Relief for the Yazidis in Northern Iraq

A spotlight has been shone on the Yazidis, a religious minority from the mountains of Northern Iraq. Targets of violent acts with other religious and ethnic minorities, headlines began reporting the woes of this particular group in late February 2015. Attention continued throughout March, including a video series released by Angelina Jolie, in conjunction with UNHCR, which brought notice to the especially harsh treatment of Yazidi women and girls.

This past January, GHNI’s Disaster Relief Director, Mike Parks, visited Northern Iraq, where he met some of the Yazidi people and heard their stories:

“One man told me, ‘Our town was attacked and we ran. They were taking children and women and cutting their heads off. We ran. I had a big car and we all got in it and got away. We were shot at as we escaped. And now we are here…with nothing.’ He continued to describe their loss and horror.

“As he told his story other men, women, and children gathered around. Their faces were already sad and as he told their story they were no longer looking at us but stared at the ground or far off into the distance. ‘We have nowhere to go, we are being told to move, we cannot find work, we need so many things…’ The pain, hopelessness, and horrors they experience stay with them.

“My friend told me, ‘The Yazidi are kind and even though they have nothing, they don’t steal like some. Many people are being killed and having their heads chopped off. These people claim they worship the true God and call the Yazidi, “devil worshipers”.’”

During this trip, Mike set the wheels in motion to bring aid to these and other victims in Northern Iraq.

While the initial aim is to relieve those in crisis, our long-term goal is to transition them into self-sustaining growth through Transformational Community Development. Each day is currently clouded with desperation, but we look forward to a long-term solution.

Will you join us in bringing help and hope to the Northern Iraqis?