Steve Aitchison

"The most powerful force in the world that can change the lives of millions of people is COMPASSION."



A Bit of Background

ACORN set out in 1993 to develop health and educational services in Northern Iraq. A couple of dreams and projects later, we are now operating in both Northern Iraq and Djibouti to build up under-serviced communities.



Helping The Community

Since 1993, we have been working in Northern Iraq among the Kurdish people group, the largest in the world without a nation state of their own. We pioneered Disabled Children's Services in Sulaimany, and were requested to replicate this program in Dohuk. Part of this pioneering involved the setting up of orthotic workshops and providing training courses to develop the skills of local physiotherapists. ACORN facilitated Child-to-Child training for disability awareness in local primary schools, as well as training for parents, and supported an income-generation project for Anfal widows. We are continuing our efforts to this day and making more plans for a brighter future in Northern Iraq.


Committed to Transforming Communities

At the heart of every project, whether it's in Northern Iraq, Djibouti, or any other country, is the desire to see communities develop into their full potential. We believe that education plays an important role in every community, and are dedicated to make it more accessible in remote environments. However, we seek to provide more than just supplemental education in the areas of language, mathematics, and social studies. We work with communities to recognize their needs and bring solutions in areas like medicine, mental health, and gender equality.


Building Our Community

In 2015, a small team set out to start ACORN Djibouti! They were able to officially register our NGO the following year. Since then, we've been working with three different people groups found in our community: the Afar, Somalis, and Yemenis. Over the past two years, our team has tripled in size and we are now implementing new projects that involve everything from recycling initiatives to a mobile library. At the same time, we are learning local languages, building connections, and establishing ourselves as part of our community. We also partner with local organizations to strengthen their work in areas like medicine, English as a second language, and distributing school supplies.



Become a partner with us to see change happen!

ACORN is a non-profit organization that runs on the generosity of our partners. We would be honored if you joined our team!


Our Board of Directors

Rodney Thorpe, Chairman 
Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

Stephen Ashworth, Secretary
Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Bob Swank
Kansas, United States


"Helping others in need is not only a responsibility of life; it is what gives meaning to life."

Mollie Marti




©2017 by ACORN. Proudly created with