“When we fled, we spent a week in the mountains on the Syrian border without eating or drinking, in a very cold winter and didn’t have enough clothes to get warm” relays Molen, who is a 16 year old Yazidi girl. The Yazidi’s live mainly in the Kurdistan region of northern Iraq. They are particularly concentrated in northern Iraq with the two largest communities being Shekhan District which is northeast of Mosul and the Sinjar District which is located at the Syrian border, 80 km west of Mosul.
Prior to the ISIS attack on this area, Yazidi’s celebrated their New Year, called Red Wednesday, by gathering at their holy sites, preparing food and picnicking. However, for years now, many Yazidi’s have suffered extreme violence, torture, beatings, forced conversion to Islam, sexual violence, captivity, and being sold as slaves. Many have watched as entire branches of their family were killed, others have lost husbands, brothers, and had their male children forcibly taken from them. If they manage to return, they are in a fragile mental and emotional state, others are still captives. Women and girls who had been held by Daesh (ISIS) who miraculously escaped or were daringly rescued who arrive in Duhok are in urgent need of care.
Charshama Sor (Red Wednesday) fell on Wednesday 18 April, 2018. Bring Hope Humanitarian Foundation wanted to help the Yazidi’s celebrate their New Year, so on 16 April 2018 we distributed approximately 2000 pieces of clothes for men, women, and children who are Yazidi refugees and internally displaced persons. We brought enough for at least 1000 refugees in Shekhan.
Yazidi’s have one of the oldest religions in the world. Traditionally, in the Spring and to mark the New Year, Yazidi women would paint eggs a day before Red Wednesday and hang flowers at their doorstep to welcome in the New Year. But today, we celebrate with them by providing much needed clothing. Molen was displaced from Sinjar with 20 of her relatives. She told Bring Hope they were living in a school but recently moved into the Shekhan District. She told us she lost 4 family members due to ISIS violence and now they are living in the refugee camp. Molen described her serious depression, “I can’t stop thinking about my family, I’m always upset and until now we don’t know anything about them.” Surprisingly, Molen still expressed happiness at being able to celebrate New Year with new clothes. You can help Molen, or those like her, simply visit bringhope.info to learn how.