The Need: Christian and Yezidi homes and businesses in northern Iraq have been completely destroyed, due to IS (Islamic State). Families are living in poverty, with little means to feed themselves or pay the bills or send their children to school. With small business start-up grants these families will soon be back on their feet, able to provide for themselves.
The Solution: We restore and restart businesses to transform the economic situation in these devastated towns and villages. Each business averages $5,000 in start-up funds (equipment, initial rent, etc.) and supports 1-5 families. With your help we can launch another 20 businesses, significantly impacting the lives and economy of the region.
This project gives returning minorities, who often are excluded from chances for economic advancement, the opportunity to work and earn a living—one of the most effective ways for them to rebuild their lives with dignity and purpose.
It assists religious minorities resettling in their liberated cities by funding small and medium sized businesses through specific grants in order to strengthen these beleaguered communities, to promote economic self-reliance and sustainability, and to rebuild their future in order to thrive in their homeland.
Shai Fund has previously completed over 30 businesses in northern Iraq, including A bakery, autobody shop, aluminum & window fitting shop, blacksmith stores, mini-markets, a medical clinic, a honey bee farm, a sheep arm, restaurants, pathology labs, a mobile painting business, barber shops, a doctor’s clinic and many more. Thanks to the Aurora Fund for Awakening Humanity we have been able to complete another 17 businesses in 2020 and are now looking for funding for 2021.
After fleeing genocide and persecution by the Islamic State (ISIS), the Christians and Yezidis of Iraq are able to return to their homes and areas of former businesses. However, their businesses and towns have been completely destroyed and the people who return find themselves facing an unstable security situation, compounded by dire economic challenges.
Despite the international communities’ genocide declaration, these religious minorities in the Nineveh Plains and Sinjar have received little investment. Without jobs or major economic revitalization projects underlying issues such as poverty, migration, and instability will continue to form barriers to peace and stability.
Peace is a key component to sustainable development and a healthy business environment is key to that development. In conflict-ridden communities where businesses operations were severely disrupted, such as in the Nineveh Plains and Sinjar regions, they saw destruction and looting of their businesses, disruption of food security, and loss of income. Each are major drivers of insecurity, and compound other forms of discontent, such as poverty, unemployment, and marginalization.