In late 2013, Savina Dawood and several fellow Assyrian Christian activists founded The Etuti Institute* (“etuti” means “my existence” in Aramaic) to educate Assyrian Christians about their history, heritage and historical identity in northern Iraq and throughout the region. With the invasion in June 2014 of Daesh (ISIS), however, the Etuti team immediately shifted its focus to aiding Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs).
Etuti immediately began providing IDPs with various necessities such as food, water, shelter, medical care, feminine and infant hygiene products, and more. After working to supply basic human essentials, they realized the depth of the emotional and psychological trauma experienced by the IDPs, particularly among the children.
In response, Etutit shifted to focusing on the psychological needs of these traumatized children and youth. Etuti began designing programs and events to mentally, spiritually, and emotionally nourish these young people who had suffered through a terrifying humanitarian crisis. The goal was to reduce their understandable feelings of hopelessness and loss, and nurture a sense of optimism and hope within them. Etuti has been providing educational programs, sports teams and competitions, and Christmas celebrations including a gift-giving project titled “Little Smiles”, and today the Etuti Institute fully committed to continuing these future-looking, long-term development projects.
The Etuti Institute’s mission states:
Etuti Institute aims to bring children and youth together to build generations of new leaders within the community. Etuti will train the participants with leadership skills; will engage them in activities that demonstrate the importance of education, social responsibility, ethical behavior, and nationalistic development; and will create opportunities to continue their higher education, to establish career paths, and to ultimately fulfill their life’s dreams.
Stand With Iraqi Christians is pleased be in a working partnership the Etuti Institute and Savina Dawood (interviewed in Where Is Our Place?). SWIC is excited and committed to helping Etuti fulfill its mission through financial assistance and in spirit and prayer, to help raise up a new generation of leaders committed to a pluralistic, religiously tolerant and prosperous Iraq.
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