The University of Virginia announced yesterday that Baroness Emma Nicholson of Winterbourne, a member of the House of Lords in Parliament, will be one of the guest speakers at the University on Monday, October 27, at a day-long Conference, to be held in the Newcomb Hall Ballroom.
Baroness Nicholson took her seat in the Parliament of the UK in 1997, after serving also as a Member of the House of Commons, and was appointed by the Rt Hon David Cameron MP as Trade Envoy to Iraq by The Rt Hon David Cameron MP in January of 2014, and is Executive Chairman of the Iraq Britain Business Council:
“She is a member of the United Kingdom Delegation to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe. She chairs the All-Party Parliamentary Groups for Foreign Affairs. She is Vice-Chairman of the All-Party Parliamentary Groups on Human Trafficking; for EU Enlargement; and for Georgia; and remains an active participant in a large number of these Groups.
In this invitation-only event, Baroness Nicholson and two Iraqis providing frontline services will join U.S government officials, and United Nations personnel, as well as representatives from non-governmental organizations and University of Virginia faculty members, in “Responding to ISIS Violence Against Women and Girls,” which has as its purpose “to deliver results at its conclusion.”
A frequent visitor to Iraq, the Baroness has been active in Iraq for decades, and is the founder of the AMAR Charitable Foundation which operates a British charity delivering essential services to populations affected by disasters – both natural disasters and those caused by human beings, including refugees and other displaced persons and seriously under-served persons.
AMAR ICF provides professional healthcare and education both on an emergent and lasting basis, in ‘best-practices’ healthcare delivery in primary care and mobile health clinics. The areas of concentration in education for both children and adults in literacy and numeracy and in skills-based vocational training, for over half a million recipients in the Middle East and South Asia with a concentration in Lebanon and Iraq.
Baroness Nicholson, has just returned from overseeing AMAR’s work in the refugee camps of Kurdistan in the north of Iraq and the two women who have accompanied the Baroness to UVa from the senior Iraqi emergency humanitarian team – Behar Ali, the top representative for AMAR in the Kurdistan region and Dr. Bayan Kader Rasul, an experienced physician specializing in women’s health. Behar Ali is herself a refugee from the village of Halabja, where there were 5,000 people who died in a toxic gas attack under the hand of Saddam Hussein.
During the conference on Monday, there will be morning panel discussions that will serve to provide an overview of the situation facing women and girls in these particular regions and an overview of the U.S government’s response to date.
In the afternoon, a number of working groups will address various aspects of the crisis, including the legal response thus far; as well as the risks facing these particular areas and what potential health, and economic and psycho-social support can be provided for those who are victims. It is expected that resolutions for action by the conference participants will be delivered at the conclusion of the conference.
There are six governing principles which frame every one of its charitable projects: It is local – the staff are indigenous and the supplies and equipment purchased locally; it builds on existing structures – it works with local and national institutions with international standards; its programs are sustainable – host countries are able to facilitate to self-governance; it teaches as it treats – there are topical and practical benefits through in-service training and outreach activity; it focuses on women and children – the Millennium Development Goals 4 and 5 are a priority and over a thousand women have now been trained as Health Volunteers; it works for all – all cultures and religions are treated respectfully
The office of AMAR Charitable Foundation in the United States is based in Washington D.C. and has built upon the successes of AMAR ICF, also providing healthcare and education services for populations living under stress who are either in war zones or in areas of civil disruption.
The AMAR model’s philosophy rests on restoring hope through sustaining essential services and service delivery structures, and on regarding those whom it serves as partners, not as victims, always respecting cultural and community values and without distinction of race, sex, language or religions.
The model has three components:
Respond to the crisis
Rebuild the community
Restore self- sufficiency