The Iraqi Children Foundation (ICF)
Orphaned, Displaced, and Street Children:An Urgent Crisis in Iraq.
The crisis facing Iraq’s children in 2015 is staggering. According to the UN, more than 900,000 children were displaced in 2014 as ISIS advanced. Earlier, in 2012, UNICEF reported there were an estimated 800,000 orphans after 10 years of war. Among the orphaned and displaced children are many who are desperately poor and working or begging on the streets. This humanitarian crisis poses a risk to the future of Iraq. Failure to act leaves these kids vulnerable to despair, poverty, and recruitment by terrorists, criminals, and human traffickers.
In 2007, two Americans working in Iraq founded ICF and began responding to the needs of Iraqi children with food, clothing, blankets, and other aid. Two years later, ICF received its 501(c)(3) taxexempt charity status (ID: 26-1394773) and laid out a vision to assist Iraqis in caring for these children by (1) serving as a catalyst to mobilize US and international partners, (2) investing in capacity building of Iraq’s NGOs, and (3) emphasizing aid for hand up, not hand out, projects.
ICF’s Initiatives in Iraq.
In 2011, ICF rescued a special center in Baghdad where desperately poor children – orphaned, displaced, and street children – came for nutritious meals, tutoring, health care, play, and more. For 3 years, ICF has kept the doors open. In 2014, this is what the center was able to achieve:
- 107 children (regular/part-time) were tutored and cared for
- 31,450 nutritious meals were served
- 82 children received medical exams
- 15 kids stopped working/begging, others reduced their work
- 28 cases of domestic violence were successfully addressed
- 18 children received legal help with family court or documents
In addition to the center, ICF has undertaken other major initiatives. In 2014, ICF moved quickly to mobilize emergency aid for children and families who fled from their homes as ISIS advanced. In a joint operation with trusted Iraqi and US partners, milk for babies, food, blankets, heaters, winter jackets, and other aid was delivered to the displaced. At year’s end, a 5-ton airlift of humanitarian aid and children’s soccer balls left the US for Baghdad. ICF also remains committed to capacity building for Iraqi social workers. In 2012, ICF brought experts from the award-winning Children’s Village of New York to Baghdad to train NGO and government caregivers on child trauma and equip them with practical tools to care for orphans and vulnerable children.
Leadership and Transparency.
ICF is an independent, nonsectarian charity that enjoys Guidestar’s highest Gold designation for transparency. ICF’s leadership includes Americans who served in Iraq, Iraqi-Americans, Iraq’s former Ambassador to the US, and the President/CEO of The Children’s Village. All Board members and US personnel are volunteers. In 2014, ICF’s overhead/administrative budget came to just 5 percent. ICF is supported by individuals, businesses, community organizations, and students. It receives no US government funding. With your help, we can expand our efforts to show love to these vulnerable, voiceless children in Iraq. Please visit www.sicfiraq.org or our Facebook page, or contact us at email@example.com.