Building friendship and partnership through education
For nearly a generation, Iraq has been central to US policy in the Middle East. Within Iraq, the Kurdistan Regional Government, a semi-autonomous region where Iraqi Kurds constitute a majority, has stood out as a major player and stalwart US partner. The Kurdish Peshmerga (“those who face death”) forces lost nearly 2,000 soldiers in the fight to dismantle territorial ISIS. Another 11,000 were wounded. Without their battlefield courage and sacrifice, the US casualty toll would have been much higher. As one Peshmerga commander noted, “We were America’s boots on the ground.” In addition to other partners in Iraq and Syria, Americans owe a great debt of gratitude to the Peshmerga.
Spirit of America has a long record of supporting partnerships between the US and Iraq. During recent engagements with the Ministry of Peshmerga Affairs and the US Office of Security Cooperation – Iraq, a need was identified to reinforce this vital relationship through education. Supporting schools in underprivileged areas will promote education and strengthen the vital partnership between Americans and Iraqi Kurds. Additionally, given the number of US troops stationed in Iraqi Kurdistan (part of the Defeat-ISIS Campaign), the goodwill and friendship fostered by this display of generosity will help ensure lasting local support for their presence.
Working with US diplomats and military officials in Erbil and the Ministry of Peshmerga Affairs, Spirit of America will provide 700 student backpacks to four schools in Erbil’s outskirts. The backpacks, each of which contains school supplies, will be distributed to children from low-income backgrounds.
To fund this effort, we need you. Your support promotes education and friendship between Americans and the people of Iraqi Kurdistan. During these uncertain times, and with ISIS still capable of causing harm, partnerships are more important than ever.