Yezidi Children's Safe Space

by Free Yezidi Foundation
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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
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
Yezidi Children's Safe Space

Project Report | Nov 24, 2023
Yezidi Women's Perseverance in Face of Adversity

By Olivia Wells | Programs Director

Dear Friends and Supporters,

At the Free Yezidi Foundation, we believe the secret to empowering displaced and conflict-affected communities to rebuild and improve their long-term resilience is through holistic, community-run initiatives that reduce dependency on foreign aid and increase self reliance. Our Enterprise and Training Center (ETC) in Khanke, Duhok is a safe space for vulnerable community members to access holistic programming that addresses their myriad of needs. Those interested can participate in our livelihood training programs, which lead to sustainable income generation and long-term employment. To complement our livelihood programming, we offer educational courses to support access to higher education and job opportunities. All beneficiaries also have access to mental healthcare and psychosocial support, as well as free childcare.


In October, FYF sat down with displaced Yezidi women who benefit from its bakery, cafe, and artisan livelihoods programming at its ETC to learn more about the impact of earning an income in a safe and supportive space.

"I personally believe that women, especially Yezidi women, have progressed a lot after the genocide, as they are now working equally alongside men. Women are really strong and essential to any community’s growth. I think that FYF has contributed to improving many women’s lives through its services and support.” - Hanan, Cafe Worker, read more.

"I feel proud and empowered to be able to work and earn an income to support my family. In the past, many Yezidi women couldn’t work alongside men, but now we are confidently working and building a better life and future for ourselves.” Khalida, Artisan, read more.

"From a young age, I was talented at creating unique handmade products through my skills in knitting and crocheting, but like most Yezidi women who had few opportunities to earn an income from their skills, there were no avenues for me to develop mine. I am delighted that through my work as a Livelihoods Officer at FYF, I am able to hone my skills and make new creative products on a daily basis, while empowering other Yezidi women to do the same." - Kafia, Livelihoods Officer, read more.


In October, I spoke at an SOAS/AAPG expert panel on “Gender and the Legacy of War in Iraq: 20 Years On.” I emphasized the unsustainability of humanitarian aid that often creates dependency cycles rather than empowering women to increase their self-reliance and resilience. I mentioned FYF’s programming at its ETC, where women are trained to create and market products, earning a sustainable income from product sales. I also discussed the importance of ensuring that survivors benefit from the Yezidi Survivors Law, and that any reparations they receive should have a transformative and reparative impact on survivors’ lives for the long term. 

I also spoke at the UK Parliament’s Joint Committee on Human Rights on accountability of UK nationals who joined ISIS and committed atrocities in Iraq and Syria. I outlined the crimes committed by ISIS, emphasizing the genocide against the Yezidi community. I discussed the importance of justice and accountability for the Yezidi community’s collective healing and prevention of future violence, illustrating the efforts of Germany and other jurisdictions who have been successful in prosecuting ISIS perpetrators for international crimes. Watch my full remarks here.


FYF is launching a new social media series called "Who Are the Yezidis?" where we will share information on Yezidi culture and religion to foster better understanding and awareness of the community among the general public. To kick off our series, let's start with some basic facts about the Yezidi community:

1. The Yezidis are an ethnic and religious minority indigenous to Mesopotamia. Today, most Yezidis live in Northern Iraq, primarily in the Duhok and Ninewa regions. Yezidis have lived in this part of the world for thousands of years.

2. Kurmanji is typically the native language of Yezidis. 

3. Yezidism, practiced by Yezidis, is an ancient religion that predates Islam and Christianity.

4. Yezidis have historically faced persecution. Yezidis recount 74 instances of genocide throughout their history.


Continuing with FYF's social media series, "Meet our Female Leaders," in October we met members of our operations and communications teams. 

"By supporting and empowering women, we create a more equal and inclusive society where women can thrive and achieve their goals. Empowering women also breaks down barriers and ensures that every woman has the opportunity to reach her full potential." - Basanti Darweesh, Outreach Officer, read more.

"I’m deeply motivated by the knowledge that every action we take at FYF contributes to a brighter, more hopeful future for the Yezidi community. FYF’s impact is about empowerment, resilience, female leadership, and social cohesion. FYF doesn’t just provide assistance, it helps people rebuild their lives and regain their sense of pride." - Bafreen Barakat, Field Operations Officer, read more.


Meet more of our incredible female leaders here.


Thank you, as always, for your steadfast support of FYF and the Yezidi community.



Pari Ibrahim
Executive Director
Free Yezidi Foundation


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Nov 10, 2023
Empowering Female Survivors: Improved Resilience

By Olivia Wells | Programs Director

Sep 26, 2023
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By Olivia Wells | Programs Director

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Organization Information

Free Yezidi Foundation

Location: Duhok, NA - Iraq
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @free_yezidi
Project Leader:
Pari Ibrahim
Duhok , Kurdistan Region Iraq

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