Former ISIS prison transformed to bring joy and support to youth
Association for Defending Victims of Terrorism – Once used as a prison by the ISIS terror network in Iraq, the UN sexual and reproductive health agency and partners have converted a former grim detention centre into a sunny space for youth.
The UN Population Fund (UNFPA), Iraq Ministry of Youth and Sports and the Governorate of Anbar re-opened on 25 December, the Ramadi Youth Safe Space –in what some saw as a timely Christmas gift.
Before ISIS confiscated it in 2014, the building was a House of Youth under the Ministry. During the war it underwent severe damage.
The reconversion and reopening of a space that used to recall sorrow and pain has been transformed into one of hope and strength.
Speaking at an event kicking off a new beginning for the revamped building, Ali Farhan Al-Dulaimi, Governor of Anbar, thanked UNFPA for its continuous support and investment in the governate’s young people.
Rita Columbia, the UNFPA Representative in Iraq, highlighted the importance of empowering youth and engaging them in community life.
“I am very proud of the young volunteers who had a dream and made it a reality”, she said.
“Thanks to their determination and the support they received from UNFPA, Canada, the Anbar Directorate of Youth and Sports, the Governor of Anbar, the Ministry of Youth and Sports, this centre became a welcoming and truly youth-friendly space”.