Now Is the Time to Spread Hope
It has been difficult to find bright spots in recent news coming out of Iraq. For an organization like EPIC the most current news on Iraq is key, and the last month has been particularly bleak. July saw reports of 436 civilian casualties, violence which has continued into August.
It is clear that conflict in Iraq is far from over. The road to democracy and peace was never going to be easy, but recent stumbling blocks have challenged even the strongest of convictions. It can be easy to lose hope.
But as Iraq seems to falter, we must remember that this grim narrative is not complete. A city like Baghdad, Basra, or Mosul is home to a million stories. Though far too many of these are touched by violence, others are filled with joy, love, and dreams for the future. These stories remind us that as long as people persevere there will still be hope.
Stories of hope are most important when times are darkest. EPIC is working to collect a new narrative of hope for Iraq. We are not bringing this hope from outside, but rather finding it within young Iraqis, and empowering them to share it.
Our crowd-funding campaign for PHOTOVOICEIRAQ: Picturing Change has now been going for two weeks. Picturing Change may seem like a small project, but for twenty young people it will be a life-changing experience. We may focus on the photographs, but what the project is really about is young people learning to recognize and respond to problems. It’s about talking, discussing, and building a community with their peers. It’s about learning that when they speak, others will listen.
Now is the time to spread hope. Will you help us? To make Picturing Change happen, we need to raise $29,500 by August 23. Please donate, then share this project and its message.
From all of us here at EPIC, thank you for your support.
We hope that August proves brighter than July.
Program Design Intern at EPIC. He is a second year masters candidate and the Barzani Graduate Peace Fellow at American University