Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) is a private humanitarian aid and development group out of Germany that has recently begun renovating schools in Iraqi Kurdistan. The organization, through its cooperation with the Rwanga Foundation, has been doing similar work for over two years in the region though. The Consul General for German, Kurt Georg Stockl-Stillfried, informed local media that, “On the one side, Germany cooperates with the Kurdistan Region of Iraq. We are here. And this is what we symbolize. And the second is, it is about the future. School, teachers, and most of all the students, are the future,” demonstrating the governments support of the group.

The schools that received renovation were located in Erbil and Sulaymaniah and totaled 16 campuses all together. Almost 10,000 teachers and students will get access to these facilities. Nearly one million dollars was put into the project and the renovations were done over the course of a mere 4 months. The opening ceremony was held last week and saw attendance by the Kurdish Regional Government’s Minister of Education, Pshtiwan Sadiq, as well as members of Rawanga, GIZ, and the German consulate.

The projects supervisor, Marc Levesque said, “We operate in the four main priorities, which is irrigation, water sanitation, agriculture, and job creation. We are also trying to support the community here through jobs creation.” Specifically, the renovations made targeted sanitation and water, sanitation, and electrical systems. The interiors were updated as well with repairs being made to existing windows and doors. Lastly walls were improved upon with plastering and a fresh coat of paints paired with general clean-up of the facilities.

The German government has long been involved with aiding Kurdistan in various forms. The German military has provided training to Peshmerga in conjunction to supplying weapons and equipment in great quantities throughout the Islamic State war. G36 rifles and the MILAN anti-armor missile system were the most noteworthy of contributions; the MILAN provided not only the security of thermal imaging on the front lines but the ability to safely engage ISIS vehicle based IEDs which had been overhauled with homemade armor modifications.

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