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Funded by WfWI, New Women’s Center Opens in Northern Iraq

WfWI’s partner, Free Yezidi Foundation (FYF), based at the Khanke IDP camp in the Duhok Province in Northern Iraq, caters to the needs of 640 Yezidi women, most of whom are former ISIS hostages.

Funded by WfWI, FYF’s women’s center provides vocational training (tailoring, beauty and hairdressing, and English and Kurdish language and computer skills), business skills training and mentoring, women’s rights advocacy, and trauma counseling. During the month of September, FYF’s staff and volunteers were busy building the women’s center in Khanke camp. Women and men joined forces in building the center, which comprised of several pre-fab units that will accommodate scores of Yezidi women who have enrolled in the training courses.

The center officially opened on Sunday, October 9, 2016. The opening was celebrated by the camp inhabitants -- especially women who have been counting the days to participate in the vital services the center provides. FYF’s staff, elated by having made such important resources available for survivors of Yezidi genocide and brutality, are now busy enrolling Yezidi women in groups of 25 for vocational training. By the end of this year, the first cohort of women will have been through their first series of training. From January 2017, women using trauma counseling services will be joined by their male relatives as well as community leaders to discuss the psycho-social impact of rape and sexual violence on their lives. These joint sessions aim to raise men’s awareness of the issues faced by women survivors of rape. In addition, they aim to provide a safe space for both men and women to come to terms with the atrocities they suffered at the hands of ISIS.