The Mwada Symbol
“Mawada”, a group of young Iraqi ladies, most of them college students with some from high school, have developed a new concept of voluntary and charity work. Refusing to just helplessly watch the unfolding crisis in some areas of Iraq they were determined to act in order to help those thousands of Iraqis, displaced and starving, due to the current security situation.
“Our goal is to help the young women believe in themselves, and build their own future.” As I listened to Mawada’s unfolding vision last week– I couldn’t help but ask myself if I was also seeing a promising new generation taking charge and making things happen; becoming beacons of hope for everyone.
Sarah Mazin, a member of Mawada Group shares:
“We were thinking of a way to help those displaced people who were out of reach of humanitarian aid. It’s winter time and everything is needed. We need to do something.”
The group was formed by six friends – students in the colleges of Arts and Media. Supported by their families, these young women launched a voluntary work group on facebook. They then invited other women to participate in a one-day handicraft bazaar in one of Baghdad’s social clubs. The aim was to sell the hand-made products and use the money to help the displaced families. The advertisement was simple but meaningful: Do you want to help the displaced people but don’t know how? Visit us at the Bazaar. Shopping is sweet. Yet, good deeds are even sweeter. In a month period, the participants for products increased to 70, and the bazaar was a big success. Not content with the 2,400 USD, and notwithstanding the challenging security circumstances the group then proceeded to deliver aid themselves to the displaced families!
Images from the Bazaar
The bazaar reflected a warm atmosphere of love and caring, a direct translation of the spirit of Mawada. All kinds of hand-made jewelry, flowers, postcards and sweets formed a colorful collection, delivering a clear message that individuals can make a difference.
The Group has implemented several humanitarian activities as well. For example, they are distributing school clothes and stationary to orphans. They are also planning to organize online training on computer programs and handcraft activities, when they have achieved the funding they need.
Moving forwards, these young heroines are determined not to rest on their laurels. Instead they are planning to register their community group as an NGO. Sarah has the last word:
“By registering as an NGO we will be able to help many more people. We believe self-development is very important and so, by enabling young girls to build their skills and thus capacity for employment and even entrepreneurship, we are showing them that the world is wide open for them to succeed”.