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
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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Children's Educational Course
Children's Educational Course

Programs

Since early September, FYF made some major changes in the schedule of provided classes and hours, which had a positive impact our work. Previously provided sewing, knitting, IT and English language classes lasted for 45min for approx. 18-20 women per class. Now we classes run for 90min with approx. 10 women. FYF’s goal is to concentrate more on quality of provided service rather than quantity. The intimate setting has seen improvements in the skills of the women, which is a huge success.

During the reporting period, FYF’s leadership worked on more regular communication with staff and teachers, which gives them an opportunity to communicate their concerns, ideas and challenges, which increased motivation and creativity in conducting their work. 

The outcome of the aforementioned improvement in communication was changes have also been made in the Children’s Center, reducing the number of children attending classes in order to provide better quality education rather than having more kids than what the space allows. This has led to more children showing improvement in homework and presentations. 

On September 7 through 9, FYF staff and 15 Harikara, attended a workshop provided by National Democratic Institute. The Harikara representatives were trained on basic concepts of democracy, definition, parties, institutions, elections, citizen rights, while FYF staff received training on community dialogue, facilitation, training methodology. This training will be integrated into the work of FYF staff and the Harikara.

FYF has also continued to utilize the garden at our facility to support 14 FYF beneficiaries. Women had their own plots of garden to tend, overseen by FYF senior staff members. Beneficiaries were able to successfully grow a significant quantity of crops, providing both food and a sense of accomplishment. Gardening has given the beneficiaries an outlet that gives them a sense of purpose and meaning. Many of the gardening beneficiaries had serious psychological problems, and some have attempted suicide before. The women were even coming on the weekends, because it helped them physiologically, to have some time for themselves. 

The third week of October, FYF’s 20 Harikara representatives started their work inside of Khanke IDP camp. They are going to work in pairs providing basic phycological support for the families, which starts with a session of normalizing trauma, followed by techniques, such as breathing techniques, butterfly hug, healing light and emotional support. They will also provide extra support if they encounter more demanding cases which include one on one sessions. 

Positive stories

During the reporting period FYF received several international visitors who made small purchases of 4 crafted items women created during their classes. The total of this purchase was 75,000IQD (62.50$) which was distributed amount the ladies (beneficiaries). 

FYF Centre in Khanke became, in a sense, a "safe haven" for not just FYF beneficiaries, but everyone who is in a need to be heard, because it became known in the Yezidi community that FYF staff treat beneficiaries with most utter respect, unparalleled with any other organisation or foundation. Occasionally we would see people sitting in the shade of FYF Centre who would tell us they are not attend classes, but they just feel safe being in the circle of FYF Centre. 

Khanke Camp as Winter Approaches

During the winter season daily life in Khanke Camp becomes harder due to heavy rains,  leaking tents, electricity and wiring becomes more dangerous to handle, which leads to a lot of accidents and deaths. Moreover, shortage of gas is causing problems for the majority of families who cannot afford  to buy it.
Additionally, distribution of cash by various organizations to all IDPs in Khanke Camp was reduced from 20,000 IQD to 11,000 IQD (every 40 days), which cannot provide for a lot.  

Unfortunately, Camp Management cannot do a lot about all these issues as they have stated that funding was cut, and they just need to work with what they were supplied. 

FYF is currently unable to provide necessary financial support or maintenance of the tents as are mandate only provides phycological support services. 

Future activities: 

During the month of December, FYF is planning to organise Children Centre Graduation, of approx. 134 kids. For this occasion FYF is planning to decorate the centre, prepare certificates for the children as well as small gifts. 

During the month of November and December, FYF Harikara representatives are planning to conduct their usual visits to the families of Khanke Camp providing basic phycological support. 

Gardening Activity
Gardening Activity
Trauma Support Session
Trauma Support Session
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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
$40,011 raised of $103,800 goal
 
409 donations
$63,789 to go
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