Fostering The Role of IDPs and Refugee Women in The Long-Running Conflicts of Syria and the KRI, Iraq and the Youth of The Host Communities in Jordan and Catalonia in Peace-Building and Peace-Building Democracy and Human Rights in the Middle East
The project is funded by the Catalan Agency for Development Cooperation (Agència Catalana de Cooperació al Desenvolupament – ACCD).
The project “AŞTÎ: Fostering the role of internally displaced and refugee women in the long-running conflicts of Syria and the KRI, Iraq and the youth of the host communities in Jordan and Catalonia in peace-building and peace-building Democracy and Human Rights in the Middle East”; has been designed to empower young people to play a key role in promoting peacebuilding and COVID-19 environmental justice.
The AŞTÎ project is led by NOVACT and the Fundació Autònoma Solidària (FAS), two organizations that stand out for their work in strengthening civil society through non-violence in the Euro-Mediterranean region, for linking it to knowledge and public universities, and the promotion of peacebuilding initiatives with a focus on gender, human rights and environmental justice in partnership with 4 local organizations specializing in youth, peacebuilding, social cohesion, and strengthening civil society. They are: (IDare in Jordan, UPP and PFO in Iraqi Kurdistan, and UPP and DOZ in Northeast Syria.
DOZ as one of the partners plans and implements the activities under this project from 15.02.2022 till 14.08.2023 in Tirbespî city, in Northeast Syria.
Activities Implemented by DOZ under this Project
Re-Opening DOZ Civil Society Center in Tirbespî City
In February 2022 DOZ was able to reopen its Tirbespi Civil Society center that had stopped providing services and activities for two years due to financial challenges because of Covid-19 pandemic and lack of funds.
DOZ renovated and prepared the center halls for activities and services and carried out field tours in the city to inform the local community members and IDPs in Tirbespî city about the re-opening of the centre.
After announcing the reopening of the center in Tirbespi, the center has received many visits by active youth in the city and by local CSOs in order to see the type of services that will be available in the center, and thus the project team has provided visitors with an overview of the AŞTÎ project and the type of activities that will be carried out.
DOZ Tirbespi Team assured that the center is open to all civil society activists, civil society organizations, locals, and IDPs, in order to use the center and to take advantage of the equipment available in the center in order to carry out their activities. DOZ opened its first center in the city in year 2012 and was provided services and activities in various sectors till today.
Workshop on Basics of leading FGDs and Field Initiatives
DOZ Tirbespi team organized a training workshop on the basics of discussion sessions and field initiatives over a period of three days on 22-23-24/8/2022, with the participation of 20 people (5 males – 15 females) from both locals and IDPs living in the city, under the supervision of the trainer Salma Ali.
The workshop included several sections on the foundations of discussion sessions and field initiatives, including the concept of discussion sessions, the five rules for opening them, methods, characteristics and important skills for managing sessions, focusing on body language and the role of the facilitator in the success of the discussion sessions, the concept of field initiatives, their objectives, characteristics, steps and stages of their implementation, how to choose the work team, the basics of the success of the initiatives and the challenges facing their success.
The workshop targeted youth and active volunteers to develop their skills and personal abilities because the discussion sessions and field initiatives are essential tools of development and a means aimed at increasing the effectiveness of civil society and community engagement, the principles of dealing with teamwork and the success of the project. On the last day, practical exercises were implemented through working groups to make better use of the topics covered in this workshop.
Graffiti Peace Actions at International Day of Peace 2022 – Peace Mural in Tirbespi City
A Graffiti initiative was planned on the International Day of Peace, on September 21, and was implemented on September 20, 2022, by the painter Siban Othman, over two days, with the participation of the youth volunteers and work teams.
They all shared their vision of peace in the drawing, and a mural about peace on one of the walls of the city. The mural included graphics such as: the dove of peace, people from different sects and backgrounds of the town holding each other’s hands to live in peace and security in the area and spreading roses of various colours of peace at the end of the action.
Many citizens interacted and got engaged a s they passed through the street and saw the painting, they expressed their admiration after knowing the purpose of painting and its implications, and their support for such activities that focus on and reinforce peace concepts, social cohesion in the city, and spread the culture of peace in the local community.
Dialogue on “Together We Live in Peace” on International Day of Peace
DO organized a dialogue session under the title “Together we Live in Peace” on 9/21/2022 under the supervision of Facilitator Malik Ali, with the participation of 21 participants (5 males – 16 females).
The session included the concept of peace, its importance and its role in building societies, the role of youth in building peace and how to activate the role of the concerned authorities and laws in promoting dialogue and civil peace between the components of the local community and the role of local media in spreading the culture of peace and peaceful coexistence.
The dialogue was very interactive, and many examples of peace processes were presented by the trainer from various areas and eras, and Tirbespi city was taken as a still living example for peace and social cohesion, especially since the city of Tirbespi is characterized by the diversity of its sects and components.
Session on How to Deal with Psychological Stress
A session on psychological stress under the title “Allow your soul to calm down” took place on 10/5/2022 under the supervision of the facilitator Helen Murad and with participation of 24 male and female participants (6 males – 18 females) from the town’s various backgrounds including locals and IDPs.
The session included a definition of psychological stress and signs of psychological stress and its effects on the personal performance and active engagement within community. At the end of the session, the participants and the facilitator shared a breathing exercise in order to reduce the psychological stress.
Health Awareness Session on Spread of Cholera Diseases in the Region
An educational health session to raise awareness about the spread of cholera and how to prevent it took place on 10/18/2022 under the supervision of the facilitator Lolav Muhammad and in the presence of 22 participants (5 males – 17 females) from the various components of the town.
The session included defining cholera, its symptoms and the complications resulting from it, in addition to methods of prevention and treatment and the importance of personal hygiene, clean drinking water, and cooking food well before eating it, and the method of preparing an oral rehydration solution at home was explained.
The interaction was great between the facilitator and the beneficiaries by asking questions about Cholera cases found in Syria recently. At the end of the session, the participants hanged awareness posters about the importance of preventing this disease and limiting its spread in the center and outside the center.
Awareness Session on Countering All Forms of Bullying and Violence at Schools
A dialogue interactive session was organized on the International Day Against All Forms of Violence and Bullying at Schools, which falls on 3/11/2022, under the supervision of the facilitator Fatima Al-Murad, in the presence of 16 male and female participants (5 males – 11 females) from the town’s various components including locals and IDPs.
The session included the definition of bullying, its patterns, causes, types, and treatment methods. There was a great interaction about the session among the participants, and it was presented in a dialogue. Ideas were discussed with the facilitator to reduce the phenomenon of bullying that is widespread in society in general, because this phenomenon results in violence and harm to others because of their lack of responsibility and lack of awareness.
Ideas were put forward among the participants about Bullying and the resulting violence in schools in particular, because of its impact on bullied students, including anger, depression, cases of isolation, leaving schools, and some cases of suicide.
At the end of the session, there was a recommendation from the participants to develop special programs to prevent school bullying among students and to share these programs with the Official Department of Education so they can support in making all such as administrators, teachers in schools and parents play a role in reducing this negative phenomenon.
Awareness Session on Violence Against Girls and Women
A dialogue session was organized on the International Day of Violence against Women on 11/26/2022, supervised by the facilitator, Hamreen Hussein, and in the presence of 21 participants (7 males – 14 females) from the components of the town both locals and IDPs.
One of the topics of the session was defining violence, its types, causes and manifestations, and focusing on violence against girls and women, and its effects, and some proposed solutions were put forward to reduce the phenomenon of violence.
Through the discussion in the session, the type of clan violence that exists now in the region was mentioned largely, especially for women.
Some ideas were put forward to reduce this type of violence in the region by spreading awareness through holding awareness sessions and empowering women and girls to defend their rights.
It is important to reduce violence against women because of its negative, psychological, mental, and physical effects on them and on whole society.
Human Rights Awareness Dialogue Session
A session on International Human Rights Day was organized on 10/12/2022 under the supervision of the facilitator (Muntaha Abbas) and in the presence of 20 participants (5 males – 15 females) from the town’s various components both locals and IDPs.
During the session, the facilitator focused on several topics, including: definitions for human rights? types, principles, human rights clauses and charters by the United Nations and their role in the maintenance of human rights.
The focus during the session was on the role of human rights and humanitarian organizations in societies and the preservation of the rights of all human beings. There was good interaction and participation by the participants with the facilitator during the session and its topics.
All participants concluded that human rights are to guarantee that all people in the world live in a standard of living that achieve dignity, justice, equality, non-discrimination, and segregation, and helps people develop themselves, use their skills and mental abilities, and obtain all their rights in society.
New Year Eve’s Party – A Place for All in The City
New Year’s Eve party was organized on 12/31/2022, with the participation of 50 children from the town’s diverse components both locals and IDPs and different ages.
The party included dancing – competitions – entertainment games – distributing gifts. The party brought joy and peace to the hearts of all participants.
Families attended and children’s parents thanked the DOZ organization’s staff and those in charge of the party for planting joy and happiness in the hearts of children and focusing on such activities permanently to help children improve their psychology and overcome the conditions the country is experiencing due to the current crisis and war.
Success Stories and Feedback from Participants
After a long period of interruption due to the lack of projects and funding for DOZ civil society center in Tirbespi city; the AŞTÎ project was launched in mid-February 2022, and the center re-opened again and received beneficiaries and visitors for all city backgrounds both locals and IDPs. People in Tirbespi can access DOZ center, services, and activities again after long time of closure due to Covid-19 pandemic and lack of funding.
One of the beneficiaries told us thatthe awareness sessions, including the psychological support sessions, are very important and beneficial for everyone in the region, to relieve even a small part of the pressures that the individual experiences in society.
Another said thatDOZ Organization’s holding of such sessions and initiatives is useful, as it targets the youth group because they are the foundation and strength of society and stimulate their skills.
One of the participants told us thatSuccess is the height of persistence in the face of failure, because at first, she was hesitant to give the sessions, but after her colleagues gave the sessions, she got encouraged and took the initiative to facilitate the session.
One of the participants said thatorganizing the participants in such sessions is an opportunity for them to increase their capabilities and information in managing their lives and personal skills.
Another participant shared with us that,when she attended the sessions she felt empowered in facing and knowing the difficulties of life and increasing her self-confidence to have a word in front of her peers.