UPDATE: We have made it to KURDISTAN!
Kyle and I have been dreaming of supporting the Yazidis in their homeland for many, many months, and that dream has finally turned into reality. We couldn’t be more grateful to be here in Kurdistan, meeting Yazidi families and witnessing firsthand the harsh conditions they endure. We have the opportunity to make a difference in the lives of these survivors we are blessed to meet.
We are meeting children and women who have recently escaped ISIS captivity, sick parents, widowed women, young children who have to work instead of attending school. We are meeting families who have no stable food supply, people in need of urgent medical care, mothers in need of diapers, the list goes on and on. The needs are endless, but every dollar donated makes a direct difference in the lives of these survivors. All funds go directly to meeting the needs of the Yazidi families who need it most.
Who are the Yazidis?
The Yazidis are a religious minority from Kurdistan, Iraq who continue to suffer from one of the only UN recognized genocides of the crisis. ISIS militants stormed their villages in August 2014 with the goal of erasing the entire religious minority who they wrongfully label as “devil worshippers”, due to their links with mysticism.
The men were lined up and executed while the women were kidnapped and forced into sexual slavery. According to the PLOS Medicine Journal, 9,000 Yazidis were killed or captured in those few days. At least half of the deaths were caused by execution (gunshot or beheadings), and the rest from starvation, dehydration, or injuries during the ISIS siege on Mount Sinjar.
The genocide continues, as one third of the women and children kidnapped remain in the hands of ISIS. As they slowly escape, they are admitted into camps and offered minimal support.
How is the situation for the Yazidis who remain in Kurdistan?
Although the situation varies largely by location, we are meeting families in need of dire support. The families are living both in overfilled camps and unofficial sites. Many are in need of medical care, psychological support, diapers and formula for babies, dietary supplementation, etc.
What can we do to help?
Please help us support these survivors, as well as shine light on the ongoing genocide of the Yazidi people. You may:
-Make a financial donation of any amount (no amount is too small).
-Share this campaign with your community through emails and social media. (Keep in mind that personal requests for support have better chances of success than general calls for support on social media).
-Host a presentation to spread awareness on the Yazidi people.
-Host a fundraiser (dinner, bake sale, car wash, host a walk-a-thon, host a cocktail party with a local restaurant, sell your services or artwork in exchange for donations, host a donation yoga class, create and sell gift baskets, the ideas are endless!)
-Set up a fundraiser on mygood.com or gojanegive.com.
If this campaign inspires you, please copy and share this text to post on social media. You will reach a larger audience than by simply clicking “share”. Thank you from my heart to yours.
Thank you Anne and Khairi for making this opportunity possible.