• Iraq Social Forum

Request for urgent support

from hitchman@... on Aug 02, 2013 11:01 PM
Dear Anja

The Friederich Ebert Foundation has for many years supported the World Social Forum. This has included the much appreciated support that Pascal Sambou gave us in Dakar, and also Sami Adouani in Tunisia. 

You may be aware of the very courageous efforts that are being made by the Iraqi Social Forum to hold the first Social Forum in Baghdad in September. 

Several members of the International Council of the WSF have been working with the local Organising Committee as an International Solidarity Committee for the ISF, providing input based on our experience. 

Funding has been partially secured from the Karibu Foundation in Norway. 

One essential element where funding is still urgently required is to train some local bilinguals in basic interpretation techniques. This is something that Babels,(the interpreters collective associated with the WSF), of which I am a member, has done in many countries, and has real expertise. 

The training is a prerequisite for locals to be able to cover the interpretation, and it is also a question of building local capacity. We always try to do this, and while a one week training course can never replace a 1-year proper training, it does often inspire people to take their studies further. 

 The training for the ISF is scheduled to take place near Erbil in 3 weeks time. I am including the minimum budget proposal, without which it could not take place. 

We have 3 professional interpreters who are also committed Social Forum activists who are prepared to fly to Erbil and train the Iraqis who have been selected on a purely voluntary basis.

As the Friedrich Ebert office that has responsibility for Iraq, we hope that you might consider sponsoring this very specific part of the Forum, and contributing to one of the aspects that is so key to the success, particularly as we hope to have several activities that are "extended"(i.e. remote link-ups via Internet), and that will require interpretation. This is such an important part of building solidarity between Iraqis and the rest of the world, and helping them to overcome their relative isolation!

We apologise for the short lead time, but hope that you will be able to help in this very special event. If you need any further information, please don't hesitate to get back to us! 

In solidarity

Judith Hitchman, member of the International Solidarity Committee of the Iraqi Social Forum
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