Yezidi Children's Safe Space

by Free Yezidi Foundation
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Yezidi Children's Safe Space
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Yezidi Children's Safe Space
Yezidi Children's Safe Space
Yezidi Children's Safe Space
Yezidi Children's Safe Space
Yezidi Children's Safe Space
Yezidi Children's Safe Space

 

AUGUST 2022 - NEWS AND UPDATES

 

Dear friends,

The Yezidi community gathers every year in August to commemorate the 2014 Yezidi Genocide, assess challenges, and call for support to and solidarity with our people. Please read on for August monthly news and updates.

YEZIDI GENOCIDE COMMEMORATION
The Free Yezidi Foundation, Sinjar Academy, and Youth Bridge Development Organization held an in-person commemoration event at FYF's Enterprise & Training Center in Khanke. The event included displays by Yezidi artists and statements by Yezidi civilians and UN and diplomatic spokespeople. Mahdi Murad opened the ceremony with his poem: "We have lived eight years as if they were one day. We all became orphans after August 3rd. We don't want to live a jungle life where the strong eat the weak... the young have lost years of their lives."

A two-minute video from a journalist who covered the commemoration event can be found by clicking here.

FYF, SA, YB staff members united on 3 August; Abo Majed holds photos of missing family members; paintings by Yezidi artists on display; UNITAD and Netherlands representatives address Yezidi community
FYF also hosted four virtual panels to commemorate the Yezidi Genocide. These panels included Yezidi and international experts as well as representatives from governments, United Nations, and non-governmental organizations.

- "In most genocides, there is some story of 'we did not know it was happening.' But with ISIS, it was happening in plain sight. When [European ISIS members] do return, we should not prosecute them for smaller crimes, but we should prosecute them for complicity in genocide." - Netherlands Member of Parliament Pieter Omtzigt

- "When I speak as a prosecutor about holding ISIS perpetrators accountable for atrocious crimes against Yezidis, I have to say that there is still a lot to be done, and that the process of bringing ISIS to justice has just started." - German federal prosecutor Anna Zabeck

- "I call upon the Government of Iraq to use a whole-of-government approach to support the Directorate for Survivors' Affairs created by the Yezidi Survivors' Law to deliver on each of the benefits promised by the law." United Nations SRSG Pramila Patten

- "The Sinjar Agreement lacked extensive consultation with the local population...it cannot be implemented effectively nor improve the lives of Sinjar's residents if it does not receive buy-in from the local community...the US Government has heard this loud and clear from the Yezidi community." - US State Department Deputy Assistant Secretary Jen Gavito

The full recorded discussion can be viewed on FYF's social media platforms. Click here to watch.

FYF released a 3 August 2022 statement calling on international stakeholders and policymakers to contribute to the well-being, empowerment, and rehabilitation of the Yezidi community. The statement calls for the following:

- No-fly zone over Sinjar
- Education and empowerment of Yezidi IDPs
- A functional plan to rescue missing Yezidis and support survivor recovery
- Ensuring ISIS perpetrators held in Syria face justice
- Allocation of resources for Yezidi civil society

FYF Executive Director Pari Ibrahim also co-authored three opinion pieces to mark the Yezidi Genocide:

Yezidi Post-Genocide Plight - Severe Challenges Eight Years on (Newsweek)
Remembering the Yezidi Genocide Eight Years Ago (Jerusalem Post)
Eight Years after Genocide, the World Owes the Yezidis a Debt (National Interest)

Finally, the US Department of State released a video about FYF's work to commemorate the Yezidi Genocide. Click here to watch.
BIRTHDAY CELEBRATIONS FOR DISPLACED YEZIDI CHILDREN

This month FYF announced an initiative to throw birthday parties for displaced Yezidi children. Many young Yezidis in Iraq have lived in IDP or refugee camps for most or all of their lives, and many have never celebrated a birthday. You can now sponsor a birthday party for a Yezidi child and ten of his or her friends at FYF's Sugar is Sweet bakery and café.

The child will receive a hand-crafted stuffed animal, made by our Yezidi crafts artisans, and a birthday party with cakes, drinks, and sweets at our cafe, staffed 100% by displaced Yezidi women. This initiative helps to support the crafts and bakery enterprises while providing displaced Yezidi children with a day of hope, happiness, and pleasant memories. You can participate in this initiative today by clicking here.

FYF REMEMBERS THE KOCHO MASSACRE
The Yezidi community remembers the Kocho massacre, which occurred on 15 August 2014, each year. FYF has worked with many survivors from Kocho who continue their struggle to overcome the loss and grief in the aftermath of the Yezidi Genocide.
COMMEMORATING VICTIMS OF RELIGIOUS-BASED VIOLENCE

FYF joined lawyers and activists on a panel to mark the International Day Commemorating Victims of Acts of Violence Based on Religion or Belief this month. FYF highlighted the centuries-long marginalization and oppression of the Yezidi community that continues to threaten Yezidis living in Iraq and Syria.
DID YOU KNOW?
Of the Yezidis who once lived in Afrin, Syria, 90% have been forced to flee. Turkish-backed militias terrorize those who remain, include ISIS and Al-Qaeda members, and have been engaged in facilitating the trafficking of Yezidi and other women. Afrin is now a hotbed of extremism.
 
Thank you all, as always, for keeping up with our news and work, and for your steadfast support of FYF and the Yezidi community.

Sincerely,

Pari Ibrahim
Executive Director
Free Yezidi Foundation

IN THE NEWS

Newsweek | Yazidi Post-Genocide Plight - Severe Challenges Eight Years on – Opinion | Pari Ibrahim and Murad Ismael discuss the extensive challenges which continue to plague Yezidis

The Jerusalem Post | Remembering the Yezidi Genocide eight years ago - By Pari Ibrahim and  Susan Heller Pinto | The Yezidi experience has ongoing significance for the Middle East and the region’s other religious minorities

The National Interest | Eight Years After Genocide, the World Owes the Yezidis a Debt - by Megan Bodette and Pari Ibrahim | The international community must commit to empowering Yezidis to build a safe, sustainable post-ISIS future with the same vigor deployed in defeating ISIS

U.N. Office of the Special Representative of the Secretary-General on Sexual Violence and Conflict | SRSG Patten’s Video Remarks for the Free Yezidi Foundation’s Eight-Year Commemoration of the Yezidi Genocide, 3 August 2022  |  "... we have a special thought for those from your community that remain missing ... I and the entire United Nations system stand with you."

United States Institute of Peace | Five Ways to Make the U.S. Atrocity Prevention Strategy Work | While real challenges remain, the strategy represents important progress. FYF was thanked for our essential work along with our partners in this work.

The Mirror | Inside horror camp women and children are still stuck in 8 years after ISIS massacre | Pari Ibrahim cites the trauma, desperation and seeing no hope for the future as one of the reasons suicide rates are alarmingly high

Middle East Eye | Iraq: Dutch police seek information on perpetrators of Islamic State crimes against Yazidis | At a panel sponsored by FYF, the discussion focused on the hunt for Dutch nationals or those residing in The Netherlands involved in genocide comes as Yazidis commemorate eighth anniversary of mass killings in Iraq

Medya News | Eight Year Commemoration of the Yezidi Genocide online event | FYF’s series of four online panels addressed ongoing work to achieve justice for the victims of the Yezidi genocide, rights for the genocide survivors, Yezidi’s current situation in Sinjar, and the geo-political situation that exists in the Sinjar region, including the issues in relation to the Sinjar Agreement and the ongoing Turkish drone attacks on Yazidi survivors

K24 | US Deputy Assistant Secretary underlines need to implement Sinjar agreement| Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Iraq and Iran, Jennifer Gavito, stresses the need for the implementation of the Sinjar agreement and armed groups to be removed from Sinjar

K24 | Turkish drone attack kills SDF member in Assyrian village | “The United States is not supportive of Turkish actions in northern Iraq or northern Syria," said Douglas Hoyt, the Acting Deputy Special Envoy for the Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS, at an event hosted by FYF
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July 2022 - NEWS AND UPDATES

Dear friends,

Please read below for July news and updates. Thank you for your solidarity with our community as we approach the eight-year Yezidi Genocide commemoration.

 

TURKISH AIRSTRIKES CONTINUE

As we have reported in the past months, Turkish airstrikes continue to target Yezidis and others in northern Iraq. Several Yezidis were killed outside of Mosul this month. A few days later, dozens of civilians were killed or injured by a Turkish airstrike in a tourist area in Zakho. Iraqi authorities reacted forcefully, raising the issue in an emergency session of the UN Security Council. Turkish airstrikes continue to pose security threats to Iraqi citizens. FYF and other Yezidi activists have consistently called for Iraq and the international community to halt airstrikes in Sinjar.
FYF PARTICIPATES IN ATROCITY PREVENTION EVENT

FYF joined a high-level event on atrocity prevention at the US Institute of Peace, organized by the US Holocaust Museum and featuring a number of senior US government officials. In an off-record panel discussion with minority community members, FYF stressed the need to support civil society and discussed several matters with government stakeholders.
THE ONGOING PURSUIT OF JUSTICE

A German court this month sentenced an ISIS female member for a number of violations, including aiding and abetting genocide in reference to crimes perpetrated against Yezidis. This is only the second genocide conviction eight years after the Yezidi Genocide. FYF and other Yezidi activists and civil society organizations continue to pursue justice in all possible jurisdictions.

 

MINISTERIAL CONFERENCE ON RELIGIOUS FREEDOM - LONDON

FYF joined a panel discussion as part of the ministerial conference on religious freedom held in London. The panel included members of parliament and leading experts. FYF highlighted the failure to prevent the Yezidi Genocide and the need to punish perpetrators.

FYF's 2021 Annual Report is now available online. Click to read inspirational stories, learn about current projects, and find more about challenges and opportunities for the Yezidi community.

 

STILL TIME TO REGISTER - YEZIDI GENOCIDE COMMEMORATION

The Free Yezidi Foundation will be commemorating the eighth anniversary of the Yezidi Genocide by co-hosting an in-person event at our facility in Khanke, in Iraq, and also holding a virtual multi-panel event.

To participate in the virtual event on 3 August, please register. Topics and speaker for the virtual panels can be found on our website and social media platforms.
 

 

Thank you all, as always, for keeping up with our news and work, and for your steadfast support of FYF and the Yezidi community.

Sincerely,

Pari Ibrahim
Executive Director
Free Yezidi Foundation

 

IN THE NEWS
 
The Sunday Times (UK) | Kidnapped, drugged, and forced to fight: the forgotten child victims of ISIS | Eight years after ISIS killed and captured thousands of Yezidis, more than half the population are still in camps. Most forgotten of all are the Yezidi boys who were forced to join ISIS.

Toward Freedom | Yazidis in limbo as Iraqi forces and armed militants fight in northern Iraq | Amid chaos, Yazidi women can be found learning skills at the Enterprise & Training Center (ETC) run by the Free Yezidi Foundation (FYF).

The Spectator - Australia | Labor to 'rescue' ISIS brides? | This article quotes FYF regarding the crimes committed by female ISIS members.

FORB Women's Alliance | Genocide's lingering tragedy: the 8th anniversary of Yazidi sorrow | The FORB Women's Alliance includes reference to the Free Yezidi Foundation to mark the 8th year commemoration of the Yezidi Genocide.

The Catholic World Report | Women worldwide face sex-based religious persecution| At the recent International Religious Freedom Summit held in Washington, D.C., FYF joined other human rights advocates to speak about persecution of religious minorities.
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JUNE 2022 - NEWS AND UPDATES

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Photo credit: Jean-Nicolas Beuze (UNHCR)

 

Dear Friends of FYF,

Turkey continues to bomb Sinjar, making it difficult for Yezidis to remain in the city or to return home after years of displacement. At the same time, conflict among various militias in the area have complicated the situation for Yezidi civilians. While we ceaselessly fight for peace and justice, we continue our training and educational programs, building places where Yezidis continue to thrive - especially Yezidi women. Read on for our June news.
 

 

YEZIDI CHILD AMONG VICTIMS OF TURKISH AIR STRIKE IN SINJAR

The Free Yezidi Foundation has called upon NATO to condemn and halt the ongoing strikes conducted by the Turkish Air Force in Sinjar, targeting Yezidi Genocide survivors. These attacks are in egregious violation of international law and humanitarian principles. Dozens of Yezidis have been killed by Turkey. The people who are being assassinated by Turkey are Yezidi Genocide survivors who are from Sinjar, in Iraq, defending their land. One of the innocent victims of Turkish airstrikes is this young boy, pictured. This has outraged our Foundation and Yezidi society as a whole.

FYF has publicly and privately expressed frustration regarding these Turkish airstrikes, including with key NATO members, given the scale of civilian casualties and the negative impact on the potential return of Sinjar’s displaced people.

 

FYF HOSTS MALE YEZIDI GENOCIDE SURVIVORS

While international attention has rightly focused on the gendered crimes perpetrated on Yezidi women, we must not forget the fate of the young Yezidi boys (many now men), who require support and focus.

During the Yezidi Genocide, males over a certain age were considered to be men and were most often executed. However, boys were captured, indoctrinated, and forced to commit crimes against Yezidis as part of the criminal and brutal ISIS / Daesh organization.

These boys suffered immensely and were forced to be 'cubs of the caliphate,' forced to fight against their own people. We are exploring, along with partners, systemic ways to support these male survivors.

Not only have these boys suffered direct abuse and horrific mistreatment, but their childhoods have been warped terribly by ISIS / Daesh brainwashing, in many cases for years. The Yezidi community can help to build better futures for them, if given the chance.

We tried to take a small step by bringing a great friend and ally of Yezidis, Nadine Maenza, to spend time with them, express solidarity, and to listen to and understand their stories and their current needs. We were told they highly appreciated the effort and shared more about their challenges and hopes for the future than ever before.

Sugar is Sweet café, a 100% Yezidi-run facility, prepared desserts and treats for them, sharing warmth and support at our bakery café. Despite their suffering, these boys can still have a better life if they are given the essential support and tools for their future.
INTERNATIONAl RELIGIOUS FREEDOM SUMMIT KICKS OFF

Earlier this week FYF Executive Director, Pari Ibrahim, was one of three main speakers on an Advocacy Day panel kicking off the International Religious Freedom (IRF) Summit in Washington, DC. “In Solidarity with the Persecuted,” held at The Rayburn Building on Capitol Hill, featured testimonials from representatives of Yezidi, Rohingya, and Uygher communities speaking on the prevention of genocide. Sessions continued throughout the week. Ms. Ibrahim was a featured speaker on several other panels as well.

For more on the IRF Summit, click here

FYF EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR LEADS JUSTICE TALKS WITH UN AND CIVIL SOCIETY STAKEHOLDERS

FYF’s Executive Director, Ms. Pari Ibrahim, and Mr. Murad Ismael, President and co-founder of Sinjar Academy, led in-depth, off-the-record talks on the pursuit of justice after the Yezidi Genocide with UNITAD in New York. The discussions included the challenges, progress, and next steps in advance of the Security Council briefing. 

Mr. Christian Ritscher (Special Advisor, UNITAD) and his team, and representatives from the UN Office on Genocide Prevention, Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, and several NY-based human rights organizations joined the meeting.
FYF’s ETC & SUGAR IS SWEET CAFÉ CONTINUE TO HOST INTERNATIONAL VISITORS!

Throughout June, FYF received a number of visits from high-level global visitors. Annette Lyth, from the UN's Iraq Mission, joined FYF team members at the ETC to discuss gender matters and Yezidi affairs at our Enterprise & Training Center.

Renowned British journalist, Christina Lamb, visited both the ETC and our Sugar is Sweetcafé, where she sat over sweets and discussed the current and ongoing plight of the Yezidis and met with Yezidi survivors who were captured by ISIS as young boys and are trying to rebuild their lives.
COMING UP IN JULY

FYF will be participating in the ministerial conference on freedom of religion and beliefs, hosted by the United Kingdom. Details of speaking engagements can be found on FYF’s social media pages.


DID YOU KNOW?

During our recent FYF-USA Board of Directors meeting, Nienke Grossman was elected as co-chair of the board. She will join Nibras Basitkey, the other FYF-USA board co-chair. We are honored and bettered by those like Nienke, who give selflessly to advance the work of FYF and the ongoing plight of Yezidis. 

Thank you all, as always, for keeping up with our news and work, and for your steadfast support of FYF and the Yezidi community.

Sincerely,

Pari Ibrahim
Executive Director
Free Yezidi Foundation

 

 

IN THE NEWS
 
Fair Planet | Haunted by genocide, displaced Yezidis demand justice | Naomi Prodeau, an FYF lawyer, says that many Yezidis still suffer from trauma in the aftermath of the genocide.

Kurdistan 24 | Displaced Yezidi woman commits suicide in Zakho | “Yezidis have suffered from trauma and elevated rates of suicide ideation and actually committing suicide for the last years since the Yezidi Genocide ... ” said FYF ED and Founder, Pari Ibrahim.
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MAY 2022 - NEWS AND UPDATES

 

Dear friends of FYF,

May has been an exceptionally busy month for us. We continue to make strides in matters of justice and accountability for Yezidis. At the same time, our social enterprise programs in Iraq have been busily hosting local customers and notable diplomats. Sugar is Sweet café even catered a large event this month! 

Please read on for our most current news.

 

FYF FORMALLY ADMITTED AS A CIVIL PARTY IN FRENCH SUIT AGAINST LAFARGE

The French multinational company, Lafarge, has been indicted for complicity in crimes against humanity. French judicial authorities have officially admitted FYF in the lawsuit against Lafarge.


FYF’s application to seek admission as a civil party was first filed in March 2019. Our application was formally accepted on May 9th, 2022. We will be among the parties contributing information and documentation in this case. Charges against Lafarge include, but are not limited to, enslavement and genocide, which are related to payments made to the so-called Islamic State (IS, ISIS, Daesh) in Syria.

“The world was aware of the crimes and the atrocities ISIS was inflicting on civilians, including the Yezidi people. Corporations that made payoffs to ISIS are complicit and must be held to account for their actions. Our efforts are designed to help ensure the voice of Yezidis is heard, including all survivors equally and the families of those who were killed. Yezidis constitute a small and vulnerable community, but justice is important to our people.”

- Pari Ibrahim, FYF Founder and Executive Director


A link to our statement can be found here.

 

FYF EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR HONORED BY WOMEN’S REFUGEE COMMISSION

On May 3rd Pari Ibrahim, FYF’s Founder and Executive Director, was honored by The Women’s Refugee Commission with the Voices of Courage award. Pari was delighted to receive the award, presented to her by WRC founder and renowned actress Liv Ullmann.

During the awards luncheon at in New York City, Pari spoke about her role founding FYF, the work the organization has done since the Yezidi Genocide in 2014, and the future of the Yezidi community in Iraq. 

With over 350 attendees at the event, it was a wonderful opportunity to share the work of FYF.

 

FYF PRESENTATION AT COUNCIL OF EUROPE HEARING IN PARIS

FYF was invited to appear at a Council of Europe hearing on justice and accountability for foreign ISIS members, particularly those coming from European countries. FYF’s Lead Lawyer, Naomi Prodeau, delivered the speech below and answered questions posed by Council of Europe members on this important topic.

The full speech, presented by Ms. Prodeau, can be found here.
SUGAR IS SWEET CAFÉ SELECTED TO CATER EVENT AT NAWROZ UNIVERSITY
FYF’s Yezidi-led Sugar is Sweet bakery and café demonstrated its unique touch, providing hand-crafted catering for 500 people at Nawroz University's IT Tech Competition.

Chosen to provide a dessert and drink buffet at the competition, five hard-working team members from our Bakery and Training Center were pleased to serve some of the bakery's specialties.

In Iraq, Yezidis have suffered greatly from discrimination and prejudice. Many people refuse to eat food items made or handled by Yezidis due to prejudice and discrimination. FYF is committed to pursuing a different path with friends and allies in Iraq. Coexistence and acceptance will be necessary for the next generations.

We urge all Iraqis from different ethnicities and components to reject anti-Yezidi discrimination and treat the Yezidi community equally. In that regard, we were very pleased to provide fresh, hand-made catering at the Nawroz University event, and we applaud them for selecting us.

The Sugar is Sweet café team members look forward to working with friends and allies in Iraq and the Kurdistan Region who view Yezidis with respect and treat us as equal citizens.
NO HONOR IN ‘HONOR KILLING’
Earlier this month a Yezidi woman was murdered in a so-called 'honor killing’. She was stabbed 15 times on a street in Germany.  

In many Middle East societies, women's rights are not properly respected. In this case, it is reported that the woman was seeking a divorce, and she was then murdered by her husband. It is critical that communities in the Middle East adopt international norms for women's rights.

FYF advocates unreservedly for the rights of women and we are compelled to speak up to combat violence against women in any and all forms wherever it may occur. This victim in Germany leaves behind two children. 

The Yezidi community will become much stronger and much more effective if we adopt international norms on gender issues, eradicating violence against women in all forms and at all times.

UNITED NATIONS OFFICE ON GENOCIDE PREVENTION VISITS FYF

We were delighted to host Ms. Alice Wairimu Nderitu, Special Adviser to UN Secretary General on Genocide Prevention, the Head of UNITAD, Mr. Christian Ritscher, and their delegation at the FYF Enterprise & Training Center and the Sugar is Sweet café. The delegation learned about FYF efforts to provide opportunities for Yezidis and to combat discrimination against the Yezidi community.

 

TURKEY FORCES NATO TO POSTPONE FINLAND AND SWEDEN’S REQUEST JOIN
 

While Turkey blocks the admittance of Finland and Sweden to NATO, it continues to commit violations within their own country and in Iraq and Syria. Their crimes include the bombing of survivors of the Yezidi Genocide in Sinjar. Turkey has been a harbor and pipeline for terrorists for years, giving particular support to al-Qaeda and ISIS, so the condemnation of human rights leading countries such as Sweden and Finland are highly hypocritical. The Free Yezidi Foundation calls upon all NATO member states to prevent ISIS members from re-establishing operational footholds in the Middle East.
FYF HOSTS NETHERLANDS TRADE MINISTER
It was our pleasure to host Ms. Liesje Schreinemacher, Dutch Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation, and representatives of the Netherlands Embassy - Baghdad and the Consulate General - Erbil at the FYF center. FYF team members explained the Yezidi situation and the need for recovery, justice, and support for Yezidi civil society.
CONFLICT IN SINJAR LEADS TO FURTHER YEZIDI DISPLACEMENT

Conflict among militias in Sinjar led to significant displacement of Yezidis in early May. There is no justification for any military assault against Yezidi citizens of Sinjar. FYF and other Yezidi activists reject internal or external military attacks and efforts expel them.

As of May 5th, another 1,711 families (10,261 individuals) have been displaced, crossing to Duhok from Sinjar, Iraq. Many of these individuals must now return to IDP camps once again.

It is noteworthy that the Iraq government has repatriated 448 Iraqi households out of Al-Hol, an IDP in Syria. If these families can be reintegrated into Iraq, Yezidis in Sinjar should certainly have the opportunity to live peacefully within the Iraqi state. The human rights of all Iraqi citizens must be the top priority.
DID YOU KNOW?

FYF board member Nibras Basitkey just graduated with top honors from Creighton University’s Heider College of Business! Nibras is a great example of a young, talented, energetic Yezidi woman with a bright future ahead of her. We are so proud of her!

Thank you all, as always, for keeping up with our news and work, and for your steadfast support of FYF and the Yezidi community.
Sincerely,

Pari Ibrahim
Executive Director
Free Yezidi Foundation
IN THE NEWS
 
AD.NL | Minister Yesilgoz bezoekt Irak om IS-terroristen voor het gerecht te krijgen | FYF met the Dutch Minister of Justice in her visit to Iraq to explore the pursuit of justice in the aftermath of ISIS atrocities.

Rudaw | Over 3,000 people flee Shingal due to latest clashes | Ongoing clashes between the Iraqi army and YBS members in Shingal have led to the displacement of thousands of residents to the nearby province of Duhok.

PAL NWS | Barjas Hazm – woordvoerder jezidi's in Litouwen: "Door de eeuwen heen heeft ons volk al 74 genocides meegemaakt” | A group of about 400 Yazidis have unsuccessfully applied for asylum in Lithuania. They fled Iraq and are now in detention centers awaiting refugee assistance.

Kurdistan 24 |
 Yezidi organization permitted to file lawsuit against French company | FYF has officially been permitted by French judicial authorities to join in the lawsuit against the French multinational company, Lafarge.

Kurdistan 24 | Property damage prevents the return of Sinjaris | Clashes erupted again between the Iraqi army and a local Yezidi group, forcing over 10,260 people from their homes, many for the second or third time.
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APRIL 2022 - NEWS AND UPDATES

 

Dear friends of FYF,

 

Every April, Yezidis around the world celebrate the Yezidi New Year. As joyous a time as this is, it has not come without new hardships. However, the FYF team has continued to make progress in programs, advocacy, and awareness-building of our unique social enterprise models.


Please read on for our most current news!

 

YEZIDI NEW YEAR CELEBRATIONS

         

Serê Salê Pîroz Be! 

Yezidis around the world celebrated the Yezidi New Year on Wednesday, April 20th. Yezidi families hosted parties and celebrations amidst ongoing turmoil, struggles, and many years of displacement and ongoing instability, including as a result of Turkish air strikes in Sinjar.

The juxtaposition between celebration and frustration exemplifies the current Yezidi experience: the desire and fortitude to persevere and find joy in the smallest of pleasures while the community continues to suffer from attacks, challenging living environments, and too few opportunities. 

As FYF wishes Yezidi brothers and sisters Happy New Year, we continue our work to create a better future for the next generations.

 

US DELEGATION VISITS FYF ENTERPRISE & TRAINING CENTER

FYF was pleased to host a senior delegation from the U.S. at our Enterprise & Training Center this month. The delegation, including US State Department Deputy Assistant Secretary Joey Hood and several US Embassy and Consulate staff members, visited the Yezidi crafts and enterprise initiative as well as the Sugar is Sweet bakery and café. Both initiatives are run by Yezidi women.


It is essential that Yezidi community members build tools and experience in business, enterprise, and workplace practice to increase economic strength in the community. These business and training efforts have two outcomes:

  • First, such community-led initiatives aid in rebuilding the spirit and hope of the surviving community, after many years of displacement.
  • Second, this provides Yezidis with income and the capacity for future employment as well as the creation of small to medium enterprise initiatives.

The visiting American delegation met with two FYF teams implementing US Government-funded grants to advance and protect the rights and well-being of Yezidis and other minority community members. We were pleased to see members of the delegation purchasing hand-crafted items made by Yezidi artisans, in addition to meeting over drinks and sweets at the Yezidi-run Sugar is Sweet café.

 

FYF SEEKS FORMAL RESPONSE FROM LITHUANIAN OFFICIALS ON CONDITIONS OF MORE THAN 400 YEZIDI REFUGEES 

        

FYF has issued a statement calling on Lithuanian and EU officials to address the desperate situation facing Yezidi refugees who are seeking asylum in Europe. Yezidi refugees currently detained in the Republic of ithuania are living in subhuman conditions.

While Europe has admirably welcomed Ukrainian refugees fleeing violence and conflict, Yezidi genocide survivors seeking refuge have apparently been languishing in detention facilities for months.

FYF understands immigration regulations, and asylum protocols that Lithuania and European states have in place. Nonetheless, according to international and European refugee regulations, asylum seekers such as the Yezidis in Lithuania have basic rights that must be protected by host governments.

You can find our statement here

 

FYF'S COUNTRY DIRECTOR SPEAKS AT THE US EMBASSY - BAGHDAD EVENT

FYF Country Director, Hewan Omar, recently spoke on a panel at the University of Kurdistan, hosted  by U.S. Embassy of Bagdad. The panel discussion focused on social entrepreneurship and private sector development. FYF emphasized the importance of women's participation and the value of business initiatives for the Yezidi minority. 

With international support, we believe Yezidi businesses and organizations can serve as incubators and hubs, ensuring our young leaders have the skills and experience to grow and to lead. By empowering local community members, including the participation of women, social entrepreneurship initiatives and private sector support can be a forward-looking way to strengthen vulnerable communities.

Beyond focusing on reconstruction, FYF is providing training, education, and skills so that the next generation of Yezidis can build more sustainable economic platforms instead of surviving on bare subsistence farming.

 

FYF’S CRAFTS AND ENTERPRISE CENTER FEATURED IN IMPACT ENTREPRENEUR MAGAZINE

We were delighted to be invited to submit an article to Impact Entrepreneur Magazine on how FYF is building entrepreneurship and business skills at our Enterprise and Training Center. Yezidi Women Learn, Earn, and Thrive - Creating a thriving community-based enterprise, we discuss how small and medium businesses and training are essential for Yezidi recovery.

We look forward to continuing to explore the impact investment space, and welcome suggestions for potential partners and supporters in our work. 

 

YEZIDI WOMAN FREED ON RANSOM AFTER THREE YEARS OF CAPTIVITY IN TURKISH CAPITAL

While the United Nations and several states acknowledge that the ISIS / Daesh attack against the Yezidis in August 2014 was a genocide, little has been done on a coordinated, global scale to find the 2,800 Yezidis still missing, or to implement scalable solutions to the ongoing struggle of Yezidis to create lives beyond subsistence-level.

However, individual successes and progress continue to be made. A 23-year-old Yezidi woman was recently released from the Turkish capital of Ankara in exchange for ransom. Her captors decided to release her for ransom when she was no longer able to perform her domestic work and had 'lost her desirability as a sex slave'. It is unacceptable that so many ISIS / Daesh members continue to find safe haven in Turkey.

We are so grateful that she has been released and is being provided essential medical care and psychological support in the EU.

 

DID YOU KNOW?

For those of you who shop on Amazon, we wanted to let you know that by using AmazonSmile, you have access to all the same products and pricing, but with the ability to select a charity which will receive a small percentage of each sale from Amazon, and at no cost to you. 

If you’d like to set up an Amazon Smile account, or if you are already using AmazonSmile and would like to select us as your charity of choice on the amazon smile website. We are grateful to Amazon for including the Free Yezidi Foundation as an AmazonSmile charity.

Thank you for your consideration!

Thank you all, as always, for keeping up with our news and work, and for your steadfast support of FYF and the Yezidi community.

Sincerely,

Pari Ibrahim
Executive Director
Free Yezidi Foundation

 

IN THE NEWS

Impact Entrepreneur Magazine | Yezidi Women Learn, Earn, and Thrive -- Creating a thriving community-based enterprise | Feature article about FYF's carpet factory within our ETC, discussing how Yezidi women are learning to be entrepreneurs and develop business acumen

Share on Twitter Share on Facebook
 

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Organization Information

Free Yezidi Foundation

Location: Duhok, NA - Iraq
Website:
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @free_yezidi
Project Leader:
Pari Ibrahim
Duhok, Kurdistan Region Iraq
$39,891 raised of $103,800 goal
 
401 donations
$63,909 to go
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