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“I have learned to be stronger” - Messages of Hope from Iraq

The high number of COVID-19 cases continue to threaten women in Iraq. Since March, women have been in and out of lockdown, carrying the toll of disease, economic hardship, and threats of domestic violence. But throughout that time, they have also continued to carry a torch of hope.  

Before in-person trainings paused, women learned together of their rights and self-worth. Apart, they have stoked their power and used it to keep themselves and their families strong during this difficult time. While they still yearn for the day they can reunite with their sisters in-person, they stay connected with one another and staff through online trainings and groups.  

And they stay connected with other women around the world, sending messages to spark hope and resilience within our global community.  


Before this program I never had time for myself. There was a lot of misunderstanding between me and my husband. I felt like a prisoner at home, I could only go out for necessary things. I was cooking and cleaning.  

After joining the program, I realized that I didn’t have friends, I didn’t have information about my rights. I have learned a lot: I learned how to save money, increase income. I am curious to learn more. Thank you so much for being my sister. May God look over you, protect you from this virus. With your support, women will depend on themselves, learn how to face challenges in life. Thanks again. 


Thank you so much for being my sister. Because of this program, I have learned to be stronger. I am supporting my family, and they have confidence in me.  They ask for my opinion and input before making any family decisions now.  I hope that you and your loved ones are staying well and healthy during this difficult time. 



Before, the only work that I did was housework, and I got bored of it. I couldn’t go out and make friends: I didn’t have friends.  

I didn’t know how to be a decision-maker in my family, how to save money and plan for future and my dreams. What I have learned over three months was very impressive. I really miss my days at the training center. It was a big opportunity to learn how to save money. I have future plans for myself, which include starting my own business.  

I pray that this situation will get better soon so we can go back to the center to meet my friends again and learn new things. Thank you for supporting me. This opportunity has given me a chance to find my strength. Please stay safe and protect yourself from coronavirus. 


Honestly, my participation in this program has been one of the most beautiful things to happen in my life.

In a short period of time, I have learned a lot of things, but unfortunately our in-person classes stopped because of coronavirus. We are hopeful that classes will start in-person again soon. I am very thankful to my amazing teachers. 


I didn’t know about women’s rights. I had many unanswered questions, but after joining the program my knowledge increased. I learned how to manage my finances, save money. I hope that you are taking care of yourself, staying safe from this virus. This program has benefited us a lot as women in Shekhan. We have learned how to help our families, increase our income. Thanks again for being my sister.