“Raise Your Voice” connects Iraqis affected by ISIL

MBN’s Raise Your Voice-Iraq has been instrumental in helping to change the lives of those living under ISIL in Iraq.

In an interview for the joint BBG/USAID podcast We The Possible, Raise Your Voice Digital Managing Editor Omar Fekeiki recalled two instances where they were able to provide an avenue for help, for those suffering under the extremists.

Fekeiki said a show on social services in Iraq featured a called from the widow of an Iraqi soldier, killed in combat with Islamic State, who spent a number of months unsuccessfully trying to obtain his pension for which she was entitled.  An Iraqi official, who was a guest on the program, agreed to contact the woman off-air. In a follow up with the widow, Fekeiki reports that she was provided with a one-time stipend and had her paperwork for the pension fast-tracked.

Another example of the show’s impact came in an episode about people helping orphans in Iraq. One of the guests represented an organization seeking to help orphaned children but had no place to house them. In a follow-up days later, an Iraqi man, who heard about their plight on Radio Sawa, donated land to the organization so they could build something to house their efforts.

“It’s amazing the way people are coming together on our platforms,” said Fekeiki.

Since its launch in 2015, the Raise Your Voice campaign has provided a platform for citizens to discuss and engage on topics that underlie the appeal of extremist ideology. Using a multimedia approach (television, radio and digital), Raise Your Voice is directed at exposing ISIL’s true nature, highlighting its hypocrisy and countering its false claims of acting in the name of religion.

Click below to listen to the interview on the BBG/USAID podcast We the Possible.