ASIA/IRAQ - A kindergarten, a language and professional training center for the displaced

Erbil - The violence committed by terrorists has aggravated an already very critical situation in Iraq, causing the flight of tens of thousands of people from the Nineveh plain towards Iraqi Kurdistan. The capital Erbil is home to about 250,000 displaced persons and refugees of different ethnic groups: next to the Kurdish population there are also displaced Iraqis and Syrian refugees. In order to allow these families to recover at least some normalcy in a situation deeply marked by discomfort, AVSI Foundation opened a nursery in 2015, run by a community of Dominican nuns, which houses about 130 children and is located in Ozal City. 1,200 families live in this area, of whom over 900 are Christians, some are Muslim yazides and others are Muslims, and have all fled the violence of Isis.
The nursery consists of four classes of 30 children each; for each class there are two teachers, who fled from the villages occupied by Isis where they worked as teachers. In Erbil, AVSI also aims to start a language and professional training center. The center is crucial to expand job opportunities for the refugees, break down language barriers and promote dialogue between refugees and host communities in a situation where the local population predominantly speaks Kurdish, the official language of Kurdistan, while refugees from Iraq and Syria speak Arabic, Christians mainly Aramaic, while there are other ethnic minorities who speak Azeri or Armenian.