“I want children, teachers and parents to experience inner peace in spite of chaos and violence.”
Name: Soza Gaffaf
Profession: Life Coach and Reiki Teacher
Country of Origin: Kurdish Autonomous Region Iraq
Lives in the Netherlands since 1996
Soza came to the Netherlands in 1996 after she had to flee from the war in Iraq. She is very grateful for having been able to rebuild her life. She used to be a teacher and now freelances as trainer and coach. To give back to her country of origin, she set up the foundation Soz Fund.
“The violence in Iraq has been going on for years and destabilizes the lives of many. Especially children are suffering from it, they have a lot of fear and aggression. That is why I started the ‘Happy Child, Happy Society’ project, in which I use methods from pedagogy and psychology to help children, teachers, and parents to experience inner peace and happiness.”
The CD4D project allowed Soza to implement her project in the Kurdish region in Iraq in 2018. With support of the government she gave workshops in 21 schools in Erbil, Northern Iraq. She visited the schools and taught the methodology by means of exercises and homework. The pilot had a very positive impact on the children and the teachers were enthusiastic. Because of this positive feedback, the government decided to scale the project to all schools in the region, also schools for disabled children.
“My aim was to involve all teachers, parents, and social workers from every school in ‘Happy Child, Happy Society’. Each school now has someone that can train other teachers in the methodology so that my supervision is not needed anymore. I’m still involved every now and then but the government now has ownership of the project. CD4D enables me to contribute to the well-being of future generations. Their resilience is decisive for the reconstruction of a war-torn nation. I am hopeful and I am filled with joy for having been able to make an effective contribution.”
“I am hopeful and I am filled with joy for having been able to make an effective contribution.”
photography by Kristie Wernink