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

 

FYF Newsletter - April 2020

 

FYF staff discuss coronavirus prevention with IDP community.

Dear Friends,

The Free Yezidi Foundation (FYF) wishes you and your family safety and good health during these challenging and unsettling times. FYF would like to reassure you that, although our work has been met with unique challenges, we remain steadfast in our commitment to supporting the Yezidi community with humanitarian and human rights support. The FYF team, both on the ground and abroad, remain grateful to you for your continued support.

FYF’s Response to Covid-19

As the coronavirus (COVID-19) begins to spread throughout Iraq, we are particularly concerned with the disproportional impact it may have on the Yezidi community residing in IDP camps, especially for women and girls. The coronavirus poses the greatest threat to those with less access to resources and information, like internally displaced persons, some of the most vulnerable people in the world. That is why FYF took early action to raise awareness about the coronavirus to camp residents. Our team visited over 400 Yezidi families over a two-day period prior to the outbreak, providing information on how to prevent the spread of the virus, good personal hygiene habits, and World Health Organization recommendations. FYF has identified several critical needs in the camp, including limited access to soap and water and lack of sanitation in some areas. We will continue to work on the front lines of this crisis and monitor the situation as it unfolds.

Looking Back

Despite recent events, FYF’s work saw a number of successes in early March. FYF’s staff working on our gender-based violence (GBV) project in Shekhan conducted a series of in-depth training sessions focused on advocating for women’s rights and gender equality in the Yezidi community. Participants had an opportunity to develop GBV prevention and support strategies and will undergo further training on specialized case intervention.  

FYF held graduation ceremonies for participants at our Women’s and Children’s Centers. More than 140 women graduated from a six-month educational course, which includes English and Arabic language, computer skills, sewing, knitting, and seminars on women’s rights. In addition, 165 children graduated from a three-month educational course focused on languages, computer skills, and art. We are extremely proud of all our graduates.

FYF’s team in Khanke was honored to welcome Adama Dieng, UN Secretary-General’s Special Adviser for the Prevention of Genocide, and Karim Khan, UN Special Adviser and Head of UNITAD. During their visit with FYF, the two officials met with Yezidi survivors in Khanke and FYF's humanitarian and justice team members, where they underlined the UN and UNITAD’s commitment to support efforts to hold those most responsible for ISIS crimes to account.

350 women and children registered for FYF’s Women’s and Children’s Centers. When it is again safe for programs to resume, FYF will provide them with educational courses, economic skills training, and a safe space in which they can express themselves and build meaningful social connections. At our Women’s Center, FYF staff will focus on capacity-building and skill development, empowering Yezidi women and promoting women’s agency in the community.

Ms. Hewan Omer, FYF's Country Director, discusses Yezidi needs and priorities with Mr. Dieng and Mr. Khan.

 

Gucci's Chime for Change 25 for 25 Series: Pari Ibrahim | Pari Ibrahim, FYF’s Executive Director, was featured in Gucci's Chime For Change 25 for 25 Series, an original content series that highlights activists who represent progress made on gender equality.


How Journalists and NGOs Help Track Down ISIS Criminals: Lessons from Iraqi Kurdistan | FYF was features in a Wilson Center article about NGOs and Journalists working to help locate missing Yezidis and identify ISIS perpetrators.


Woman Accused of ISIS Membership Faces Terror Charges in Germany After Journalists Expose Her | Pari Ibrahim, FYF’s Executive Director, was quoted in a Kurdistan 24 article highlighting women affiliated with Islamic State living in Europe without being held accountable for their crimes.

 

FYF envisions a world in which vulnerable Yezidi community members have the strength, support and opportunity to rebuild a better and more resilient future. Despite the challenges we are all facing, FYF continues to support and uplift vulnerable Yezidis in times of crisis. We will continue to advocate for women’s rights and empowerment in Yezidi communities, and we remain grateful for your support.


 
Sincerely,



Pari Ibrahim
Executive Director
Free Yezidi Foundation

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Boy receiving certificate
Boy receiving certificate

 

Following the devastation of the Yezidi community, perpetrated by ISIS terrorists, the Yezidi population and especially women and children suffer from severe trauma. This project addresses their problems by providing expert trauma services, educational courses, and a safe child-friendly space.

Children are among the most vulnerable in the IPD camp. Many Yezidi children have lost all sense of normalcy. The primary objective of the Children’s Center is to create a safe environment that allows children to be children again, even if only for short periods of time. It is a space where integrated play and psychosocial therapeutic models support the development and socialization of all children. The children’s center is carefully decorated with colors, drawings and child-friendly furniture to create a warm and nurturing environment.

These centers serve as a refuge in an uncertain and disrupted world, affording women and children a place where they can find new beginnings and most importantly, hope. 

The Free Yezidi Foundation graduated 165  children from the center on March 1st, 2020. These children were recognized for their excellences and participation in educational courses including English, computers, and art. As they graduate from the child-friendly space, they receive certificates and gifts for their hard work over the course of 3-months.

Children's Center Graduation Celebration
Children's Center Graduation Celebration
Children's Center Graduation
Children's Center Graduation
Girl receiving certificate
Girl receiving certificate
Graduation Speech by FYF Country Director
Graduation Speech by FYF Country Director
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Dear friend,

 

The Free Yezidi Foundation continues to deliver humanitarian and human rights services to the Yezidi people. Over the past year, we have been able to expand the reach of our services to provide more possibilities for livelihoods, education, and specific trainings. We have also been able to empower Yezidi women to work as community liaisons, providing accurate and much-needed information about trauma and tools for recovery.

 

In 2019, some of our supporters have created a matching campaign, bringing together $55,000. Your contribution to FYF will be matched up to this amount.

 

During the last days of December, during the holiday season, we hope you will consider support to the Free Yezidi Foundation.

 

Thank you, our friends and supporters, for your solidarity.

 

Happy Holidays and Happy New Year!

 

Sincerely,

 

 

Pari Ibrahim

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Dear Friends,

In the United States, today is a special Tuesday, dedicated to Giving.

We ask for your help to raise $100,000 to fund FYF’s work with Yezidi women by the end of the year. Your generous contribution will go towards providing Yezidi women with skills to make them productive members of the workforce and help them to rebuild with dignity and strength.
 
The Free Yezidi Foundation's spaces are known as safe havens for women and children who come seeking support and kindness. To reach this point, it took a team of very strong women who are dedicated to supporting the beneficiaries through compassion and strength. One of those women is our Country Director, Hewan Omer. 

Country Director Hewan and FYF graduates

Hewan was born in Sinjar, where she was raised with her 3 sisters and 5 brothers. As a little girl she always dreamed of studying English language and literature. In 2013, she enrolled in Duhok University, Department of English and Literature.
 
During her summer vacation of 2014, she returned to her village to visit her family. When ISIS began its genocidal campaign against Yezidis, Hewan's immediate family managed to escape from Sinjar. Unfortunately, other family members were captured by ISIS.

Despite the sorrow and pain of losing family members and friends, Hewan graduated in 2016, with her father's encouragement. She took a job as an English-language interpreter, helping to provide for her family. In June 2017, Hewan explored the possibility of a greater leadership position with a non-governmental organization. The Free Yezidi Foundation offered her a job in a leadership position. She decided to take this chance to use her language skills and commitment to her people to better support Yezidis. As she grew in ability and confidence, Hewan found her voice, building her confidence and rising to the position of Country Director. She now represents the Free Yezidi Foundation in Iraq, with support from local and international staff members.

FYF Country Director Hewan leading a meeting

Hewan has earned the respect of members of the community and is a beacon of light and hope for beneficiaries interested in seeking FYF services. Her work ethic and the care she provides Yezidi women, girls, and children is extraordinary. Along with her duties as FYF Country Director, Hewan makes an effort to spend time with beneficiaries, staff members, and men and women in the community. She is a leader at FYF and in the community, and will continue to contribute to Yezidi society.
Thank you for all the support over the last couple of years. I hope we can count on you again!

 


Sincerely,

- Pari Ibrahim
Executive Director
Free Yezidi Foundation

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Dear Friends,

We’re one week away from Giving Tuesday and our organization has set a goal to raise $100,000 before the new year to create positive change for Yezidi women in Iraq. It’s true that it takes a village to ignite real change, so we’re excited to have you rally with us to create a lasting impact through giving.

The Free Yezidi Foundation’s mission is to implement programs to support vulnerable Yezidis who fled their homes following the ISIS genocide in August 2014.

Five years of hard work has brought FYF to where it is today! As an example: we have a Women’s Center in Khanke Camp that offers trauma treatment and jobs skills courses to women in an effort to help them rebuild their lives and start anew. As FYF grows we have seen the beauty and resilience of the women we work with, like Shaha.

Shaha sewing in the Women's Center

 

Born in Sinjar, Shaha fled along with her parents and eight siblings to Mount Sinjar to escape ISIS in 2014. Fleeing from the horror, Shaha and her family arrived with nothing in Khanke village after a week-long journey. Her family was assigned to a tent outside the official IDP camp, as it was already at capacity. Lacking in basic aid and assistance, Shaha struggled from economic challenges, isolation from the host community, and discrimination. As a result, Shaha never received education, health or social services, and struggled to reestablish herself and build a new life. After two years in destitute conditions, lost in thought about the suffering of her friends and family she had lost, Shaha joined the Free Yezidi Foundation to attend English and Arabic language courses as well as computer, sewing, knitting, and women’s rights classes in the Women’s Center. Eager to start something new, Shaha came to the center where she gained valuable skills and trauma treatment. For the next two years, Shaha was a fixture in the center. As she learned and healed, she felt confident enough to look for a job in Khanke village. As of January 2019, she has been employed in a local tailoring shop. Shaha is a success, inspiring the women around her to improve their own lives and economic opportunities.

Women's Center sewing room

 

FYF’s mission is to empower women and children in Khanke IDP camp, like Shaha, and teach them the skills necessary not only to survive but thrive, providing income for their families and working to overcome the trauma they have endured. FYF is a woman-led organization that is driven to empower Yezidi women through tailored educational course, psychological treatment and advocacy. 

Shaded space at the FYF Women's Center

 

If you haven’t done so already, please visit our website, www.freeyezidi.org, and tell your friends and family about our campaign. Spreading the word gets our voices heard and amplifies your impact! If you would like to make a contribution, please go to our Global Giving Projects: https://www.globalgiving.org/donate/27995/free-yezidi-foundation/

 

I would like to thank you, our Foundation's friends and donors, and I hope we can count on your support for the coming year.

Sincerely,

- Pari Ibrahim
Executive Director
Free Yezidi Foundation

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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
$34,474 raised of $103,800 goal
 
321 donations
$69,326 to go
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