By Syma Sayyah, Tehran
I went to Bam earlier this month as part of my responsibilities in Bam Zanan Group, a coalition of 44 Women NGOs that was formed immediately after the earthquake in Bam, last December. We went there to seek the help of city officials to grant us a piece of land so that we can take our project to the next phase. I am one of the women in the Executive Committee overseeing the work that is to be done, with the money that has been collected in the account opened by Mrs. Ebadi, from all over the world and within Iran itself. Our Official title is Women's NGOs & CSOs Coordinating Committee for Restoration of Bam, and we work towards our goal to build a cultural center for women there.
During this trip I saw that life is slowly coming back to Bam, but the quality of it leaves a big hole in everyone who has seen it before, or can imagine what could be like after five months.
In this trip we met the head of City Council Dr. Esmailee, a delightful gentleman, a poet and writer as well as a medical man. We also met the young mayor briefly at dinner table. We were promised a piece of land for this project.
My friends tell me that many other groups have started their work, why have we not then! The reason, I say is the fact that, first and foremost this is a big group and works towards a long term undertaking, which is very democratic, and therefore a little time consuming. Nevertheless, we have no problem with regard to transparency, clarity and accountability.
When this group was formed originally, at our first general meeting, it was stated that since we wish to carry out a long and lasting project, therefore if members wished to carry out any crisis or short term and medium term programs then they should go ahead independent of this group. We were to base our project on statistics and information some of which were not easily available and to those which truly address the needs of the people of Bam and especially young women and those who are family heads. A lot of work has been done and a great number of hours have been spent on discussing issues, checking things and collecting data. Enormous amounts of time and energy has been devoted to this cause. Many trips have been made to Bam, all the costs of which have been borne by the individuals themselves or their friends, to make sure that needs are assessed, information is reliable and opinions and experiences are taken into account.
Secondly, we have sought ideas and information from great many possible sources and experts. From those who have been involved in this project or their expert opinions and their experiences would throw light in order to give us a better depth of understanding about problems, outcome of possible decisions which might be taken, whether they were, governmental or non governmental organizations, for the sake of a healthier and a more superior final outcome of this group's work project. We conducted field studies through our vast group of affiliated NGOs members. After all of this work was done and considering the activities of other groups that work in Bam, and the general committee established the main goals, the planning committee, which is overseen by the supervising committee- reached the final decision that we [the Women's NGOs & CSOs Coordinating Committee for Restoration of Bam- representing more than 44 NGOs], will build a Cultural Center for Women in Bam.
The main aim of this decision rests with the idea of empowering women in Bam. This is achieved by assisting, helping them and encouraging them to learn a trade, to increase and improve their skills and general knowledge, and overall develop their lives and the lives of their children physically, mentally and otherwise. As part of this program, we want to set up a Park just for women, considering the local women's sensibilities and wishes encourage and enable them to be fitter and healthier.
In the second stage of our project, and in time before the first stage is finished, we aim to train many local women to carry on the tasks of be teachers, supervisors, trainers in future, before the center is ready to receive its first group of women who wish to empower themselves and improve their lives. This stage will be conducted mainly in Bam and or in Kerman, but we plan, if necessary, to bring some of the trainees to Tehran and train them at different organizations there.
In the final stage, we plan to set up a Review Committee to oversee and check the operation on regular basis, which will consist of our representatives, local organizations and members of the Women groups in Bam on the daily operation of the center and overseeing of its results.
This is important since may be for the first time, a large number of people and organizations want to work, as a GROUP TOGETHER rather than individually and separately. It matters to all of us this is well done and we devote as much time and energy needed in order to make this come true, to prove that Iranian can work together in groups. I can only ask you and or your organization to join us in this endeavor.
WE COUNT ON YOUR MORAL and FINANCIAL SUPPORT TO SUCCEED!
You may check our site at:
This is the account address for your donations:
Mrs Shirin Ebadi
Account Number 8080
Bank of Saderat
Assad Abbadi Square Branch (1238)
Tehran / Iran
You may contact us via e-mail or by post, our postal address is:
P.O.BOX 15745-471, TEHRAN/IRAN
... Payvand News - 5/25/04 ... --