FLAGSHIP Project: IRAQ

WHY NORTHERN IRAQ

An estimated 2 million displaced persons from Syria and Iraq have poured into Kurdistan-Iraq since the Syrian conflict began 6 years ago. When ISIS attacked the city of Sinjar, Iraq in August 2014, they killed thousands of men and boys and enslaved thousands of women and children. Another 50,000 fled to the mountains where they stayed for weeks before making their way to the Iraq-Kurdistan region to camps created to give solace and safety to IDPs (internally displaced persons). For the women and children who escaped the imprisonment of physical, emotional, and sexual abuse, some had to walk for days without food or water until they reached the camps, having left everything associated with home behind during a quick escape. 

What news media outlets worldwide then named “The Sinjar Masscare”, each person is a survivor of this tragic injustice and represents a story of strength, perseverance, and commitment to find and hold onto the very nature of life itself, representing the ability to overcome & the ability to hope.  

WHY THIS PROGRAM

100cameras has received a special invitation to join alongside the work of an IDP (Internally Displaced Persons) camps located in Northern Iraq. Located just 60 miles outside of the Mosul border, the kids we will serve specifically are citizens of Sinjar and have suffered unspeakable trauma over the past three years while being held imprisoned. To help put it heavily into words — many kids who have fled ISIS captivity have yet to speak. Yet to use their voices, to heal, or to process their stories of survival and to grip the hope that they have for the future. Many of the kids wake up with tremors in the middle of the night caused by memories surfacing in their nightmares; they've yet to process their journey towards finding peace in their sleep.

As our program was recognized in the recent United Nation’s report, Cradled By Conflict, the research supports our specific approach, proving that youth who have experienced traumas from war zone regions that were then given an opportunity to process and share their past difficulties were impacted positively over time. They felt heard and valued, as well as were more likely to become effective contributors to their communities. Our method and approach were included as an example of an enrichment program that could come alongside communities and local development organizations by providing this opportunity to their youth.

We take this invitation with sincere care and responsibility to work alongside kids that may find it difficult to use words. Our model is built on using the art of photography as a powerful tool for self-expression, processing, and feeling ownership in the stories of their individual lives and those of their communities. 100% of the proceeds from their photo sales will directly fund lifeline supplies for the IDP camp where they reside based upon their most pressing needs at the time of completion of the project.

THE IMPACT

In 2019, 100cameras will work alongside 25 kids living in an IDP camps located in Northern Iraq. Our goal is to help provide an outlet for kids who have survived the unimaginable, equipping them with a new tool and space to process their past, present, and future and to learn that they can make a difference in their future as their own photo sales provide for important, everyday needs.

As a subject that is often on the worldwide stage, this project seeks to uplift a narrative about the Iraqi-Kurdish people as seen through the eyes of their youth. To spread understanding for what these young people have experienced through the lens of however they see it.

YOU CAN BE A PARTICIPANT IN THIS STORY

By providing a platform for children to share their stories from their own points of view, the world can see the dignity, the strength, the resilience of those caught in the battle ground of war and evil. We invite everyone from across the world to participate in uplifting their perspectives by seeing and listening as human to human.

We need tangible support in the following ways:

  • Become a brand partner that furthers the project's reach through gallery sponsorship and social promotion

  • Make a donation to directly support this project in Iraq at www.100cameras.org/donate

All images taken in IDP camps located in Kurdistan-Iraq by talented photographer and friend of 100cameras,    Moo Jae   .

All images taken in IDP camps located in Kurdistan-Iraq by talented photographer and friend of 100cameras, Moo Jae.

*100% of proceeds equals 94% of every student's photo sale whether it's the size of an 8x10 or 11x14.