Domiz Camp Art Festival
On 18 November 2013, IOM Iraq, in partnership with UNHCR and the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA), in close coordination with UNICEF, and supported by the camp’s Development and Modification Centre (DMC), organised an art festival at the cultural centre in Domiz Refugee Camp. The art festival was planned to inspire the participants and connect refugees to a world of beauty, which they have limited access to in their camp. IOM staff arrived early to the cultural centre to adorn the bare walls with the artwork created by residents of Domiz camp. A children’s art competition was held, and professional artists living in the camp exhibited their artwork as well, as volunteers, guests and camp residents perused the paintings. A total of 27 children and adults participated at the event, making for a bright afternoon in Domiz. Throughout the festival, the hallways were filled with Domiz Camp residents, and many of the refugees volunteered to help set up the artwork. Along with IOM Iraq and UNHCR staff, many guests attended the event including the director of the DMC, representatives from the Ministry of Culture, UNICEF, UNFPA, IRC, NRC, various government ministries, and the Dahuk school districts. Along with additional collaboration with the KRG government and local NGOs, IOM Iraq, in partnership with UNHCR and CIDA, conducts vocational trainings, provides refugees with in-kind grants to start their own small businesses, holds business development trainings, and provides on-the-job training. Livelihood training is also supported with cultural activities, and IOM Iraq successfully held a film festival last month. This month, the art festival at Domiz Refugee Camp showcased the artwork of 27 talented residents. By the end of 2013, IOM Iraq aims to have assisted over 600 Syrians through similar livelihood programmes. Livelihood initiatives allow beneficiaries to engage in activities that have life-long benefits by focusing on developing useful skills and providing greater financial independence.