Women of Leadership and Hope

05 April, 2022

SWEDO is dedicated to empowering women to achieve their full potential. Our work challenges the assumptions and attitudes about the possible roles that women can play in society.  Together, we inspire both women and men to become advocates, change-makers and leaders in their communities.

Our work builds upon women’s own resilience and strength, and helps them to improve their lives, as well as those of their children, families and communities, every single day. Work diversity, equal opportunities, and women empowerment programmes are our tools in our journey for gender equality.

It is a commitment and not only an organisation obligation that SWEDO supports and empowers its women employees, volunteers and beneficiaries.

As an organization, we stand for something bigger than success. Our devotion, and commitment to our female employees, volunteers and beneficiaries ensures they are always supported through the journey to long-term sustainable self-resilience, leadership, career and personal development.

Sabat: A SWEDO employee who pursued her academic career

“I completed my postgraduate studies in Computer System Engineering and published a research paper about children’s cognitive development while working for SWEDO. Flexible working hours when I had deadlines or exams lightened the load and helped me to focus better. Having a supportive supervisor who was also studying his postgraduate degree encouraged me and enabled me to plan ahead. As SWEDO expanded into more projects with donors and partners, the amount of information collected increased dramatically. My postgraduate education and the implemented mechanisms we established enabled SWEDO to maintain a presence, even during the pandemic whilst staff worked remotely”

Sabat is a 28-years-old woman who works as the Senior information Management Officer in SWEDO’s Erbil office.

Seesin: A former volunteer who now works with SWEDO

“After graduating college in 2018, I started as a volunteer with SWEDO. I felt indebted to the displaced communities, and I wanted to help IDPs and refugees that were going through tough circumstances. I worked as a volunteer in the Dilzhiyan community centre for five months and during that time, SWEDO gave me motivation, training and experience in the humanitarian field. In September 2019 I applied for my first paid job with SWEDO, and succeeded! This was an amazing experience, especially when it followed a long time of volunteering hard work. Then, I applied for the Help Desk Clerk position and I was selected among other candidates. Now I am working as Complaint and Feedback Monitor.”

Seesin is a 26-years-old woman who started as a volunteer and rose through to become the Complaint and Feedback Monitor in SWEDO’s Duhok office.

Fryal and Kamila: Two refugee women who found hope at the SWEDO-ran community centres

Fryal: “I have been coming to the community centre every day for the last year. The workshops and activities give me psychological comfort. I found relief by participating in the activities”.

Fryal is a Syrian refugee woman from the city of Qamishlo. She arrived with her family in Kurdistan Region of Iraq in 2016, and stayed in Erbil. Following the passing of her husband due to illness, she resided in Qushtapa refugee camp with her brothers

2020 was a tough year for Fryal, losing her husband and the implications of the COVID19 lockdown left her in a state of depression, anxiety, and then diabetes.

Kamila: “I spend about two hours in the centre almost daily. I participated in the knitting and wool workshop and really loved it. It gives me comfort and reassurance. Now I can make a lot of handicrafts out of wool.”

Kamila is a Syrian refugee woman from the city of Qamishlo. Kamila is separated from her husband and has no children. In 2013, she sought asylum in Iraq, arriving in Erbil’s Qushtapa camp. Having nobody to look after her, she has been relying on assistance living in the camp.

Kamila and Fryal now attend the SWEDO-ran community centre daily where they find different educational courses, skill-building and entertaining activities, and can meet each other.

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