Independence for refugee women

We teach women in refugee camps in Kurdistan Iraq how to make herbal products so they can support themselves.

What we do

We teach women in refugee camps to make herbal products for their own use and to earn income. We provide hands-on education as well as mentorship from a well-known herbal school.

How we do it

Helping Herbs sends a clinical herbalist to Kurdistan Iraq for hands-on training twice per year. Kurdish staff members sustain the program throughout the year. Local women receive ongoing training in clinical herbalism and mentorship.

The workshops

Women learn by doing in our workshops, and they keep all of the products that they make. Products are chosen by the women based on their needs – for example, remedies for pain, burns, and health and hygiene. 525 women have benefitted in 2023.

This is Eman

Eman is a local woman who is training to be a clinical herbalist. She teaches the herbal workshops when Anna Rósa is not there. She has a university degree in English and has extensive experience in working in the refugee camps. Currently she is working part-time for Helping Herbs while we fundraise for a full-time salary for her. We must secure funding for her salary for one year so we can keep this project going.

This is Bashar

Bashar is our driver. He has a university degree in computer science. In Iraq there is no public transport system and the only way to go to the refugee camps is by using private transport. The roads are unsafe so it’s essential to have an experienced driver like Bashar to drive Eman to the refugee camps. We need to secure funds for Bashar’s full-time salary for one year.


What’s the impact?

  • 525 women in refugee camps have attended our workshops.
  • We have given away 540 herbal products – for example, remedies for pain, burns, and health and hygiene.
  • Five women have already shown interest in setting up their herbal businesses.
  • Five women are learning more about herbal medicine and have free mentorship from a well-known herbal school.


Terrific course!

Bahar Mirza lives in the Esyan refugee camp in Kurdistan. She is 47 years old. She grew up in Sinjar district in Iraq but the ISIS invasion in 2014 forced her to flee along with her family. She spends her days taking care of household work and tending a number of sheep she owns. This is what Bahar has to say about the ointment course of Anna Rósa:  „To me it was absolutely terrific. Something I had never experienced before. On top of that I could keep the ointment we made. I love this ointment.“

Every woman matters

You can change the life of women in the refugee camps by enabling them to get an education.


Your money matters

Staff members in Kurdistan are ensured a living wage. On the other hand, none of the board members or herbalists traveling to Iraq are paid salaries. You can be assured that your donation is going to Kurdistan.

We empower women in refugee camps

A clinical herbalist teaches women in refugee camps in Kurdistan Iraq how to make herbal products.


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