Nadia’s Initiative is helping Yazidis, victims of ISIS invasion in 2014, find their way back home to their lost heritage
In 2014, an estimate of 5,000 men, children and women from Yazidi, a minority group in northern Iraq, were unjustly killed by ISIS (Islamic State (Isis) jihadists) terrorist group. Many young children were held captive for years and many of whom have no clue about their true heritage— rather having a crystal clear memory of years of torture in the hands of ISIS militants.
Yazidis are a member of a Kurdish religious minority (found primarily in northern Iraq, southeastern Turkey, and northern Syria) are considered to be devil worshippers, hence the term “no peace for Yazidis” in Iraq.
Since the genocide began some Yazidis, who were able to flee before being captured by ISIS, found safe haven in countries like Armenia, Australia, America and other European countries. For some, they had to flee first to Mount Sinjar in the Iraqi north-west region, or face death in the hands of ISIS.
Unfortunately, the fear that Sinjar and Iraq remains unsafe for Yazidis who with to return home keeps them from visiting their Homeland. In an interview with Public Radio International (PRI), Dalal Khairo, who was kidnapped by ISIS, then raped and abused by nine successive militants, says “The Yazidis are better off moving to other countries because Iraq is not safe; Sinjar is not safe. Even if they rebuilt the area, it is now controlled by various militia groups and is too dangerous to go back to.”
Back in Sinjar, Nadia’s Initiative, an NGO in Iraq, is fighting tirelessly to reconstruct basic social amenities despite land mines and sporadic violence that keeps slowing down reconstruction work.
The NGO, founded in 2016 by Nadia Murad, advocates for victims of sexual violence and aims to rebuild communities in crisis. Nadia Murad, the President of Nadia’s Initiative, wrote “From August 3rd to 15th, 2014 the village of Kocho was surrounded by ISIS. No one came to rescue or aid the people of Kocho from ISIS. As a result, hundreds of men were executed and all women and children were taken into slavery. Today, hundreds remain missing. Those who survived are scattered as refugees or displaced in IDP camps. The people of Kocho deserve to return to their homes where they have lived for centuries and to reclaim their once peaceful lives. They cannot do so safely without the continued support of the international community. The people of Kocho and the entire Yazidi community deserve justice.”
Nadia’s Initiative has recently started building an Operating Theater in the existing Sinjar Primary Health Care Centre, so that Yazidis can have access to healthcare in the interim period until the new Sinjar Hospital is constructed. (See pictures below)
Also, in partnership with Nadia’s Initiative USAID usaid is working with Youth Bridge Organization to rehabilitate the Wardiya Primary School so it can reopen its doors to Sinjar’s students so they can go back to learning. (See pictures below)