GETTING BACK ON TRACK AFTER SINJAR HORROR

A small cake factory provides skills training and an economic lifeline for displaced Yazidi women.

bakery.PNG

In 2014 fighters from the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), also known as Daesh, attacked the city of Sinjar. Most of the local Yazidi community were forced to flee the area. Large numbers of displaced suddenly arrived in Dohuk, moving into camps, informal settlements or unfinished buildings.

In Iraqi Kurdistan, the Yazidis are one of the groups most-affected by the Daesh terror. Men of the community face a choice between joining the fight or being killed. Even children are trained to fight, and women are often trafficked for sexual exploitation. Most of the Yazidis were also forced to adopt the fundamentalist religious beliefs of the group.

Beyan*, one of the bakers, comments: “Of course we would love to go back to Sinjar. That is where our life is. All we do here is temporary, we can’t build anything. We will not go back before the situation stabilizes though. It would cost our lives.”

Many of the bakers bear the physical and mental scars of facing life-threatening violence. For them, getting back on track means rebuilding their lives through work, and a feeling of purpose.

FROM BAKER TO MANAGER

Since the start of the project, 10 Yazidi women in the bakery have gone on to become managing partners in the factory business. As the women’s economic independence grows, so does their position in society and the respect they command. Many have obtained formal certification for their new skills.

Beyan: “Women were the main target of Daesh, although many men were killed as well. Women suffer rape, enslavement, trafficking, and other unimaginable horrors. We want the world to do what it can to save these women, our friends, our families, who are still there. This is our only hope.”

bakery 2.PNG

-more at UNDP
Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s