We would like to provide an update on the activities carried out up to March 2017 for the AVSI-Trevi project "Start over in Erbil". The nursery school "Baby Jesus House" is located in the district of Ozal City, on the eastern outskirts of the city of Erbil.
The area is characterized by hundreds of houses where many displaced families live, due to the occupation of their native villages by Isis. Approximately 1,200 families live in this community: more than 900 are Christian families who fled from Qaraqosh, a city at about 30 km from Mosul.
The activities of the nursery school started in April 2015, in a context that is still temporary but with the aim of enhancing the structure day after day. The facilities have been improved through works for repairing systems and painting, and over time all the materials needed for carrying out the business efficiently have been purchased. The nursery school currently hosts 150 children, coming from both Christian (mostly) and Muslim families.
In cooperation with the Sisters of the Iraqi Dominican Order, children can take part in educational and recreational activities. Since October 2016, thanks to the fundamental collaboration with the Trevi Group, the activities of the nursery school take place in another facility adjacent to the first one, allowing to increase the number of children enrolled for the current year. Furthermore, this year the school has welcomed 7 children with disabilities in order to ensure them an inclusive and not-isolated education, as often occurs in the Middle East region. At the same time, awareness meetings are organized for the parents, not only of these children, in order to strengthen the educational role of the family within the society.
Besides what mentioned above, other activities are being implemented both for children and parents, for the purpose of consolidating social cohesion, one of the major issues in the Iraqi society. During the meetings with the teachers (who are displaced mothers as well), the director of the nursery school and Jumana, the AVSI social worker, families discuss the current problems afflicting them (often very similar, as they arise from common conditions), looking for possible solutions also for the Community.