Their Stories...

How ICF Has partnered with longtime Iraq NGO partner, Justice Gate organization, to defend Iraq's children.

(*alias to protect privacy of the child)

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Ahmed* lost his father to a suicide bombing 3 years ago when he was 13. Ahmed dropped out of school and became the breadwinner for his widowed mother and 3 younger siblings. After landing a new job delivering food for a restaurant, he was suddenly arrested on charges of possessing a stolen motorcycle and held for 4 months. But Ahmed insisted he had paid for the motorcycle.  JG’s “street lawyers” helped prove Ahmed's innocence by investigating the case and presenting witnesses and evidence that the seller was the one that had stolen the motorcycle. The judge freed Ahmed to return home to continue caring for his family.

Noor*, a 13-year old orphan living in Baghdad, narrowly escaped early marriage.  After her mother and father died in a terrorist bombing, she and 3 brothers went to live with a poor aunt. While begging on the street with her brothers, Noor was arrested for vagrancy and spent 3 months in a reformatory. Her aunt, desperate for financial support, decided to marry young Noor off to a man for a sum of money.  JG street lawyers and social workers were alerted by local adults (serving on "Child Protection Units") and intervened with the aunt.  Through mediation, they were able to stop the marriage by helping Noor and her family set up a small clothing shop to generate income. Now, Noor remains free and no longer has to beg on the streets.

 
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Zahra* (12 years of age) is an orphan who had been living with an adult sister and working by collecting cans from the trash. When JG was conducting field visits, they found Zahra alone in a run-down mud home.   They learned that since police had arrested her sister a month earlier on prostitution charges, Zahra had been living alone.  She was suffering from malnutrition, skin disease, and tooth decay, and was in bad shape psychologically.  JG’s social worker took Zahra to the hospital and after asking her about relatives, discovered she had relatives living in another area. The social worker visited the relatives and asked if they would take Zahra in.  After some mediation, they agreed and Zahra moved into her new home where she can get the care she needs.