Date: Wednesday 27th April 2022
Areas: 2 churches of Mar Gorgies , Albshara House for Childhood Kindergarten, Telskuf Primary School for Girls and Telskuf Primary School for Boys
Duration: From 11:00 am to 2:30 pm
Participants: PGDO Team, Students, Local school’s teachers, interfaith leaders and church’s staff, local men, women, youth and children
Introduction: Peace Gate for Development Organization organized an awareness session on combat the desertification and increasing the green areas in Telskuf on Wednesday 27th April, reaching out almost 3500 beneficiaries in Telskuf helping to increase general knowledge of community, interfaith leaders and church’s staff, men, women, children and youth on Combating desertification and afforestation.
Background: Desertification is a process of gradual demolition of the biological productive capacity of lands and threatens vital ecosystems at a time when these areas are supposed to be suitable for establishing pastures and agricultural areas to raise the production of agricultural and animal production to treat population growth and a rise standard of livelihood. The United Nations Environment Program estimates the annual lost productivity in developing countries due to desertification at $16 billion.
Iraq is located within a geographical location that exposes it to the impact of direct climatic changes resulting from the global warming phenomenon that increases with human activities in terms of cutting down forests, lack of agricultural operations ,and the neglect of environmental activities that led to an increase in dust storms, drying up of rivers, lack of healthy drinking water and a high rate of diseases.
PGDO studied possible solutions to reduce the phenomenon of desertification in Nineveh plains, by organizing an awareness session on combating desertification and increasing green areas that educate the community about the importance of agriculture and its impact on climate and livelihoods. In addition, the agricultural activity of PGDO encouraged the beneficiaries to contribute to reducing the phenomenon of desertification by strengthening the sense of belonging to the citizens of Telskuf through the participation of male and female students from both schools, boys and girls, Albshara House for Childhood kindergarten’s children and church staff in the process of planting trees.
Objective: The main objective of PGDO’s activity was strengthening the local community of Telskuf through awareness raising on combat the desertification and increasing the green areas.
It is obvious that the agricultural activity was reflected on the personality of the children and students who are considered as builders of the community and has given them a sense of self-confidence and made them integrate or cooperate more with the members of the community through the joint agricultural activity. Also, the goal of the PGDO team’s awareness was to attract the attention of Telskuf population about the importance of planting trees with its benefits such as:
• Trees make life nicer. It has been shown that spending time among trees and green spaces reduces the amount of stress that we carry around with us in our daily lives.
• Children have been shown to retain more of the information taught in schools if they spend some of their time outdoors in green spaces.
• Trees improve our air quality by filtering harmful dust and pollutants such as ozone, carbon monoxide, and sulfur dioxide from the air we breathe.
• Trees give off oxygen that we need to breathe
On 27th of April 2022, PGDO organized an awareness on combat the desertification and widening the green areas, PGDO visited 2 churches , Albshara House for Childhood kindergarten and 2 primary schools for boys and girl in order to implement sustainable activity that includes planting trees that have been distributed and planted in Telskuf; the direct beneficiaries at a Telskuf primary school for girls contain (420) students and the educational staff, and the number of the students and teachers at the second Telskuf primary school for boys were (413) and a (393) children at Albshara House for Childhood kindergarten and around 500 – 800 persons at two churches. PGDO activities have been reflected also on the indirect beneficiaries, who are more than thousand individuals of the family of teaching staff and students, and also the community.
The activity of raising awareness of agriculture and combating desertification included achieving several interrelated objectives, which included urging the community to strengthen social ties through the interaction of community members from Albshara House for Childhood kindergarten’s kids, students of Telskuf primary schools for girls and boys, teachers and church members during the planting process and the contribution of improving climate change by PGDO’s encouragement for the community to increase initiatives the maintenance of a clean environment and activating afforestation activities. The agricultural activity of PGDO also has included the aspect of strengthening the personality of children, especially girls, and conveying the message of anti-gender discrimination in the implementation of activities.
PGDO organization has encouraged students to plant trees and write their names on a piece of paper on the planted trees to activate the sense of the land belonging and self-confidence that is reflected in the process of building personalities for individuals who represent the basis of a healthy future community that they in turn transform the ideas of afforestation, combating desertification, and increasing green areas to the rest of the future generations.
Direct Beneficiaries: the direct beneficiaries at a Telskuf primary school for girls contain (420) students and the educational staff, and the number of the students and teachers at the second Telskuf primary school for boys were (413) and a (393) children at Albshara House for Childhood kindergarten and around 500 – 800 persons at two churches.
Indirect Beneficiaries: PGDO activities have been reflected also on the indirect beneficiaries, who are more than thousand individuals of the families of teaching staff students, and the community.
Peace Gate for development organization organized the awareness in a successful manner and the most vital success in the awareness session was:
- There was a merger between community members about participating in the activity of afforestation and agriculture.
- It helped to strengthen the idea of belonging and a sense of responsibility among the community.
- The agricultural activity of the organization raised the level of awareness about the importance of afforestation and combating desertification through community and individual initiatives.
- Women had an active role in the process of afforestation and agriculture, which weakens the phenomenon of sexual discrimination in the community.
- Another success for PGDO was that PGDO paid special attention for COVID PPE (prevention protection equipment)
Security Updates in the area
Overall security condition was normal
Conclusion: PGDO’s activity benefited around 3500 beneficiaries in Telskuf helping to increase general knowledge of community, interfaith leaders with church staff, men, women, children and youth on Combating desertification and afforestation.
Aspects of the afforestation activity
The kids in Albshara House for Childhood kindergarten were excited to participate in the planting activity and they wrote their name on the planted tree
The Girls in Telskuf Primary School for Girls were so interested to be part of the planting activity
The readiness of the Telskuf primary school students for boys to participate in the afforestation campaign
The church members welcomed PGDO’s afforestation and combat desertification activity