This week was very busy! In addition to continuing my research on legal aid assessment and best practices, I held my workshop on Monday, and it went very well. The representatives of legal clinics are concerned about sustainable funding and were happy to build their capacity in proposal writing. Out of the five NGO’s I have received 3 proposals, which I am providing feedback for (they are in Arabic, so my review has been slow). These NGO’s will present their proposals to their prospective governorates at our annual Partners’ Meeting. Hopefully these skills will build their capacity in a way that will enable to secure more funding in the future. On Wednesday, I had the opportunity to attend a conference hosted by the Iraqi Alliance for Disability (IADO); the discussion focused on Iraq’s new commission on disability law reform. The advocacy component of Access to Justice is working closely with government leaders to ensure the new laws and policies will conform with international standards. The event was outside of the compound, so for security precaution I wore hijab (scarf covering). I will be posting pictures, and the Iraqi staff claimed I looked “pure Iraqi.” Afterwards my colleague took me to a nice Iraqi restaurant for lunch. I don’t get to leave the compound often, so I was very happy for the outing.
On Thursday, we had our weekly barbeque. Individuals from USAID and Mercy Corps joined us, and it was nice to meet more people. On Saturday, I visited the United States Embassy for the first time to meet with USAID officials and discuss A2J’s projects and progress within Iraq. The embassy is absolutely enormous; it is the largest embassy in the world. That about sums up last week, I look forward to sharing my next adventures as I’m leaving for Erbil, northern Kurdish region, this week.