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Yezidi women's center - programs for 2020

by Free Yezidi Foundation
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Yezidi women's center - programs for 2020
Yezidi women's center - programs for 2020
Yezidi women's center - programs for 2020
Yezidi women's center - programs for 2020
Yezidi women's center - programs for 2020


FYF Monthly Newsletter - June 2020Danger to Yezidis and Religious Minorities Escalates in Syria
Over the last two years, Turkey and Turkish-supported militias have committed countless violations in Afrin and in North East Syria. This has included wholescale demographic change and ethnic cleansing, looting, and destruction of houses of worship, with particular danger faced by religious minorities like Yezidis, Christians, and others. In the last months, several Yezidi women have been kidnapped. Turkey and Turkish-backed extremist forces, including former ISIS members, took control of Afrin in 2018 and parts of North East Syria in 2019. The Free Yezidi Foundation issued a stark warning in early 2019 of the calamitous impact that these invasions would have on the existence of religious minorities in the area.
Voices from the Field
FYF’s trauma team has been working to provide our beneficiaries with remote services during the current COVID-19 crisis. In this segment of “voices from the field,” we hear directly from our trauma team in the field about what it is like working with survivors in the displaced Yezidi community during the pandemic.
"During COVID-19 the suicidality we encounter within the Yezidi population has increased sharply. A main reason is frustration due to challenges by the prolonged stay in the camps, lack of employment, poverty, and hopelessness for the future. As a result there is an increased demand for trauma treatment.

The weeks of working remotely with our beneficiaries and team members proved to be challenging as the electricity and internet connection were not always stable. In addition, most of our beneficiaries did not have internet at all, so we had to work by telephone. Although we were grateful that we were able to support our beneficiaries during the lockdown, especially those suffering from severe trauma, we found telephone sessions challenging because we were not able to see their faces or make direct eye contact.
With the gradual relaxing of the restrictions, we were finally able to return to the Women’s Center and begin seeing our beneficiaries and team members in person. It felt great to be able to meet them face-to-face after so many weeks of working remotely.
Now the whole trauma team is back working at the center and in the field, though in a reduced capacity. As this pandemic appears to be with us for the foreseeable future, we are taking all the necessary precautions to keep ourselves and our beneficiaries safe by following physical distancing and prevention guidelines."
- The FYF Trauma Team

FYF staff providing beneficiaries with language courses at a reduced capacity. 

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FYF May Newsletter

Children in Khanke IDP camp celebrate the Yezidi New Year.

Dear Friends,
In April, Yezidis around the world celebrated the Yezidi New Year, despite the global challenges we all face. During this difficult time, FYF remains steadfast in our commitment to providing aid and support to Yezidis in need.

FYF’s COVID-19 Response

FYF continues to deliver protective equipment to essential frontline workers and IDPs living in and around Khanke IDP camp. Now more than ever, displaced Yezidi communities need accurate information and health guidance. FYF distributed hygiene kits and WHO recommendation flyers to more than 600 families, including single women and widows. Our hygiene kits consist of hygienic pads for women, antibacterial products, wet wipes, shampoo, and a COVID-19 awareness brochure. In addition, our team in Khanke began manufacturing and distributing protective masks to camp residents and essential personnel such as medical staff, doctors, checkpoint officials, government officials, and camp managers. We are working to increase our production in the coming weeks to meet the needs of vulnerable Yezidis in the region.

Looking Back

FYF’s justice project and trauma program continue to operate virtually. Our legal team has been working to identify and interview survivors of ISIS crimes. Our team conducted remote information sessions and has analyzed information on potential cases. Justice and accountability for atrocities against Yezidis, including gender-based crimes, remains an important aspect of FYF’s work. Even in times of crisis, we must not allow perpetrators to escape with impunity.

After health authorities issued a decision to prevent public gatherings, the FYF trauma team began using social media to support our beneficiaries through videos about mental health in quarantine and COVID-19 prevention. Our team conducted individual psychological assessments and therapy sessions virtually. FYF psychologists also completed remote training and support sessions for our field staff.

FYF distributing dignity kits to IDP camp residents.

Justice for genocide: Yazidis hopeful as Islamic State trial opens in Germany | Pari Ibrahim, FYF's Executive Director, was quoted in an Al-Monitor article highlighting the trial of Taha Al-J in Frankfurt, Germany. According to the indictment, the suspect purchased and enslaved a Yezidi woman and her 5-year-old daughter. The suspected ISIS militant is being accused of genocide, crimes against humanity, and war crimes.

15-year-old Yezidi genocide survivor killed in Germany | Pari was also quoted in a Kurdistan 24 article about Arkan Hussein Kjo, a survivor of the Yezidi genocide, who was killed in Germany. “Although the specific motives behind the attack are not yet known, it is nevertheless a sad event to see a Yezidi survivor suffer. Our thoughts are with the family of the victim and we hope that justice will be served.”
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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.


Pari Ibrahim
Executive Director
Free Yezidi Foundation

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Woman Receiving Certificate
Woman Receiving Certificate

Graduation day at FYF Women's and Center

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

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), a result of the continual traumatic stress that the Yezidi women and children have endured over the past five years, greatly impedes their ability to hope for a better future. Documented trauma symptoms of FYF-supported Yezidi women and children include persistent ‘reliving’ through intrusive flashbacks, vivid memories, recurring nightmares, avoidance of anything resembling, or associated with, these traumatizing events, and being unusually vigilant, with a heightened sense of current threat, often showing up as an inability to fall or stay asleep, prone to outbursts of anger, difficulty in concentrating, and an exaggerated startle response. This textbook definition of PTSD helps to explain how trauma adversely impacts daily functioning, wellbeing, productivity, educability, creativity and inner peace.

In addition to this trauma, the economic outlook for Yezidi women is especially bleak. The traditional occupations of the Yezidis have been agriculture and livestock raising. However, these livelihoods were destroyed when ISIS captured Sinjar. Some Yezidi women are now widowed and therefore sole providers of their households, to find a source of income while living in Khanke IDP camp. Because of the rural location and gender-biased traditional Yezidi culture, Yezidi women often lack basic education and skill sets to make an income and therefore provide for their families or themselves.

FYF has provided a safe haven since 2015 with its Women’s Center by providing services by women, for women. It is a place of trust and hope where integrated educational, livelihood and therapeutic services are provided in a safe, culturally sensitive and secure environment.

More than 140 women participants graduated from a six-month educational course, including Arabic, English, Computer, women's rights, sewing, and knitting
The women all took an active role during the program and March 1st graduation was the culmination of that. 

FYF believes women can build resilience and grow with the freedom to study, learn and depend on herself.

Women's Center Graduation
Women's Center Graduation
Woman Sharing Program Story
Woman Sharing Program Story
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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!





Pari Ibrahim

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Organization Information

Free Yezidi Foundation

Location: Duhok, NA - Iraq
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @free_yezidi
Project Leader:
Pari Ibrahim
Duhok, Kurdistan Region Iraq
$49,403 raised of $89,964 goal
487 donations
$40,561 to go
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