The genocide committed by ISIS in 2014 saw some 10,000 Yazidis killed and kidnapped and approximately 400,000 Yazidis displaced. Yazidi farmland, villages, and shrines in Iraq’s historic Nineveh province were left in ruin. Most of their ancestral land was confiscated and littered with landmines.
The situation is dire but by working directly and pragmatically with Yazidi families, religious leaders, and expert partners, we are starting to see some changes.
The Yazidis are suffering from the ongoing effects of religicide; the attempt by ISIS to annihilate them because of their religious beliefs and practices by means of genocide, ecocide, and factocide.
The atrocities committed by the Islamic State in 2014 left the Yazidis, an already persecuted ethno-religious minority, largely displaced from their ancestral homeland in the Nineveh governorate of Iraq.
Although a small number of Yazidis returned to their homeland of Shingal prior to June 2020, the infrastructure and most homes have been destroyed. There are also few ways to make a livelihood.
Many Yazidis live either in tents on the mountain or in houses that do not belong to them. Nearly everyone is dependent on humanitarian aid.
Since Shingal is located in a region still under dispute by the Iraqi nation and the autonomous region of Kurdistan, neither of these authorities has come to the aid of Yazidis from Shingal.
GCP Action Plan
In October 2020, GCP began implementing a plan to help regenerate Shingal.
The overarching goal is to combat religious violence and preserve the unique voice of Yazidism. But we are convinced that rehabilitation, recovery from trauma and constructive relationships with neighbors can only take place if vulnerable communities, such as the Yazidis, have access to basic necessities that are currently lacking in both the IDP camps in Kurdistan and in Shingal.
Because of this, we are helping Yazidis return to Shingal to rebuild their homes, farms, businesses, communities and shrines that ISIS destroyed.
Restore ancestral villages on Shingal Mountain that:
support security, self-sufficiency and diplomatic relations
have a semi-independent infrastructure
rely on a combination of traditional and regenerative farming methods
generate a variety of employment opportunities
Support and initiate advocacy and policy work that:
aids efforts by Shingali Yazidis’ return to Shingal
increases freedom of movement for Yazidis
provides better protection and opportunities for Yazidis in Kurdistan and elsewhere in Iraq
Connect advocates and researchers to:
promote awareness of the Yazidi religion and culture
develop policy and aid strategies that enable Yazidis to recover and rebuild
offer insights into how Yazidis can best restore, protect and develop their land
bring together experts in places where Yazidis live, including Shingal, Kurdistan, Germany, the United States, Australia, and Canada.