We’re not new to this. Servant Group has been active in Iraq since 1993. We’ve had teammates serve as full-time teaching staff as well as volunteers doing refugee relief, development projects and medical aid since the Gulf War. They love it!

But don’t mistake our 20+ years of experience for stale complacency. With the ever-evolving political landscape of Northern Iraq, we have been adapting our areas of service to including assisting those who are displaced by war. With the help and support of many, we have been able to serve Yezidi and Christian refugees by establishing a school within one of the largest refugee camps. We are able to serve over 1,000 students and their families every day.

And we are not stopping there! We are currently working towards opening a school for those who want to return home to Sinjar as well as continuing to improve the 3 Schools of the Medes that have already been established. There are many job and service opportunities available. Are you up for the challenge?

Team members helping with the schools typically serve for eleven months (late August – early May) their first term. Teaching experience or certification is not required, but certain college degrees are required for upper-level classes.

Team members teach subjects ranging from high school Literature and Sciences to elementary school Literature and Art. There are also shorter-term positions available (without degree requirements) for reading assistants and classroom helpers. In addition, team members can participate in and lead a wide range of extracurricular activities like hiking, book clubs, guitar lessons, and sports camps.

Because the schools use English for all classes, team members are able to “hit the ground running” from day one. Learn more on our Serve With Us page!

dsc06080You can go to Iraq! Join us for a one week trip March 24 – April 1 to experience life in Northern Iraq and explore long-term opportunities to serve. You will get a chance to see where our teams live, work, and play. Tour the ancient and the modern across the three main cities of the Kurdish region and fall in love with our students and neighbors. Apply here.

We have teams on the ground working to help provide clothing, shelter, and schools for families who lost their homes and jobs to war and ISIS.

Today in Iraq, ISIS is being pushed back and many families are starting to return home and rebuild their lives after spending nearly two years in refugee camps. The needs are great, the weather is wet and cold, and many are without shoes or warm clothing.

The worldwide refugee crisis is overwhelming, but you can make a difference. With your support, our teams in Iraq can purchase much-needed supplies from local businesses and deliver them now to families in need.

To help, please visit ShopForRefugees.com. There’s no ban on loving refugees.

North Iraq is a curious place to live and work. It is a strange and fascinating mix of cell phones and shepherds, iPods and ancient temples, strict traditional religions and refreshing openness.

Most people are very welcoming towards Americans. Our team members walk city streets, shop at modern malls or corner groceries, and wind their way through more traditional bazaars, never knowing what they’ll find.

Outings to restaurants and parks, countryside visits and picnics, and hikes to hidden historical sites make for interesting adventures.

Travel to Northern Iraq is fairly simple these days, with direct flights into the region now available from several major European cities like Vienna and Istanbul. Cell phones, international calling, and high-speed wireless Internet access are common.

All of this takes place in the part of North Iraq controlled by the Kurds an area that has been effectively partitioned and self-governed since 1991. The Kurds are considered to be descendants of the ancient Medes from the Old Testament. They are not Arabs, but rather their own ethnic group with a unique language.

They are a lively, colorful, and hospitable people; picnics and dancing are their two favorite national pastimes.

About 6 million Kurds live in North Iraq. Most are rural, but a third live in large and growing cities like Duhok, Erbil, and Sulaymaniyah.

Almost all Kurds are Sunni Muslims. A small percentage of the local population belongs to historic ethnic Christian communities. Perhaps 1,000 Kurds or fewer belong to newer, evangelical fellowships and denominations.

The first school opened in Sulaymaniyah in January 2001. The second school opened in Duhok in the fall of 2002, and in 2003 a third school opened in Erbil. There are now over 2000 students in the three schools.

Over 95 percent of the students come from Kurdish Muslim families. Many students are the children of local government officials and community leaders.

Parents, local officials, and community leaders are all very supportive of these schools.

Curriculum support, international staffing, and training are coordinated through our offices in Nashville, TN.

Click here for an exhaustive list of Frequently Asked Questions about living and working with SGI in Iraq.

 

Recent Updates from Iraq