The FYF Women's Center, located in the Khanke Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) camp, serves Yezidi women with comprehensive adult education, livelihoods support, childcare, and specialized trauma treatment. This suite of services is provided in a safe, nurturing environment where Yezidi women can build relationships and escape from the realities of everyday life in a displacement camp. During the COVID-19 pandemic, FYF has been a camp leader in providing safe, socially distant services.
In August 2014, ISIS militants swept through Sinjar in northern Iraq in a deliberate attempt to annihilate the Yezidis, an ethnoreligious minority. They employed brutal tactics including mass executions, rape, forced conscription of children, and sexual enslavement of young women and girls. To this day, 300,000 Yezidis remain displaced and female survivors require specialized post-trauma psychological assistance, education, and livelihoods support to regain a sense of normalcy in their lives.
The Women's Center has three focuses: providing a safe space for survivors of unspeakable violence to gather while living in a crowded displacement camp, offering a selection adult education classes including English, Arabic, sewing/knitting, and women's rights, and providing psychological treatment for PTSD and other mental health conditions. To aid in women's pursuit of the opportunities available at the Women's Center, a Children's Center next door provides free child-friendly services.
For survivors of genocide, sexual enslavement, and human trafficking, the importance of a safe, gender-sensitive space cannot be overstated. These Yezidi women are attempting to recover from war crimes while living in displacement - a situation which by itself is already challenging. The 3-month Women's Center courses allow survivors to regain a sense of normalcy and accomplishment in their lives, while building skills and accessing psychological care to help them heal from their traumas.
Free Yezidi Foundation