17,000 posters in six minority languages on COVID-19 awareness distributed across Iraq
19 November 2021 – Six Iraqi NGOs partnered with the UNAMI Human Rights Office to inform the minority communities of Iraq in their own language on the human rights impact of COVID-19, advocate adhering to the health protection measures and the need to get vaccinated.
The tailored awareness-raising campaign over the last two months included the dissemination of 17,000 posters translated into six minority languages spoken in Iraq – Assyriac (Christian), Avesta (Zoroastrian), Kurmangi (Yazidi), Mandean (Sabean Mandean), #Turkmen (Turkmen) and Macho (Kaka’i). Posters were distributed by volunteer teams from the Christian (Etana Women Organization) Kaka’i (Methra Organization for Yarsan and Cultural and Development), Sabean Mandean (Yardana Charity Organization), Turkmen (Turkmen Rescue Foundation), Yazidi (Yazda NGO), and Zoroastrian (Yesna Organization for Philosophy Affairs and Zoroastrian Religion) civil society organizations.
The volunteers – 70 men and 51 women – fanned out, distributing posters at schools, hospitals, police stations, places of worship and public locations. In all, the campaign reached 67 city neighbourhoods and 12 remote villages in 25 districts across nine governorates which had not previously received awareness-raising material in their mother languages.
In addition to disseminating key messages on #COVID19, the awareness-raising campaign had a mutually reinforcing effect of raising awareness about minority languages spoken in #Iraq amongst local diverse communities, including those not familiar with the languages.
The campaign builds on the ongoing awareness-raising efforts across the country in the Arabic language, and in Kurdish in the Kurdistan Region.