The Free Yezidi Foundation has realized some important achievements over the last several months. FYF received a small grant from the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights to support the FYF women's center. We are in the process of finalizing a partnership with an important global women's organization. And the first round of our efforts, with a consortium of partners, to provide post-trauma training in Kurdistan will be completed by the end of April.
FYF and other Yezidi organizations and activists continue to put pressure on the international community to recognize the genocide committed by ISIS against Yezidis and other minorities. In this regard, FYF is very pleased that the US State Department has finally recognized these attacks as genocide. The FYF statement on this decision is attached. This is an important step forward, as recognition is very important to our communities. This will also help to pave the way for the pursuit of justice and accountability - international support for justice will be necessary to reach this goal.
FYF hopes to expand the women's center and children's center in the first half of 2016 - further updates will be forthcoming.
FYF speaks at UN Security Council, opens centers in Kurdistan, prepares for successful 2016
FYF executive director Pari Ibrahim advocated for genocide recognition at a closed meeting of the United Nations Security Council in New York, co-chaired by Spain and the United States
The 2015 year has brought enormous challenges and some important opportunities. The Free Yezidi Foundation continues to mourn for the loss of Yezidi civilians and pray for the safe return of the thousands still suffering and held by terrorists. In some ways, this has left Yezidi activists powerless. On the other hand, FYF and other Yezidi-led organisations have worked tirelessly for advocacy and for justice on the behalf of victims and survivors.
In the last several months, I was honoured to speak at the House of Lords in London, at a UN General Assembly side event in New York, and at the UN Security Council. We visited key advisors of the UN Secretary General in New York and the Chief Prosecutor of the ICC in the Hague. During this time of difficulty, Yezidis need the international community to help on issues of justice, recovery, and security. We seek assistance from governments, but we also ask citizens around the world to stand with us and share our message.
Of equal importance, the Free Yezidi Foundation has been able to deliver on the ground. I am so proud that our Foundation employs Yezidis to help our survivors recover and rebuild the Yezidi community. Our women's center and children's center are immensely popular, and in fact we have had to turn back many women and children because the needs are far greater than our current capacity. Further, FYF is part of a joint project to deliver post-trauma training to local practitioners in Kurdistan - of great importance now and in the future.
In this regard, I ask our friends to donate to FYF and help us to continue delivering urgently needed services throughout 2016. Please visit www.freeyezidi.org to learn more about our recent activities. On 18 December, Yezidis celebrated the Ida Ezid holiday, hoping for recovery and a brighter future. I would like to wish everyone happy holidays and a peaceful New Year, and we thank you in advance for any assistance you can provide.
Thank you for supporting the Free Yezidi Foundation.
- Pari Ibrahim Executive Director Free Yezidi Foundation
FYF and Yazda bring Luis Moreno-Ocampo to Kurdistan to investigate genocide against Yezidis and prompt ICC examination
FYF Executive Director Pari Ibrahim with Luis Moreno-Ocampo and Yezidi religious leadership in Lalish
The Free Yezidi Foundation and another Yezidi-led non-profit, Yazda, coordinated to organise the visit to Kurdistan of former International Criminal Court (ICC) chief prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo. Mr. Moreno-Ocampo met with Yezidi survivors and local authorities in an effort to better understand what happened to the Yezidi people. He determined that there may be a strong case to be made at the ICC, and offered his help to Yezidis and the KRG in this regard.
In addition, Mr. Moreno-Ocampo visited the holy Yezidi site, Lalish, where he discussed his visit with Yezidi community and religious leaders and held a press conference to explain the purpose of his trip and his findings.
At the same time, the Free Yezidi Foundation established its first centers in Khanke Camp. The facility housing the FYF women's center and children's center is now constructed, and in the coming weeks will be outfitted and ready to serve the community. The Free Yezidi Foundation is grateful to the camp managers for their assistance.
- Pari Ibrahim Executive Director Free Yezidi Foundation
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