Due to the genocidal attacks perpetrated by ISIS against the Yezidi people, massive displacement has ensued. Thousands of girls were kidnapped by ISIS, and those who have escaped or returned face the difficult task of rebuilding their lives after having suffered horrific trauma. Because of the displacement, thousands of Yezidi families now live in unfinished buildings or in IDP camps.

The Free Yezidi Foundation will establish women’s centres in IDP camps to provide a number of useful, positive activities. In time these centres will include lessons in typing and basic computer skills, language courses, painting and art activities, gardening, as well as sewing and dressmaking. There will also be a ‘quiet room’ for reflection and relaxation, as IDP camps offer very little privacy for residents. As women participate in activities, if and when they choose to discuss the horrors they have faced, there will be a referral mechanism to provide a pathway for post-trauma treatment. The post-trauma practitioners to which they will be referred will be specifically those trained by the Free Yezidi Foundation’s expert trainers through the FYF training courses.

The women’s centres will therefore serve as a ‘safe zone’ and a place where women can learn or enhance skills, participate in meaningful activities, and feel comfortable. The center will be run and operated by Yezidi women from the diaspora, carefully chosen to ensure that the center is welcoming for participants, while at the same time providing a personal and safe pathway for post-trauma treatment if the women so choose.

At a later stage, the Foundation will also explore how best to provide services to the many women living in extremely difficult conditions outside of the camps, such as in unfinished buildings.