The semi-autonomous region in the north of Iraq has seen over 2.5 million Syrian and Kurdish people displaced within its borders as a result of recent wars. Mosul, federal Iraq's third-largest city, home to Kurds and Arabs, was recently recaptured from the Islamic State, which as a result of their violence and raids, more than 500,000 Iraqis fled the city and are now slowly returning. Young people are at risk of becoming radicalised due to the presence of the Islamic State and lack of job or educational opportunities. SPARK’s programmes in federal Iraq and Kurdistan Region of Iraq, support youth from all over the country to access higher and vocational education and developing SMEs, to have better economic inclusion and rebuild their conflict-affected and war-torn communities.

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“We use Ai technology to the max”

Three young Iraqis founded the country's first agritech startup. The country's ailing date palm industry is being revitalised through the company's use of Ai technology to offer a variety of palm tree care services.

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“To the kids, I’m some sort of hero!”

Awjalan Fatimi, a 24-year-old IT graduate, lives in Darashakran refugee camp, near Erbil. He founded the camp's first-ever gaming centre, receiving 40-80 keen, young gamers per day. The centre provides a safe place for young people to meet, relax and game.

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“Successful online campaigns put my business on the map”

Huda Hassan is an online campaigner and business student who started a clothing brand during the COVID-19 pandemic. Her brand, Jamanaa, is turning the Kurdish cultural identity into an international trend. With her brand, Jamana, she is building a supportive ecosystem between other Kurdish, women-led startups.

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“I can face anything in this life with self-confidence”

Sitting serenely amongst the chaos of the bustling newsroom, 21-year-old Payam Sarbast is unique. She is the youngest news reporter at Rudaw, one of the fastest growing news channels in the Middle East, while just a year ago she had no job, no work experience and no confidence.

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Opening pathways to employment

  • 741
    Scholarships Provided
  • 64
    Jobs Created
  • 532
    Youth Trained
  • 1058
    Received Student Service