FYF provides an environment for children to be safe and enjoy enriching activities, despite their harsh environment. 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 addition, FYF safe spaces for children liberate Yezidi women, who can then pursue education or employment.
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.
FYF children's safe spaces provide healthy environments where children have the opportunity to learn, play, and grow. They are beacons of hope for children to learn and grow in a safe and nurturing environment. This also allows Yezidi mothers with a significantly increased chance to seek employment or education and training. This project helps cover FYF's costs for overseeing and maintaining the child safe space.
The children served by FYF 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 safe spaces are nurturing locations 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.