The FYF Children's Center, located in the Khanke Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) camp, serves Yezidi children with comprehensive language training, computer skills, and play-based learning. As survivors and witnesses to the 2014 genocide living in protracted displacement, Yezidi children require specialized care to promote healing and long-term resilience.
In August 2014, ISIS militants swept through Sinjar in northern Iraq in a deliberate attempt to annihilate the Yezidis, an ethnoreligious minority. They employed brutal tactics including mass executions, rape, and sexual enslavement. Many Yezidi children were orphaned, almost every Yezidi child has lost at least one relative, and countless children are still recovering from human trafficking and forced conscription as child soldiers. Yezidi children are in desperate need of safe spaces to heal.
The FYF Children's Center provides a healthy environment where children have the opportunity to learn, play, and grow. Along with instruction in English, computer skills, and time for play-based learning, FYF also provides access to a psychologist and has a fully equipped outdoor playground. The Children's Center is a beacon of hope for hundreds of children who eagerly wait at the gate each morning, overjoyed to escape the daily realities of camp living.
The children served by the FYF Children's Center have endured horrific trauma. In order for the Yezidi community to recover from the attempted genocide by ISIS terrorists, children must be allowed to continue their educational, emotional, and psychosocial development. The Children's Center is a nurturing location where children can benefit from a safe, trauma-sensitive environment. This is a critical investment, as these children will become the future leaders of the Yezidi community.