SEED Foundation opened the doors to its first center in the capital of the Kurdistan Region, Erbil, on February 15, 2021, which will deliver integrated and comprehensive services to the host, refugee, and internally-displaced person (IDP) communities. Participants at the launch event, which adhered to strict COVID-19 safety precautions, included representatives from the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG), our donors, and other supportive stakeholders.
“After delivering our mobile services in Erbil for the past four years, we are delighted to be opening our first comprehensive service center to serve the residents of Erbil,” said Sherri Kraham Talabany, SEED President.
SEED Center Erbil will provide clients with a safe space to meet with SEED’s service delivery staff. SEED participates in Erbil’s MHPSS and GBV Working Groups, where organizations assess the high demand for services. SEED current manages a full caseload and continually has waiting lists for its services. This center expands SEED’s service delivery capacity to provide direct access to clients in Erbil, facilitate case management services, mental health services, legal support, and psychosocial support (PSS) activities. Separate from this Center, SEED also serves survivors and those at risk of human trafficking, including at SEED’s STEPS Center, a shelter for human trafficking survivors. SEED also operates four camp-based centers in Duhok Governorate serving IDPs and refugees, and a new urban-based center in Duhok. SEED plans to also open a new urban based SEED Center in Sulaimani in the fall.
These city centers serve as safe spaces where SEED can better provide quality, holistic mental health and psychosocial support (MHPSS) services throughout Kurdistan. It is the constant aim of SEED to strengthen the capacity of current and future service providers to protect those at risk of violence and conflict in order to support the recovery of vulnerable and conflict-affected people.
SEED thanks its corporate sponsor GardaWorld and other private donors for supporting the establishment of the new Erbil center. SEED is also grateful to the U.S. Government, the Government of the Netherlands, and the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) on behalf of the German Federal Government for supporting our services and the operations of the Center. The supporting governments and organizations participated in a ribbon-cutting ceremony to officially mark the opening of the center.
SEED estimates that the center will serve approximately 350 individuals per year. “The main purpose of the SEED Center Erbil is to provide an accessible, private, and confidential space to provide services to the clients from the host, refugee, and IDP communities living within Erbil Governorate,” commented George Odhiambo, a SEED protection and service delivery manager.
“The center will bring qualified and experienced case managers, psychologists, and lawyers with support from SEED technical advisors closer to vulnerable individuals seeking support,” Odhiambo said.