After our visit to Lalish, the Yazidisâ€™ holiest place, we spent Monday learning about community efforts to support the Yazidis after their displacement and trauma at the hands of ISIS.
|â€śGoodness brings goodness.â€ť - Nayf Sabry, Sunrise|
Our first stop was Sharya Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) camp outside Dohuk. Sharya hosts 17,000 internally displaced people, most of whom left their homes as ISIS advanced on their homes in Sinjar. ISIS notoriously killed thousands of Yazidi men and boys and captured and enslaved thousands of women. Others fled to the mountains where they stayed for seven to ten days before coming to Dohuk.
Nayf, 20, and his friends, were struck by the unfair burden placed on Yazidi children. Growing up in a camp with their parents preoccupied by their own trauma and securing basic needs, the children had opportunities for play.
In response, Nayf and some of his friends temporarily dropped out of high school and started Sunrise, a non-politically affiliated NGO. Members from Sunrise visited every family in the camp and invited their children to attend extra-curricular events including movies, games and a field trip to the mall.
Sunrise functions as a community center in a tent in the middle of camp. Nayf and his friends are eager to raise money to provide more infrastructure and entertainment opportunities for the children of the camp.
They want to protect the right to childhood â€“ a right he himself was denied.
â€śIf we donâ€™t help each other, who would come?â€ť he said.