A Girls Sanctuary

A Girls Sanctuary in Iraq

Submission: November 20, 2021
Registration: November 20, 2021
Language: English
Location: Iraq
Prizes: Please see details below
Type: Open


Tamayouz Excellence Award invites architects and designers to submit their ideas for a safe and comfortable space for homeless girls that supports their health, educational and psychosocial needs and helps them to achieve their own potential.

The Challenge

A quarter of Iraq’s children live in poverty, and a third of all children in Iraq are unable to access their basic human rights. Child poverty is a persistent issue in Iraq, which limits the potential of a large percentage of Iraq’s youth, curbs educational attainment, generates poor health in the individuals, and prevents children from realising their basic rights.

There are many organisations dedicated to such matters; however, only a few of them are devoted to girls only. Girls are particularly at risk and suffer specifically from personal and societal stigmatisation in ways that boys do not. In the past it has been more difficult to find official support for girls shelters. For this reason, the idea of a girls sanctuary emerged.

The sanctuary will be committed to the welfare of children throughout the whole of their childhood as a preventive measure in the fight against abandonment and social ostracism.

The sanctuary should aim to restore the balance in life for the abandoned, destitute, and spiritually and physically traumatised children, and help in establishing a new environment where awareness of such issues is spread. It should also inspire NGOs  to start taking control and contributing more to the community.


Participants are asked to design a sanctuary for homeless underage girls, as well as older female teens (4-18 yrs old).

The sanctuary should provide security and a sense of community for the young girls, while presenting opportunities for them to stand out and contribute positively towards their community.

The environment of the sanctuary should not only be a shelter, but it should reflect the possibilities of the built environment for supporting health, psychological, educational and cultural needs while harnessing the power of art and creativity to encourage young girls to express themselves, and be brought back into the culture of the country in a way that is open, progressive and nourishing for them. The ancient river site might play a major role.

Our Competition Site

Location: 15,000m2 plot, situated in a green agricultural/rural area on the eastern bank of the Tigris river, offering the opportunity to raise the girls in a serene and healthy environment.

  • The maximum water level during spring is -2m
  • The minimum water level during summer is -4m

Sanctuary Objectives

Family: The sanctuary offers a sense of belonging. Here, girls learn values, share responsibilities and form lifelong relationships. A family environment gives them a solid foundation on which to  build their lives.

Respect: Each girl’s voice is heard and taken seriously. Girls participate in making decisions that affect their lives and are guided to take a leading role in their own development. Each girl grows with respect and dignity as a cherished  member of her family and society.

Mental Health: Emotional wounds are healed and confidence is built. Girls learn to trust and believe in themselves and others. With this self-assurance, each girl can recognise and fulfill her potential.

Safety: Girls are protected from abuse, neglect and exploitation, and are kept safe during conflicts and war. Girls have shelter, food, healthcare and education. These are the basic requirements for the sound development of all girls.

Identity: Girls will need to be brought back into the culture of the country and region in a way that is open, progressive and nourishing for them.


Architects, students, engineers and designers are invited to participate in this competition. Participation can be on an individual or team basis (maximum of 6 members per team).  We encourage the participation of multidisciplinary teams.


2ND PLACE  $3000 + CERTIFICATE +  Invitation to attend  the Award Ceremony (Flights and Hotel)
3RD PLACE $1000 + CERTIFICATE +  Invitation to attend  the Award Ceremony (Flights and Hotel)**
Up to 7 Honourable Mentions  CERTIFICATE
TOP 20 Published work in publication, on our website, social media pages and in exhibitions.


>>> Go to the competition’s website <<<