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“Staying Strong When Facing Difficulty” - Messages of Hope from Iraq

Women in Iraq were ready to return to their lives, to their friends, and to their training at Women for Women International. Swift and strict lockdowns initially helped lower COVID-19 cases though many felt the economic strain. As the number of new cases decreased, lockdowns eased, and the promise of a slow, gradual return to normalcy seemed around the corner.

But the situation took a different turn, with cases and death tolls rising. Erbil – where many women we serve live – reinstated a lockdown. During this time, women find strength within themselves and use knowledge from their training.  

Apart once more, women continue to hold fast to hope and a future safe from disease. Despite the difficulties, they share those hopes with you.  


I live in a society which is very closed-minded. Women who don’t have a chance to be educated, and their roles are only cooking and cleaning in their houses.  

The program has taught me self-worth and the value of the work I do in the household. My self-confidence has increased. I believe I can change my life for the better. I see myself equal to my brother, I want to work and support my mother who has health issues.  

I know this quarantine affects all of us, but I believe one day we all will return to our normal life so please stay safe and do not go outside. My heart and prayers are with you, sister. 


I am married and have four children. I have faced a lot of things in life. During these classes, I have learned how to look for solutions. I am just starting to think about my future and what I would like to do in the future.  

We were under lockdown for over two months, during this time I made sure that we were spending money on our daily needs in order to make the money we had last us. I explain to my children that we were lucky to have food every day. There are people who don’t have food to eat. We followed the instructions by the government on how to protect ourselves.  

I am very thankful and grateful for this program. It taught me how to solve my own problems and how to manage my finances. Thanks again for your support, please stay well. 


I was a woman with a lot of free time on her hands. I used to spend money on unnecessary things. After participating in this program, my confidence has grown. I have learned to increase my status in the family and better manage my finances.  

I have also learned how to save money for emergency situations. I hope you are staying well and healthy. I hope that God protects you. I keep you and your country in my prayers. With your support, a lot of women’s mindsets will change, and so will the next generation’s. 


When I first joined the program, I thought I would just learn about hairstyling and applying make-up. But I have learned a lot of things. I have more self-confidence. I am planning to save money in order to start my own business.  

I hope that this difficult situation will pass soon. I hope that you and your family members are safe and healthy. I believe with your help, women will increase their knowledge and develop themselves. 


I have learned many things from this program, but the most important is staying strong when facing difficulty. I am hoping that you and your loved ones are healthy and safe. I love you very much, and you are in my prayers. 


Woman in red head scarf

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