The Character Development Project contributes to the goal of equipping the future generation in order to transform the society of the city of Mosul. The objective of this project is to develop good character and leadership skills amongst young people and their mentors. The four main project activities are a) to train instructors on the Character Solutions International curriculum b) to teach the curriculum in schools in Mosul through our instructors c) to invest in students and teachers with character growth and leadership potential through additional programs and activities throughout the year d) to assist schools to improve their facilities and increase their capacity.
Many of the children that are in the schools now in Mosul have experienced brainwashing by ISIS and/ or trauma related to war and flight within the past years. For many children, both the home and school environments, which are formative for character development have been unstable or negatively affected since 2014. While Mosul is faced with the challenge of rebuilding its educational system, rebuilding schools, hiring teachers, paying salaries and revising curriculums; a return to pre-ISIS alone is not enough. We need to invest in the children that have been negatively affected to help them move past their trauma, grow in their character and become better leaders for the future.
After living nearly three years under the brutal ISIS regime, the city of Mosul was liberated in 2017. Many of the wealthy and educated people from Mosul have fled and immigrated abroad. For others who couldn’t leave, the oppressive regime through its strict laws and extremist teaching brainwashed many and left its dangerous imprint on the society of Mosul. Now that the city has been liberated, questions are arising over the future of the city. Aside from the political solutions that are not directly in the power of its inhabitants, the young generation will play an important role for future reconciliation, peace and prosperity. These are the same people that have lived through the atrocities and insecurities linked with the occupation by ISIS and the turbulent political dynamics in Mosul. It is important to help the children and coming leaders to process their experience and develop their character based on good values instead of continuing a cycle of bad leadership, corruption, and violence in the city.
As Operation Mercy Iraq, we believe that investing in the young people of today is investing in the change-makers of tomorrow. If we want to see positive change come from the people themselves, we need to help them to develop the vision, the desire for and character to become change-makers. Growing in character, valuing kindness, conviction, courage, integrity, humility, self-discipline, loyalty, diligence, thankfulness and wisdom will be essential to see positive leadership. Developing leadership skills and mentoring students will help them grow into their potential and can catalyse them to bring change and transformation to their society.
Should the one-year pilot program prove successful, Operation Mercy will continue to cooperate with the Ministry of Education to expand the program to cover more schools in successive phases and build on the training models to create greater impact