A team of the center’s youth volunteers implemented this initiative, which consisted of conducting a peace carnival that took place on September 1, 2018 at Sheikhan’s Park. A total of 45 people participated (25 HC, and 20 IDPs), (16 females, 29 males) from different religions, ethnicities, and cultural backgrounds. There were three speeches given by religious leaders (Muslim, Yazidi, and Christian), each speech emphasized on strengthening values of forgiveness and accepting others by quoting their religious texts. In addition, strengthening social cohesion between people from different religions and ethnicities in Sheikhan was highlighted. Religious leaders planted a tree in Sheikhan’s park. This initiative was covered by different media channels such as Kurdistan TV and Waar TV.
The initiative is one of nine youth initiatives carried out within the UoD and New York University project “Building University Capacity in Peace Education in Duhok and Mosul” supported by UNDP’s Iraq Crisis Response and Resilience Programme (ICRRP) and funded by the Austrian Development Agency (ADA). The project aimed to develop practical peacebuilding skills among at least 20 youth in three locations around Duhok heavily affected by population displacement and resulting community-level tensions, which are Duhok, Sumel, and Sheikhan. These initiatives demonstrated the youth’s increased ability to coordinate activities, to work with other stakeholders, and to complete projects aimed at enhancing peacefulness. In order to complete these projects, students engaged with local stakeholders and community leaders on multiple levels and worked through close mentorship by CPCRS.