As Covid infections rise again in their camps, Yazidi refugees are still forced to live in - 7 years after the genocide- groups of young cam pesidents (many of them women and girls who survived captivity of the Islamic State) are taking action. The self organised groups are raising awareness and working within their communities to encourage vaccination. This dynamic ground-roots campaign is not just a matter of public health, it is also an emotional plea to protect the vulnerable Yazidi community. As the Jinda team members explain “Our grandfathers and grandmothers survived the grip of Daesh, we do not want to lose them because of Corona.”
The teams of Yazidi youth have chosen to organise themselves in order to campaign within the camps to raise awareness on the safety of the vaccines. Misinformation runs rampant, and access to sound medical advice can be hard to come by. These 6 teams of volunteers are advocating for their communities to protect themselves, and to work together to protect each other. They meet with camp residents and go tent to tent, talking, answering questions about vaccine safety, sharing leaflets, putting up posters, handing out masks, and sanitary hand-gel. These highly motivated youths are doing an amazing job, and need your support. Please listen to them in their own words.
Until today around 240.000 Yazidis are still living in dozens of camps in Norther Iraq under terrible conditions with fading hope to return to their ancetral homeland in Singal. Their camps are especially vulnerable places since the virus can easily spread in these overcrowded places.
The campaign started 8 weeks ago, and in this short time, vaccination rates have gone from 20% to 40%. We need your help to continue! Funding is urgently needed to continue to provide support for this essential activity, especially with the threat of the Omicron variant and the colder weather.
The teams are supported by Wadi and local NGO Jinda, who are also part of the campaign. Jinda has supported over 600 women survivors of IS violence, and is happy to provide support to these teams. Wadi is currently celebrating 30 years of supporting projects in Northern Iraq.