Rotary Club of Reading

The Fate of the Yazidi Tribe in Iran

The camp in which Maggie and her team are working providers reasonably good living conditions for its Yazidi residents, but it has very little educational services for the many children who likely have never attended school. Adults too can often be found sitting idle waiting for their relocation decisions.
Maggie believes strongly in early integration interventions and is focusing efforts and resources on setting up/developing language training, cultural awareness and skills related activities. The goal is to use the time spent waiting for relocation decisions as effectively as possible, to build practical skills that refugees can use wherever they are resettled.
Germany is where most Yazidis are hoping to end up. News from family already there coupled with economy opportunities is what has attracted them to the country. However, the dynamic political backdrop to the refugee crisis means that the resettlement process can take up to 1 year or more. To make matters worse refugees like them are often shifted from camp to camp to minimise tensions and ensure camps are used to full capacity.
The Yazidis are among the most persecuted people groups in the world. Their numbers have declined dramatically because of the 74 genocides they have suffered throughout history. ISIS attempted to ethnically cleanse their territory from Yazidis only 3 years ago. Gruesome images of brutally slain people have emerged in the news in recent times, as it has been reported that thousands of Yazidis, including children, have been killed, and many more have been taken as slaves.
Maggie and her team report that although the scars of the trauma remain, being involved in the new activities has provided a welcome distraction and an opportunity for residents to look ahead to the future.
Work continues at the Volvi Camp, as it does in Greece and throughout Europe as local communities receive newcomers fleeing for their lives. And although the task is not easy, it is also not impossible.
We plan that Maggie will return later in the year to give us an update.

Sheila Hobbs/Tony Cowling 25/9/17