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At the memorial statue inauguration in Sinjar. Iraq, February 2024. ©Nadia's Initiative

Healing is a collective act for Yazidis in Iraq

Project Update / Iraq 7 March 2024

Date and time

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On 26 February, survivors and their families gathered to inaugurate their collective interim reparative measure in Sinjar- a memorial statue to all women who have suffered ISIS captivity.

A testament to their resilience, the statue is in Roj Helat Garden. Roj Halet in the local language spoken by Yazidis, Kurmanji, means “sunrise”.

This monument reflects the role of Yazidi women as victims and survivors of the genocide. It also serves as a reminder that many Yazidi daughters and sisters are still in captivity. Women deserve representation of their suffering, sacrifice, strength, and hope.   

The Global Survivors Fund (GSF) worked with survivors and our partner organisation, Nadia’s Initiative, to make possible this measure of satisfaction that symbolises new beginnings of all survivors. 

The inauguration of the memorial marks the closing of our project for interim reparative measures in Iraq, where we reached 1,040 survivors of conflict-related sexual violence in Dohuk and Sinjar. In 2021, they began their reparative journey with us and Nadia’s Initiative.

During the project, survivors co-created their measures with us, which included livelihood support, documentation services, psycho-social support, and more. As this GSF project in Iraq closes, survivors and their families will continue to heal and rebuild their communities. Survivors now have a monument which shares this exact message to all who will see it. 

Many survivors travelled to attend the inauguration, some for more than 200 kilometres. Survivors and other representatives spoke to a crowd of over 350 people, delivering speeches about solidarity, satisfaction, and hope for the future. 

This monument is now a tangible symbol of unity amongst themselves and their community. I’m in awe of all they have accomplished.

— Delkhwaz Haciy, Technical Advisor

“Witnessing survivors co-organise and lead the event to present a garden and a statue they have been helping to design was a great pleasure,” says Delkhwaz Haciy, GSF’s technical advisor in Iraq. “This monument is now a tangible symbol of unity amongst themselves and their community. I’m in awe of all they have accomplished.”  

While our project for interim reparative measures comes to an end, our work continues in Iraq as we provide our technical support to the government. We are working closely with the General Directorate of Survivors’ Affairs to bring about the full implementation of the Yazidi Survivors Law, legislation on reparation passed in 2021. 

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