنفيذ سياسات بيئية، مما يحول المدارس إلى مساحات صديقة للبيئة.

يمكنك الاطلاع على المزيد من المعلومات حول المشروع على الرابط التالي:


AHC’s Participation in the Donor Round Table: Empowering Local Organizations for a Sustainable Future

We are incredibly grateful for the opportunity to participate in the donor round table organized by the Catholic Relief Committee (CRC) and its partners on May 10, 2023. It was a privilege for AHC to showcase our impactful activities, projects, and our vision for the future.

During the event, we had the honor of presenting our work to distinguished representatives from CRS, IOM, and USAID. It was a valuable platform to highlight the efforts and achievements of AHC, emphasizing our commitment to serving our beloved community.

The round table served as a crucial opportunity to discuss the empowerment of local organizations and finding solutions to overcome challenges. By collaborating with esteemed partners, we aim to ensure sustainable and enhanced services for our community. Our collective vision is to create a better future, where the needs of our community are met and their well-being is prioritized.

We extend our gratitude to the Catholic Relief Committee and its partners for organizing this impactful event. Together, we are working towards a brighter and more prosperous future for all.

نحن ممتنون للمشاركة في جلسة جولة المانحين التي نظمتها اللجنة الكاثوليكية للإغاثة وشركاؤها في يوم 10 مايو 2023. كانت هذه فرصةً مميزةً لمنظمة عنكاوا الإنسانية لعرض أنشطتنا ومشاريعنا  ورؤيتنا للمستقبل. خلال الحدث، كان لنا شرف تقديم عملنا للممثلين المرموقين من الخدمة الكاثوليكية للإغاثة، والمنظمة الدولية للهجرة، والوكالة الأمريكية للتنمية الدولية. كانت هذه منصة قيمة لتسليط الضوء على الجهود والإنجازات لدى منظمة عنكاوا الإنسانية، مع التأكيد على التزامنا بخدمة مجتمعنا. جلسة  المانحين كانت فرصة حاسمة لمناقشة تمكين المنظمات المحلية وإيجاد حلول للتغلب على التحديات. نهدف من خلال التعاون مع شركائنا المحترمين إلى ضمان توفير خدمات مستدامة ومحسنة لمجتمعنا. رؤيتنا المشتركة هي خلق مستقبل أفضل، حيث يتم تلبية احتياجات مجتمعنا ويتم تولي اهتمام برفاهيتهم. نعبر عن امتناننا للجنة الكاثوليكية للإغاثة وشركائها لتنظيم هذا الحدث الهام. معًا، نعمل نحو مستقبلٍ أكثر إشراقًا وازدهارًا للجميع.


Empowering Small Businesses in Erbil: Insights from THABAT Project’s Focused Group Discussions


As part of the THABAT project, an initiative aimed at supporting and empowering small businesses in Erbil governorate, we recently conducted focused group discussions with a number of small business owners. These discussions shed light on the challenges faced by entrepreneurs in the area, emphasized the role of female business owners in the community, and highlighted the importance of promoting climate-friendly products. The objective of these sessions was to gather valuable insights and ideas to develop activities that would assist businesses in improving their sustainability and resilience in the face of market challenges.

Understanding the Challenges

During the focused group discussions, small business owners in Erbil openly shared the difficulties they encounter in their entrepreneurial journey. From limited access to capital and financial resources to bureaucratic hurdles, these challenges pose significant obstacles to the growth and success of small businesses. However, despite these difficulties, the entrepreneurs displayed remarkable determination and a strong desire to overcome these obstacles.

Empowering Female Business Owners

One notable aspect that emerged from the discussions was the crucial role played by female business owners in the local community. Many female entrepreneurs in Erbil have successfully established and managed their own businesses, contributing to the economic development of the region. However, they also face unique challenges, including gender biases and limited access to resources. The THABAT project recognizes the importance of empowering female business owners and aims to provide them with the necessary support, mentorship, and resources to thrive.

Promoting Climate-Friendly Products

Another significant topic that emerged from the discussions was the importance of promoting climate-friendly products. Small business owners in Erbil expressed a growing awareness of environmental issues and a desire to contribute to sustainability efforts. They recognized the potential of offering eco-friendly products to meet the evolving demands of consumers who prioritize environmentally conscious choices. The THABAT project encourages and supports small businesses in developing and promoting such products, providing guidance on sustainable practices and fostering a greener business ecosystem.

The THABAT Project: Support and Impact

The THABAT project, funded by USAID, plays a vital role in supporting and empowering local small businesses in Erbil governorate. Through the provision of small grants and mentorship, the project aims to foster an environment conducive to business growth. By addressing the specific challenges faced by entrepreneurs, particularly female business owners, THABAT aims to create a more inclusive and resilient business community.


The focused group discussions conducted as part of the THABAT project highlighted the challenges faced by small business owners in Erbil, the significance of female entrepreneurs, and the growing importance of climate-friendly products. By providing support, mentorship, and resources, the THABAT project endeavors to strengthen and sustain local businesses, enabling them to overcome obstacles and thrive in a competitive market. For more information about the THABAT project and its impact on local small businesses. 


بصفتنا جزءًا من مشروع ثابت، أجرينا مؤخرًا مناقشات مجموعية مركزة مع عدد من أصحاب الأعمال الصغيرة في أربيل! 💼 تسلطت الجلسات الضوء على التحديات التي يواجهها أصحاب الأعمال الصغيرة في المنطقة، ودور سيدات أصحاب الأعمال في المجتمع، وأهمية تعزيز المنتجات الصديقة للمناخ. 🌱 كما هدفت المناقشات إلى التعرف على الأفكار والمبادرات الجديدة في السوق لتصميم أنشطة يمكن أن تساعد الأعمال المختلفة على تحسين واستدامة عملها وزيادة فرصها في مواجهة التحديات السوقية.

يدعم مشروع ثابت، الذي يتم تمويله من قبل USAID، الأعمال الصغيرة المحلية في محافظة أربيل عن طريق تقديم المنح الصغيرة والإرشاد للمساعدة في نمو الأعمال.


AHC is volunteering and supporting humanitarian efforts in Syria and Turkey.

AHC is volunteering and supporting humanitarian efforts to those affected by the recent earthquakes in Syria and Turkey.
AHC staff and volunteers joined the Municipality of Ankawa @ankawa.directorate and Ankawa Civil society Organizations to accept, collect and arrange donations from the Ankawa community throughout 10-14 February, 2023.
Every little action can make a change in the lives of the affected communities from the earthquake.
Don’t forget to keep the victims in your prayers.

تشارك منظمة عنكاوا الإنسانية في الجهود التطوعية لدعم المتضررين من الزلازل الأخيرة في سوريا وتركيا. انضم موظفو ومتطوعو AHC مع بلدية عنكاوا ومختلف منظمات المجتمع المدني لأستلام وجمع وترتيب التبرعات من اهل عنكاوا خلال الفترة من 10 إلى 14 شباط (فبراير) 2023.
كل عمل مهما كان بسيطاً يمكن أن يحدث تغييراً في حياة المجتمعات المتضررة من الزلزال.
لا تنسوا ذكر الضحايا في صلاتكم.


USAID’s Senior Development Outreach and Communications Specialist to AHC

On January 18th 2023, USAID’s Senior Development Outreach and Communications Specialist, Mr German Acevedo and the USAID delegate visited AHC’s office during his short trip to Erbil.
The meeting offered the opportunity to discuss AHC’s communication strategy and the challenges AHC encounters when carrying out activities.

في 18 كانون الثاني (يناير) 2023 ، قام كبير أخصائيي التواصل و التنمية في الوكالة الأمريكية للتنمية الدولية السيد جيرمان أسيفيدو ومندوبي الوكالة الأمريكية للتنمية الدولية بزيارة مكتب منظمة عنكاوا الإنسانية خلال رحلته القصيرة إلى أربيل
وقد أتاح الاجتماع الفرصة لمناقشة استراتيجيات التواصل والتحديات التي تواجه منظمة عنكاوا الإنسانية عند تنفيذ الأنشطة