By 1st Lt. Scott Lewis, 1BCT, 1CD PAOMarch 27, 2009
BAGHDAD - The classrooms bustle with activity as former Sons of Iraq members attend a Demobilization, Demilitarization, and Reintegration Center to learn the skills necessary to thrive in the local community.
This DDR Center in western Adhamiyah teaches courses in surveying, electricity, mechanics, generator repair and solar energy.
"We here in Adhamiyah are so happy (that) Coalition Forces are supporting this project. The project helps the people of Adhamiyah by providing trade skills to local unemployed people. After graduating the program, they continue to assist the people of Adhamiyah by providing a local work force," stated Dr. Mokdad Hassan, a local tribal support council member.
Each of the muhallas, or neighborhoods, is allowed to nominate ten names for attendance to each cycle of the DDR program. There are four DDR centers in the district of Adhamiyah that all focus on a different trade skill.
While attending a six-month class rotation, each student receives a monthly stipend of $350. At the end of the program, after passing the final exam, the students are awarded certificates of completion.
The program is designed to take selected Sons of Iraq members from their checkpoints to the classrooms. The goal is to provide them with essential job skills that are in high demand.