FYF Monthly Newsletter - September 2020
FYF Women's Center Graduation was held on 1 September 2020
The month of September has brought forth a number of grave challenges, as well as some successes and opportunities. You can find out more from the activities and news items below.
FYF Holds Women's Center Graduation
The COVID-19 pandemic has slowed down progress in many of our programs, just like the rest of the world. Nonetheless, by reducing our numbers, ensuring social distancing, and enacting a prevention policy to include masks and enhanced facility maintenance, nearly 100 women and girls were able to graduate and earn their certificates from our program. Congratulations to our graduates, and welcome to our new cohort!
Trauma and Suicide Threaten Yezidi Community
Unfortunately, a number of Yezidis committed suicide over the past month. This includes several youth and an older woman who self-immolated in the IDP camp where FYF operates. Trauma is an often unseen danger that threatens the well-being of every segment of the Yezidi population. FYF has publicly and privately urged a number of governments and foreign aid organizations to focus on smart, practical programs to help provide MHPSS care and trauma treatment to the Yezidi people. We believe this is just as important as physical infrastructure development and the delivery of basic services. We mourn those we have lost and continue to support the FYF Harikara (helpers) as they conduct tent by tent visits to provide basic coping and self-care skills and refer difficult cases to our psychologists. The FYF Harikara are pictured below.
FYF Wraps up Combatting GBV Pilot Project in Sheikhan
FYF has been providing support services to victims of gender based violence and gender discrimination over the last months in the town of Sheikhan. This is part of an ambitious pilot project to scale up services and resources for Yezidi women and girls, and FYF is very proud to have played a role in this effort. FYF worked on this pilot with MSI, the implementing lead, and it was funded by USAID through its Genocide Recovery and Persecution Response. This pilot project will come to a close in September. Implementing this sensitive project during the COVID pandemic brought about some challenges and delays, as would be expected.
Through this effort, FYF received a significant demand for such services, at times overwhelming our staff capacity. The pilot project identified a very real need in this area as well as some valuable lessons learned for the future. As a result, FYF will continue operating its base of operations in Sheikhan, and we will retain a number of key staff members so that we can complete current cases and offer services through our social workers and advocates. FYF is enormously grateful to those aid and humanitarian agencies and individuals who attach importance to the rights of women and girls everywhere, including in the Yezidi community. As a Yezidi-women-led organization, FYF prioritizes gender equality and women's rights. We were very pleased with the positive response from many in our community, including social and religious leaders, in support of this effort to help modernize and improve Yezidi society. FYF looks forward to building upon the findings and the progress in this pilot project through future efforts in Sheikhan and beyond.
FYF office in Sheikhan, a base for providing support services to GBV and gender discrimination victims
FYF Conducts Periodic Fumigation of Facilities
FYF has been strict in adhering to COVID prevention guidelines for humanitarian settings. In addition to mandating masks and social distancing, FYF conducts periodic fumigation efforts to ensure that facilities are kept clean. In the IDP camp setting, this is critical, as COVID spread is much more difficult to combat and social distancing more difficult to enforce.
FYF Distributes Aid Packages to Vulnerable Families
In September, FYF provided 300 aid packages to a number of in and out of camp residents in greatest need, including survivors. The packages contained food items, hygiene and cleaning supplies, masks that were sewn by the FYF sewing team, and WHO flyers providing information on preventing the spread of COVID. FYF appreciates the support from the Austrian state of Land Tyrol for funding this and other FYF humanitarian supply deliveries.
FYF's annual report for 2019 is now available online.
Please click the link here if you wish to view our 2019 report.
Thank you, friends, for your continued solidarity with the Free Yezidi Foundation and the Yezidi people.
Free Yezidi Foundation