In 2005, we started our activities in the multiethnic city of Kirkuk, where we opened the first rehabilitation center for survivors of torture in Iraq. Since then, we have established a network of nine branches throughout Kurdistan-Iraq where more than 20,000 men, women and children have received help.
Each year, the Jiyan Foundation assists thousands of victims of human rights violations. On average, 50% of those who seek our help are female adults, while 30% are children and adolescents. The majority of our clients are Kurds, followed by Arabs, Assyrians, and Turkmens.
The Jiyan Foundation promotes the physical rehabilitation, mental well-being and social reintegration of survivors and their family members by providing them with medical treatment, psychotherapeutic support and socio-legal counseling. In addition, we seek to protect survivors of past human rights abuses and prevent future acts of violence through professional training, human rights education, public awareness-raising, and political advocacy. Our activities focus on six thematic programs:
- Program for Survivors of Torture
- Program for Victims of Genocide
- Program for Refugees and Displaced Persons
- Program for Women and Girls
- Program for Children and Adolescents
- Program for Democracy and Civil Society
The variety of these programs depicts our holistic approach which we base on the experience that in post-repressive societies, the rehabilitation of individuals, families and communities is a crucial step in building a peaceful civil society.
The Jiyan Foundation strives to provide high-quality trauma therapy and mental health services while also strengthening local development. To do so, we rely solely upon local psychotherapists and counselors who attend regular trainings and seminars. With our highly trained staff, clients have access to culturally appropriate screening methods and examinations as well as therapeutic interventions. Our staff treats patients not as stigmatized "victims", but instead welcomes constructive criticism and encourages them to be active participants in their rehabilitation process.
The programs of the Jiyan Foundation are carried out by a young team of more than 140 multilingual professionals. Our staff in Iraq includes medical doctors, psychiatrists, psychotherapists and social workers, as well as pedagogues, lawyers, researchers and project managers. We aim for at least 40% of our staff to be women. All personnel are required to have a "clean" biography without any involvement in past or current human rights violations or sectarian violence.