Beginning to Hope Again

Yazidi Refugees, Disaster Relief


Berivan was only 14 years old when her uncle came running into her family’s home crying, “We must run, (a violent group) is coming!” So they ran up to Sinjar Mountain, where she and her family stayed for ten days in temperatures that exceeded 110°F, with little water and food. Berivan watched helplessly as many died, mostly infants and elderly. All the Yazidi fled and many were captured and killed or made slaves of that violent group.


After select airstrikes, the Kurdish forces opened a way off the mountain and they fled to Kurdistan, where we are helping her family today. Berivan deeply misses her friends who have gone missing, died, or live somewhere else. Her mother suffered a heart attack during this time and is in poor health. She cried when she talked of wanting to go back to her beautiful homeland, school, and friends.


Even with these hardships, Berivan has regained hope. As we came alongside her community as helpers and friends, we brought basic lifesaving aid of food, shelter, and medicine. Their trust grew as we began to befriend them and counsel them through some of the trauma. Berivan and others like her have begun to have hope: hope they will live, hope they will return home, and hope in their future. Berivan now talks of getting back to school and becoming a doctor so she can help suffering people like her mother.


We have helped these families since they arrived more than two years ago. A uniqueness of GHNI is that the families we help have grown to trust us and know we will walk with them through this painful and dangerous time. This greatly improves our ability to help them.


GHNI Disaster Relief Worker