Karen Dabrowska

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Meeting of KAF Steering Committee, 14th May 2016

Venue: St Marylebone Church

Minutes of Meeting

In attendance:

Shafiq Harris (shafiqaharris@gmail.com) – SH (Chair)

The Revd Canon Stephen Evans, (patron) (rector@stmarylebone.org) – SE

Karen Dabrowski (karendabrowski606@yahoo.co.uk – KD

Peyman Heydarian (moonlight_culture@yahoo.com) – PH

Aza Abdulla (aza.abdulla@googlemail.com) – AA

Kawa Alamsi (kawa26@gmail.com) – KA


Ben Wiseman (ben.wiseman@gmail.com) – BW

Tara Abdulla (t1ra@aol.com) – TA

Saman J Harris (samanjharris@gmail.com) – SJH


Rang Shawis

1 – Minutes of previous meeting:

The minutes of the previous meeting were read and approved.

2 – Rise Foundation

Tom Robinson of the Rise Foundation informed the KAF by email that the humanitarian space in Kurdistan is now crowded with NGOs and the foundation will now focus on information gathering under the auspices of the UN. He thanked KAF for its support (KAF contributed around $100,000 to the foundation’s charity work) and the relationship ended on good terms.

3 – Resignations

Sarah Panizzo resigned from KAF due to the demands of her other commitments.

4 – Appointments

Kawa Alamsi and Karen Dabrowska were appointed trustees of KAF.

Dr Feriad Huwasi, Dr Ferryal Ahmed and Mansour Iza Panah will be invited to join KAF.

Rang Shawis, who will no longer be a trustee, will be thanked for his work with KAF.

5 – Current issues

a: My Donate

Donations to KAF will be received via the My Donate button on the website. KAF will no longer be accepting donations for the Rise Foundation.

b: Winter Campaign

KAF donated £12,974.50 to the Rise Foundation for the Winter Campaign.

Shafiq Harris raised £1600 for the Winter Campaign

6 – Assisting Ashty Dizaye with sending educational toys to Syrian children in refugee camps in Kurdistan

KD was given £50.00 to buy educational materials (colouring books, pens, paints, pencils etc.) and to give them to Ashty Dizaye who is supplying educational materials to Syrian children in refugee camps in Kurdistan. KD will liaise with Mr Dizaye about his charitable work in Kurdistan and donations to his charity may be made on a regular basis.

7 – Social media

The meeting was concerned that no progress has been made with updating the website which is still only one page and with posts on KAF’s facebook page. The last post was made in November 2015. Despite her undertaking to assist KAF Jessica Falk has not made any contribution to KAF’s website or facebook page.

KD will liaise with AA, PH and KA regarding material for the website and facebook pages. KA will update the website with the material provided. Tim Frost has also agreed to assist with updating the website if required.

SA pointed out that information about projects for donation should be on the website. Links with local charities, modelled on KAF’s relationship with the Rise Foundation, should be established. KA and PH will ask their contacts to suggest suitable projects in the Suleimaniyah area. SH and other KAF members will visit Kurdistan in September/October on a fact finding mission to investigate opportunities for future assistance.

8 – What next? Zargela proposal

Patrick Dean proposed assistance to Zargela, a village near Rawanduz, which was destroyed by Turkish bombing targeting the PKK. There were no PKK fighters in the village but the homes of the local people were destroyed.

The meeting endorsed his suggestion. SH will invite Patrick Dean and other KAF members to accompany him on a fact finding visit to the region in September/October 2016. The KAF could make a contribution to rebuilding projects in the area.

Patrick Dean has done some research on materials needed to rebuild homes in the style of those destroyed in the area and has compiled a small file containing US construction subsidiaries located in Iraqi Kurdistan to determine the amount of material needed etc. He is happy to explore the idea further and pass on his research findings.

9 – AOB

Kobane Ecological School

PH described an ecological school in Kobane which is seeking assistance, including help for installing solar panels. The meeting agreed to support the school if it provides the KAF with a formal request for the supply of equipment.

Publicity for KAF at Sixth Festival of Kurdish Music

PH will provide publicity material about KAF at the Sixth Festival of Kurdish Music which will be held on June 11th, 2016 at the School of Oriental and African Studies in London.

Date of next meeting: St Marylebone Church on Saturday, September 10th, 2016 at 2pm.