From 18 – 19 March, the Information Center for Research and Development worked with the Mashhofna Cultural Center to organize a training for volunteers who wished to develop the skills needed to build and run advocacy campaigns. The training took place at the Mashhofna Cultural Center in Nasiriyah and focused on issues relating to water protection, heritage preservation and promoting human rights for all.
Salman Khairallah led the training which included 14 young volunteers from the Humat Al-Furat campaign, the Dhi Qar Heritage campaign, and the Protectors of Civilization team (a group within the Urim initiative which protects the archeological site of Ur by ensuring that UNESCO’s requirements are met). The Protectors of Civilization team is now working to renew the garden of the Nasiriyah museum which is often seen to be the face of the city’s civilization.
The first day of the training explored planning and running campaigns devoted to preserving Iraq’s heritage and protecting its water. Participants were encouraged to brainstorm freely about these issues before analyzing and selecting more specific projects in each field on which to focus. This allowed them to contextualize and prioritize problems effectively. On the second day, the participants were divided into working groups and each group chose a campaign to manage and implement. The plans and programs generated by individual groups were then evaluated by everyone together. The volunteers involved expressed how helpful it was to deal with these topics at trainings like this: the collaboration and sharing of ideas and experiences contributes directly to the development of the work that the Center does in the city of Nasiriyah.
This training was part of the “Youth of Mesopotamia for Democratic Governance and Peaceful Coexistence in Iraq” project. The project is implemented by the Information Center for Research and Development within the space of the Iraqi Social Forum and in cooperation with the Iraqi Civil Society Solidarity Initiative, with support from the European Union.