Monday, June 13, 2005

War is harmful to children and other living beings.

I'm forwarding a note to a CODEPINK Women for Peace Discussion List I'm on about a fantastic opportunity for folks who want to help Iraqi, children, or Iraqi children.

The poster says she was at Fogbelt Studios (somewhere in the Bay Area, CA) where she a woman really lit up when she saw the poster's Code Pink button. I'll quote from her post:

A woman, May Tung, is a clinical psychologist who has
been working on a project toassist kids in Iraq w/ ptsd
(post traumatic stress disorder) in 2 ways:
1) teaching folks to recognize it
2) working w/ kids, including getting $ for stuffed
animals and stuff

It is a tiny program, but determined! They did one
shipment via Turkey/Voices in the Wilderness; this
become impossible to repeat so then got $ in via
Jordan and a toy store in Baghdad when he heard what
it was for sold at cost.

I don't have a concrete proposal, but wanted to
network to bring this to our attention and throw out
there: is there some way CP national or local (or GX)
is interesting in working w/ or supporting this?
Here are links and a copy of her leaflet is printed

IRAQI CHILDREN project was
founded in June, 2003, by Dr.Ali Hameed Rasheed, a
psychiatrist, of Baghdad, Iraq. The goal
was to train teachers and health care workers to
recognize PTSD symptoms in children and how
to help them. They named their program “TRAINING OF
TRAINERS (TOT).” They also hoped
to train mental health workers in child psychotherapy
which is in short supply in Iraq. After two
months of the activities of PTSD program, the funding
was cut by the American advisor in the
Ministry of Health. The project then collaborated with
SAFE TO PLAY" program. Shortly after the
collaboration began, UNICEF had to leave when
the conditions became too dangerous in Iraq. However,
the project continued, sporadically, in the
midst of explosions and gun shots, through funds by
the Together Foundation of Slovenia and
Austria. The Foundation funded the Babylon project
first, then, at a lower amount of funding, to
the Baghdad program. Baghdad mental health
professionals who provided the training in these
workshops volunteered their services without

On March 11, 2005, CBS’s Baghdad correspondent,
Kimberly Dozier, interviewed Dr. Rasheed
“Instead of using their
imagination or toy guns- they fire real guns, loaded
with blanks." Dozier reports, “They talk of
rivers of blood, and revenge."; Dozier asks Dr.
Rasheed: “So they are being trained to be
“I’m sorry to say that I think yes," was his

Such portraits should not surprise anyone: children
imitate and learn from what they see adults
doing unless there is timely and effective

AFTC and the PTSD program collaboration began in
December, 2004. It is our hope to fund
both the psychological items such as soft stuffed
animals to comfort the children, arts and crafts
materials for them to re-create and express their
inner states, puppets for play therapy, sports and
musical items for them to be children again, and to
PTSD training program, especially the
intensive training of child mental health workers.
These are ambitious and long term goals.
There are orphans housed in Mosques and tents
waiting for our aid. In fact, we believe all the
children in Iraq need help for their post-traumatic
psychological conditions.

In March, 2005, we were able to donate $800 of
psychological and re-creational items. These
items were purchased in Baghdad, thus, supporting
local business. When the toy shop owner
learned that the items were to go to children in the
refugee camps at Baghdad and Fullujah, he
sold them at cost! The first shipment just arrived in
Fullujan on April 14, 2005. We hope to
obtain photographs of the children’s reactions and
activities, if Dr. Rasheed and persons helping
him can surpass obstacles and enter the much damaged

This seems like the right thing to do in my estimation in so very many, many ways. We should not be forgetting the women and children of Afghanistan either. More on that one in another post.

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