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EU Regional Trust Fund in Response to the Syrian crisis

Unique life perspectives captured through the lens of community reporters


I am glad to have been equipped through the Community Reporters Training not only to capture the stories of suffering, but also those of hope in a better future

Muntadhar Salem Alhoreshawi, 25, from Missan in Iraq is one of eighty youth, including internally displaced, host community members and Syrian refugees, to have become Community Reporters after completing a training on broadcast and photojournalism. “I am excited to finally receive my certificate in broadcast journalism. It was a valuable, memorable experience during which I broadened my skill set and was able to reflect real stories of the people of my province as a community reporter and journalist.”

It was also an opportunity for the youth to learn a profession and find jobs. “I was inspired by the Community Reporters Training,” shared Bariq Fauzi Taher, 24, from Basra. His passion for reporting pushed him to go further, establishing a local media foundation with a group of youth. “The mission of Iraq Plus is covering news with impartiality and credibility, supporting the talents of youth and highlighting their causes.”

The training, provided by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), included participants from Basra, Dohuk, Erbil, Missan, Ninewah , Sulaimaniyah and Thi Qar. “One of the most important aspects of this training was applying theoretical knowledge through field work. I can tell better stories now through my lens, angles, depth and use of light,” noted Farah Ali Abdul Jabar, 22, from Thi Qar, who received a certificate in photojournalism.

One third of the participants were women and one of them, Rogesh Adnan Yassin, 23, a Syrian refugee living in Qushtapa camp near Erbil took a bold step: “I created and hosted two shows for the people of the camp. First, a cultural show with infotainment, Kurdish proverbs, and prizes offered by the camp shops. Then, another show followed featuring Kurdish/Arabic terminology and translations to improve language knowledge and promote cultural understanding and integration.”

The trainees also included 10 internally displaced people, one of whom is Lina Mohammed Etewi, 23, a wife and mother of 3 children. She and her family left their hometown in Anbar due to the war against Daech. They lived in Ninewah for a while before moving to Erbil. “I wanted the world to see the impact of war and displacement on us and our children. One of the main photo stories I worked on was the displaced children workers who sold goodies for little money to provide for their families. I am glad to have been equipped through the Community Reporters Training not only to capture the stories of suffering, but also those of hope in a better future.”

Thanks to the financial support of the EU via the Trust Fund, UNDP works to strengthen the long term resilience of targeted subnational authorities and their local/refugee communities via multiple programmes reaching around 670,000 beneficiaries in Iraq and Lebanon.