The Free Yezidi Foundation is designed to assist Yezidis in need. The Foundation was established shortly after terrorists attempted to eradicate the Yezidi people in August 2014. The Free Yezidi Foundation seeks to implement projects to protect and support the most vulnerable members of the Yezidi community.
- The Free Yezidi Foundation is a politically independent, non-profit organisation
- The Free Yezidi Foundation is an officially registered charity in the Netherlands and is designed to operate in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq
- The Free Yezidi Foundation will operate under the guidance of a Supervisory Board and will be led by an Executive Director
- The Free Yezidi Foundation operates under the following guiding principles:
Areas of Primary Focus
- Child Protection
- Support for victims of gender-based violence
- Support for minority communities
- Recognition of crimes against humanity and acts of genocide
- General civil society organisation support for minority communities
After the ISIS attacks on Sinjar and the Yezidi population in August, Ms Ibrahim founded the Free Yezidi Foundation to help Yezidi civilians in need and raise awareness of the situation. On behalf of the Foundation, she has spoken at the United Nations, the British House of Lords, and a number of prominent universities in the United States, as well as to the BBC and the Dutch news show Brandpunt. After the first fact-finding missions to meet with survivors, Ms Ibrahim understood that the Foundation would be most effective by providing services and assistance to survivors in the IDP camps.
Ms Ibrahim is in the process of completing her law degree. She speaks Kurdish (Kurmanji), Dutch, English, and German.
A development economist by training, Mr Carriere has focused on the development and scaling up of programmes of malnutrition control, selective primary health care, maternal mortality, elimination of child labor, trauma recovery and educational reform.
He has been involved in a number of Humanitarian Assistance programmes training mental health workers in the aftermath of the Turkish and Pakistan earthquakes and the Indian Ocean Tsunami. Dr Farrell is presently involved in a long-term project in Pakistan developing mental health psychological trauma services mainly around the intervention of EMDR. Other projects include Turkey, India, Thailand, Indonesia, Poland and Palestine. He is also an Honorary Senior Lecturer in mental Health with the University of Birmingham and in addition is an Honorary EMDR Consultant/Cognitive Behavioural Psychotherapist with Birmingham & Solihull Mental Health NHS Trust. In 2013 Dr Farrell was the recipient of the ‘David Servan Schreiber Award’ for Outstanding Contribution to EMDR. Derek has over 25 years’ experience as a mental health clinician.
After his Army tour, Mr. Schute returned to Iraqi Kurdistan, working first as the Regional Security Coordinator for a Kurdistan based international private security company. He later established Point 62 Consulting, with its base in Erbil, Iraqi Kurdistan. Through this company he advises the Kurdistan Regional Government, most principally the Minister of Interior, as well as other clients. He also serves as senior advisor to the board of the private security company – Vigilance Security Solutions (VSC); and, he serves on the board of the NGO, the America Kurdistan Friendship Association (AKFA). Finally, Mr. Schute is an owner and the Managing Director of Kurdistan Iraq Tours, which is Kurdistan’s first inward focused tourism company.
Mr. Schute’s military experience was gained over 23 years of active and reserve service as an Armor officer and later as a Civil Affairs officer, where he retired with the rank of Colonel. He also has law enforcement experience having served 10 years as a trooper and detective with the New Jersey State Police. Mr. Schute has a B.S. from the US Military Academy at West Point and, has a law enforcement certificate from the NJ State Police Academy. He speaks Sorani Kurdish and basic German.
Subsequently, Ms Nelson worked on anti-human trafficking initiatives in Moscow, Russia. She then served as an advisor on women’s issues to the Kurdistan Regional Government, and was a member of the High Commission on Violence Against Women. While in Kurdistan, Ms Nelson worked with both government and non-government officials, as well as law enforcement, women’s shelter staff, and medical professionals, to implement effective strategies and solutions to address the unique concerns faced by women and children impacted by acts of violence, including honor killings and domestic and sexual violence. Ms Nelson also served as an advisor with the United States Department of State, assisting Afghan prosecutors with cases of terror suspects at the Justice Center in Parwan, the National Security Court of Afghanistan.
She has been involved in early warning, conflict analysis and response development, facilitation, capacity-building for mediation and dialogue, support to electoral violence prevention campaigns, and promoting conflict-sensitive policy and practice. Ms Rosenblum-Kumar has conducted educational and skills training workshops on conflict transformation for the UN at Headquarters, in field offices, for Pearson Peacekeeping Center in Canada and at a number of schools and universities. Since leaving the UN in July 2014, she is teaching courses on the UN and on peacebuilding at New York University, assisting the Nonviolent Peaceforce as a Senior Advisor for Advocacy and Outreach in NY, overseeing a research project on reconciliation in the Western Balkans, and working on an intergovernmental initiative to develop a knowledge network and resource centre on atrocity prevention and ‘dealing with the past’ after violence.
Most recently he worked with the KRG Spokesperson to create a new Government Department – the KRG Department of Media and Information – responsible for sharing KRG activities and decisions with citizens and with local and international media outlets. In his years with the KRG, Mr Sklar has spent most of his time working to develop KRG relations with members of the international community, including advocating for a greater and stronger diplomatic presence in Erbil, as well as speechwriting and providing policy and communication advice. He studied at the University of Cambridge in the United Kingdom.
Naomi joins the Free Yezidi Foundation board strictly in a personal capacity, advising FYF leadership on a number of objectives regarding the pursuit of justice, international and domestic legal options for survivors, and advocacy strategies.
- Silav Ibrahim – Country Director
- Zazi Ibrahim – Program Coordinator
- Burhan Shamo – Administrative Coordinator
- Mamo Haji – Camp Center Manager
- Tiffany Proeger – Administration and Finance
- Eelke Halbertsma – Website and Communications