OCTOBER 2022 - NEWS AND UPDATES
Please read on for the Free Yezidi Foundation's news and updates for the month of October.
FYF ENTERPRISE & TRAINING CENTER UPDATES
The Free Yezidi Foundation continues to expand its Enterprise & Training Center products. In addition to carpets and rugs, Yezidi artisans are producing a line of stuffed animals - Chonky Animals - and other handcrafted items. Unfortunately shipping is currently available only within Iraq. If you or someone you know is in Iraq or the Duhok area, contact us to order your own hand-made item!
All items hand-crafted by Yezidi women artisans; all revenue after operational costs goes directly to the artisans
This month, we are highlighting the stories of some of the Enterprise & Training Center artisans who have chosen to share their stories publicly. You can see the full collection of Voices from the Field here
Zereen Nasro (top, left) says, "My most cherished memories are from my work here at the Enterprise & Training Center. I have met women from all different parts of Sinjar, and we shared our sorrow and anguish...this has brought us closer together and has made us feel like a family here. I am proud to show everyone that Yezidis have skills, and we can succeed in anything we do, even though our people struggle from discrimination."
Fluz Faris (top, right) says, "ISIS killed my oldest son. My most cherished memories are of [him]. His memories keep me going. I am doing everything in my power to meet every single need [of my grandson] in order for him to feel his father's presence in his life and for his father's soul to rest in peace. I am grateful for the work FYF does. Every time we sell a large number of crafts, we earn revenues that help us cover our monthly expenses."
Sulav (bottom, left) says, "I am a divorced mother of three daughters. When my eldest daughter graduated, she proudly wore the dress that I hand-made for her ceremony. It reminded me of the days back in Sinjar. Three years ago, I learned how to knit and weave, and this has allowed me to help support my daughters financially. In Iraq, Yezidis are vulnerable, and I would say women are also vulnerable. But we have made some progress now, and I am doing this for myself and for other Yezidi women, including as an example for my daughters."
Mayada Rasho (bottom, right) says, "I am most proud of my ability to fight for my life and my rights. I never had the opportunity to attend school, not even to learn how to read and write. When I was accepted to work on crafts and weaving, I was determined to learn everything I could. After ISIS set our lands on fire and killed our cattle, we had nothing left. I was devastated. This work has helped me and my family financially, but also helped me mentally. I want everyone in the world to know that [Yezidis] are welcoming people and in Yezidi culture we do not cause harm to anyone. I think the situation in Sinjar is very dangerous and not safe enough to return right now. But if we ever do, I will definitely open a market to sell Yezidi-made products."
FYF JOINS DUTCH POLICE TO LAUNCH ISIS TIP-LINE
FYF has been collaborating with the Netherlands prosecutors and police for international crimes regarding justice and accountability in the aftermath of the Yezidi Genocide. This month, the Netherlands government announced a public call for information, through a tip-line, on any crimes committed by Dutch members of ISIS against Yezidis. FYF's Pari Ibrahim was the featured speaker, along with Dutch police and prosecutors, calling for information to be relayed to the tip line. The information and videos are in Dutch, Arabic, and Kurmanci, and can be seen here.
FYF STAFF TEAM-BUILDING & SELF-CARE SESSION
FYF received a small grant to scale up team-building and self-care with the field team. As part of this effort, approximately 75 staff members gathered for a day-long session to spend time together, engage in fun activities, and enjoy a meal. The participating team members are pictured at the top of this newsletter.
INTERNAL TRAINING ON YEZIDI SURVIVORS' LAW
FYF held trainings and workshops on the Yezidi Survivors' Law, Iraq's reparations program for Yezidi survivors. The trainings were attended by FYF staff, including lawyers, psychologists, and social workers based in three locations. The trainings covered the legal framework, application process, and ethical standards for supporting survivors. FYF will soon complete building its internal capacity, structures, and protocols and will provide survivor-centered support to survivors who wish to apply for reparations.
DID YOU KNOW?
FYF was asked in September to help crowdfund for three-year old Maria, a Yezidi child suffering from a tumor in her neck. Doctors in Iraq and the Kurdistan Region were not able to perform the operations. FYF was able to raise more than $18,000, now delivered to her family, for travel and medical costs. The final disbursement was made on 20 October. We wish Maria and her family safe travels and a successful operation. Thanks to those of you who have supported this effort!
Thank you all, as always, for keeping up with our news and work, and for your steadfast support of FYF and the Yezidi community.
Free Yezidi Foundation
IN THE NEWSOpsporing Verzocht | Nederlandse IS'ers verdacht van genocide Yezidi's | FYF contributed to the Netherlands' police tip line and public request for information regarding crimes committed by Dutch members of ISIS against Yezidis.The Gatestone Institute | ISIS Terrorists Living in Turkey - with Yezidi Captives | This article includes FYF's perspective on missing Yezidis, including those rescued in Turkey, and the responsibility of the international community to assist with identification and rescue of missing Yezidis.
Kurdistan 24 | Dutch Prosecutors Ask for Witnesses of ISIS Crimes against Yezidis
| FYF was quoted in this piece, which reviews the new Dutch public request for information about Dutch ISIS perpetrators.