Justice for Yezidi / Yazidi Survivors of Genocide

by Free Yezidi Foundation
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Justice for Yezidi / Yazidi Survivors of Genocide
Justice for Yezidi / Yazidi Survivors of Genocide
Justice for Yezidi / Yazidi Survivors of Genocide
Justice for Yezidi / Yazidi Survivors of Genocide
Justice for Yezidi / Yazidi Survivors of Genocide


Giving Tuesday, it's all about giving!



Dear Friends,

The holiday season has begun and in light of this giving time of year, we urge you to remember to support the Free Yezidi Foundation. With your generous gift, you can help ensure that Yezidi survivors have a bright future and are able to recover from traumas they should have never had to endure. On this Giving Tuesday please support the Free Yezidi Foundation in our work to serve the women and children of the Yezidi community. 

One example of what we have done so far:

Community Sensitisation Activities in Khanke IDP Camp
Fall 2018

From April to June 2018, FYF psychologists offered lay counseling / basic MHPSS worker training to Yezidi women in Khanke IDP camp in two separate courses. The first one was a 10 week course with 2 hour weekly classes, and the second was an intensive full-time course for 6 days. The aim of these courses is to build capacity for basic mental health support work among the Yezidi women. 15 of our trainees have successfully graduated from both courses and they are now working for FYF. They call themselves Harikara, meaning "helper" in Kurmanji language. This project is funded and overseen by the UN Trust Fund to End Violence Against Women.


FYFteam discussing trauma and recovery with men in the community


After graduating, the Harikara ran a community sensitazation pilot, visiting tents and talking to camp residents about the impact of trauma on the community and about common mental health difficulties. They also taught the residents simple coping strategies, such as breathing exercises. With the support of our staff, the Harikara prepared a mental health information leaflet to distribute during their community work. Our community leaflet is both in Arabic and Kurmamji and uses illustrations for residents who might have difficulties in reading. 


Trauma, recovery, and stabilisation techniques with women and girls


The pilot was a success on all fronts. The Harikara themselves were very enthusiastic, gaining confidence and respect. They reached 104 members of the community in one week, and were able to refer those who needed more help to appropriate caregivers. The sessions were appreciated, especially as they were given by members of the Yezidi community. By the end of November 2018, the Harikara have visited 187 tents and provided basic information about psychological education and care to nearly one thousand people.


FYF is run by Yezidi women who are empowered to share knowledge and strength with others


Funding for this innovative project will expire midway through 2019, and we hope to continue to make sure our Harikara can keep doing their fantastic work with our community. Aside from this we have other great projects that you can support. If you would like to contribute, please see below.

For European donations, please click here.

U.S. tax deductible donations can be made to our specific project through the following links:
Children’s Center
Women’s Center
Justice Project 

I would like to thank our Foundation's friends and donors, and I hope we can count on your support for the coming year.


- Pari Ibrahim
Executive Director
Free Yezidi Foundation

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FYF Statement - Nadia Murad wins Nobel Peace Prize


Nobel Peace Prize winner Nadia Murad

Dear Friends,

Before ISIS began its genocidal campaign against our people, hardly anyone had heard of the Yezidis, our community, our religion, or our culture. Now, after this tragedy, the world knows who we are and what we have suffered. We are very proud of Nadia Murad for winning the Nobel Peace Prize and her struggle to help the Yezidis.

Sadly and incredibly, there are still thousands of Yezidi women and girls missing. Four years later, there are still thousands of women and girls who are either suffering as sex slaves or have been killed. Sex slaves, in 2018, because of our religion.

Thankfully, thousands of women and girls like Nadia have escaped or been rescued. It is important for the international community to remember that many of those survivors are living in huts, tents, or unfinished buildings with little access to daily needs, much less psychological care. It is absolutely imperative that the good will and sympathy extended to Nadia also reaches the thousands of other survivors who are in desperate need. We believe the Nobel Peace Prize can galvanize action and sympathy to the Yezidi cause. This must not be seen as a chance for superficial photos, grandstanding, or entertainment by governments or opportunists, but instead should catalyze meaningful humanitarian aid and human rights responses. The failure to uphold the responsibility to protect and standing treaties on genocide and crimes against humanity cannot be ameliorated by prizes or congratulatory messages. There must be real action, and there must be justice.


Nadia’s Nobel Peace Prize could be a great opportunity to sensitize the international community about the Yezidi genocide and make people aware of the current difficulties that the Yezidis face living in IDP camps.


The Yezidis have not obtained accountability and more needs to be done in order to take the ISIS perpetrators to real trials in courts of law. We urge lawyers and human rights actors to see this as a serious matter. Nadia also called on the international community to provide aid to the rebuilding of the Yezidi villages that have been destroyed by ISIS. The destruction, the instability and the lack of security have forced Yezidis to live in IDP camps and have prevented them from returning home.


Although there is the ongoing struggle to advance and defend the needs and rights of Yezidis, it must be recalled that survivors are individual people and have their own rights and needs. We continue to urge all actors to fairly respect Yezidi survivors of sexual violence as people, not only for their value in recounting the atrocities committed against them.


We applaud Nadia for her tireless advocacy and stand in solidarity with all Yezidi survivors of sexual violence, now and in the future.


Pari Ibrahim
Executive Director
Free Yezidi Foundation


To keep supporting the Yezidi community please visit our website or our Global Giving Page.

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Remember 3 August
Remember 3 August


FYF Invites You to Remember 3 August in Washington DC


FYF hosts an annual vigil in Washington, DC on 3 August. Please join us again this year
to show support for Yezidi survivors.

Dear Friends,

On 3 August 2014, ISIS terrorists overran the town of Sinjar (Shingal), carrying out a pre-meditated plan of mass murder, violence, kidnapping, rape, and other crimes against the Yezidi civilians because of their religion. The attacks have been widely described as genocide, including by the US State Department.
To mark the fourth anniversary of the genocide perpetrated against the Yezidis, the Free Yezidi Foundation and the American Ezidi Center call upon concerned citizens to join the vigil in front of the White House and express support and solidarity with Yezidis.
Survivors of the Yezidi genocide face immense challenges in trying to rebuild their lives. Sadly, even upon the liberation of Mosul, thousands of Yezidis are still held captive by ISIS terrorists. Meanwhile, survivors seek to improve their lives, despite three years of displacement. Most Yezidis now live in IDP camps in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq.
The Free Yezidi Foundation and the American Ezidi Center would also like to express support for other minority communities affected by the ISIS terror attacks, including Iraqi Christians, who have also suffered enormously.

The Free Yezidi Foundation and American Ezidi Center invite everyone to stand in solidarity with Yezidis on 3 August


This is a day to remember the suffering of the Yezidi people and to show the world that Yezidis are not alone. I would like to thank our Foundation's supporters and friends, and I hope many of you join us again with a candle on August 3rd.



Pari Ibrahim
Executive Director
Free Yezidi Foundation


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Yezidis Continue to Struggle in IDP Camps

Flash floods in IDP camps
Credit: anonymous photographer


Dear Friends,

It is nearly four years since the ISIS genocide was perpetrated against Yezidi civilians, and it is sad to note that most Yezidis are still languishing in IDP camps. Although the existential danger of ISIS terrorism has dissipated, Yezidis are still very far away from enjoying healthy and dignified daily lives. In early May, a flash flood had a terrible effect on families living in tents in IDP camps. As a consequence, many tents are damaged and has made life in the camps even more difficult. Further, the complicated political and security situation in Shingal combined with the lack of infrastructure and housing has made it hard for many families to return home. It does not appear that any government or party will soon be capable of providing security, stability, and reconstruction to the Yezidi homelands.

Activities at the Free Yezidi Foundation Center
Credit: Free Yezidi Foundation


FYF activities in the camp

Since 2015, FYF has operated a women’s center and a children’s center in the Khanke IDP camp. In the women’s center, FYF instructors, all Yezidi IDPs themselves, provide instruction in various courses. Our psychologists offer dynamic courses to help build resilience, overcome trauma, and deploy creative methods including art, sports, and music to bolster social cohesion and confidence. FYF is helping women to systematically craft and sell sewn and knitted items. Through this, they can provide some basic income to improve their living conditions. Our women’s rights instructor also provides information to the women and girls about family rights, legal support, non-discrimination, and laws in support of women and children. Providing accurate information is essential, and FYF psychologists have begun camp-wide seminars to help inform residents about trauma, coping mechanisms, and resilience.

We are expecting to dramatically expand our activities both in and out of camp in 2018. We want to provide Yezidis, especially Yezidi women, with the chance to attain greater economic strength and self-sufficiency. Stay tuned for further developments!

FYF trauma therapist conducts community meeting about trauma and coping strategies
Credit: Free Yezidi Foundation



Yezidis in Iraq and abroad are eager to see justice and accountability for the crimes committed against our people. At the same time, there has been a disturbing and growing trend in the efforts to promote justice for Yezidis. Firstly, a variety of actors have begun working with Yezidi survivors, and we have noticed some unfortunate trends in unethical and exploitative behavior. We believe justice requires a victim-centric approach, but we have found some individuals, organisations, lawyers, advocates, journalists, and consultants view the suffering of Yezidis as opportunities for themselves or a chance for ‘humanitarian tourism’ experiences. In our efforts to listen to and understand victims concerns and wishes, we have noted that many of the professionals who should be helping survivors are in fact exploiting their suffering for personal reasons.

We hope that the international community and human rights actors will adhere strictly to best practices and codes of conduct when dealing with Yezidi survivors, especially survivors of sexual violence. And we call upon foreign governments to ensure that they are not supporting unethical and exploitative practices. All those seeking to help Yezidis must in the first instance ensure that they are not re-victimizing the survivors!

Yezidi woman sewing at the Free Yezidi Foundation Center 
Credits: Free Yezidi Foundation


In coming months, we will be sharing some further developments in advocacy, humanitarian work, justice, and political representation for Yezidis.


- Pari Ibrahim
Executive Director
Free Yezidi Foundation

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Remember Yezidis on International Women's Day

A Yezidi women in an IDP camp after fleeing ISIS attack against the Yezidis in Sinjar

FYF statement for International Women’s Day 2018

Today, on March 8th, we celebrate International Women’s Day. For many women and girls around the world, this is a day of hope, inspiration, and solidarity.
For the Yezidi community, international women’s day is another opportunity to draw attention to 3000 missing women and children, still in the hands of ISIS or in unknown locations, forgotten by the international community but forever in the hearts of the Yezidi people.
For the thousands of women and girls who managed to escape, daily life is a struggle and haunting memories persist. Our psychologist, working with women and girls in an IDP camp, explains, “It has been three years since ISIS attacked the Yezidis, and they live in displacement, which has its own stress. This diminishes their ability to move on, as individuals and as a community. I do believe that justice would help the community move forward.” She continues, “I have heard of so many suicides, it is shocking. The trauma that members of the community have experienced remains a very serious matter.”
The burden of daily livelihood and combatting depression falls very hard on men, women, and children alike in the IDP camps. This is why FYF pays particular attention to the psychological well being of survivors, working to prevent women and girls from re-traumatization or exploitation.
The Free Yezidi Foundation supports all efforts in 2018 to draw attention to the rights, needs, and empowerment of women and girls across the world. Special attention should be given to women and girls experiencing or overcoming the most acute suffering, including Yezidi women and others who have experienced sexual violence.


On this day we thank Women for Women International / UK for the continuous support to the Free Yezidi Foundation's women's center. With the help of WfWI, we have been able to educate and serve hundreds of women and girls. We also would like to thank the whole team at the UN Trust Fund to End Violence against Women, for supporting our trauma program, for the benefit of Yezidi women and girls.

The Free Yezidi Foundation is competing in Global Giving's Girl Fund campaign. We are now ranked #23 out of 164 projects. If we can move up to the top four spots, our project could be funded for an entire year! This competition is for the number of unique donors. So we are seeking as many individual donors as possible. Please consider contributing $10 or more by March 14th by clicking here. We are grateful for any assistance you can provide.

To our generous friends and individual supporters, thank you for standing with our women and girls. We are grateful to you for your support!


- Pari Ibrahim
Executive Director
Free Yezidi Foundation

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Organization Information

Free Yezidi Foundation

Location: Duhok, NA - Iraq
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @free_yezidi
Project Leader:
Pari Ibrahim
Duhok, NA Iraq
$32,179 raised of $100,000 goal
221 donations
$67,821 to go
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