Ashraf, like many other young boys, was forced to flee his hometown in Mosul in 2015 due to ongoing conflict in the region, eventually settling in Laylan 1 Camp in Kirkuk.
When Ashraf first arrived at the camp, he struggled with the psychological effects of displacement. He often isolated himself, skipped school, and even began acting out against his siblings and parents.
The Blumont-organized Youth Committee noticed Ashraf frequently sitting in his tent all day and contacted staff to reach out to him. Blumont’s community mobilizer visited Ashraf and invited him to a social center, where other young people spent time together after school playing ping-pong, foosball, and soccer, among other activities.
Ashraf’s parents were delighted with the idea and encouraged him to go, but Ashraf refused. After a few more visits from Blumont’s community mobilizer, Ashraf was finally convinced to give it a try—and then he kept going. Soon, Ashraf was forming friendships that helped boost his self-confidence and renew his sense of belonging.
Noticing Ashraf’s character change and increased engagement, he was nominated to the Youth Committee, where he is now one of eleven young people contributing ideas and suggestions to better their camp community.
Ashraf plays an active role in decision-making, helps to run the social center, organizes activities, and raises concerns and needs during weekly committee meetings. On International Youth Day, Ashraf worked with his peers to organize a camp-wide event to celebrate young people and raise awareness of their challenges and rights.
Now, Ashraf leads a group of his own that is dedicated to identifying other youth in the camp who are isolated. On visits, Ashraf uses his own story of transformation to inspire other young people struggling with the effects of displacement and encourage them to attend Youth Committee activities like he did.
Blumont’s Camp Management, Mobile CCCM, and Quick Impact Projects (C2MQ) Program, funded by UNHCR, provides safe and dignified living conditions in 10 IDP camps across Kirkuk, Baghdad, Salah Al-Din, and Anbar. Across the camps, Blumont facilitates shelter, protection, youth activities, training for camp representatives and staff, and health awareness campaigns, benefitting more than 9,200 people.