Since an early age, Devar, 28, has learned what it means to become a leader in his community and through diverse experiences, he has discovered the joy of dedicating his life to helping others. Today, he continues to pursue his passion as the Executive Director of the Ankawa Humanitarian Committee (AHC), which is being supported by USAID.
Devar’s leadership journey started at the young age of 16 when he participated in the Iraqi Young Leaders Exchange Program (IYLEP) funded by the U.S. Embassy: “As a high school student, IYLEP helped me understand, develop, and build my leadership skills. IYLEP opened my eyes on how much each individual can do to strengthen the future of our communities” said Devar.
In 2011, Devar decided to study medicine and surgery at the College of Medicine and started practicing as an emergency rotator. “The idea of being a part of a profession focused on helping others regardless of circumstances, was one of the main reasons why I chose medicine.” said Devar.
Devar’s background in medicine was put to test after the fall of Mosul in June 2014, when Devar volunteered with dozens of other young medical volunteers to alleviate the suffering of thousands of internally displaced families (IDP) by providing emergency healthcare. For the volunteers helping out in Erbil, this was their first time doing anything like this. “Everyone was trying to do their best but without any real experience in humanitarian emergencies, it was hard to feel like we were doing enough,” said Devar.
“In 2014, I realized that Iraq’s instabilities require actions from the local youth to bring change. Durable change can only be achieved if the members of the Iraqi communities work together to accept the differences, search for common grounds and build a better future for all.”
Devar’s experience working as a volunteer helping IDPs sparked his desire to learn more about non-profit organizations by working in different positions with multiple non-profit organizations. Through his tireless dedication to working with vulnerable communities in Erbil, including with the Chaldean Archdiocese, Devar was appointed as the Executive Director of the Ankawa Humanitarian Committee (AHC), an organization founded in 2020 by His Excellency Bashar Warda, the Chaldean Archbishop of Erbil, to continue the Church’s humanitarian work serving the most vulnerable. Today, Devar is leading a team of 20 young and motivated Iraqis to implement their first USAID-funded project to build the capacity of the organization to better serve the needs of the local community, a mission that Devar holds near to his heart.
With support from USAID, Devar has faith in the organization’s ability to improve the lives of those in need. “Every staff member at AHC has the chance to make a difference in the local community. With support from USAID, AHC hopes to build a community where every citizen can live and worship freely and safely, prosper economically, and participate fully and responsibly in their country’s life.”