Project Abraham and the Yazidi Refugees
Contact Made Between GPWA and Project Abraham
In early April 2018 the Chair of Grandmothers Partnering with Africa reached out to the Executive Director of Project Abraham and invited Yazidi immigrant children to attend the upcoming GPWA “Kids Fest & Concert” fundraising event. Both voluntary groups are part of larger organizations and strive to help people suffering in different parts of the world or as refugees in Canada.
The MOZUUD Freedom Foundation was launched in early 2015 to help unite people around the world to speak with one powerful voice on important issues, whether they are local, regional, national or international.
Project Abraham is an initiative of Mozuud RSVP (Resettlement and Support for Victims of Persecution) created in 2015 to facilitate bringing Yazidi victims of ISIS to safety in Canada.
This initiative has been the primary responder in the GTA helping the Yazidi community by finding sponsors and setting up volunteer resettlement groups to support each newly-arrived Yazidi family. The resettlement groups help the privately-sponsored and Government Assisted Refugee Program (GAR) working with Yazidis in their transition from survivors of ISIS to recovering their lives in Canada. Project Abraham is involved with a coalition working with the York Region School boards.
Some background on the Yazidi People
The Yazidi are a religious minority who were concentrated in a remote area in Northern Iraq. Yazidism is one of the oldest religions in the Middle East, dating back 6,000 years. The Yazidi people speak Kurmanji Kurdish and their cultural practices are observed in Kurdish, which is also the language of almost all their orally transmitted religious traditions.
Violence against the Yazidi population stretches back to the late 16th century. In 2014, ISIS militants began to target Yazidis vulnerable to religious persecution and thousands have been murdered and the young women sold into sexual slavery.
Canadian Government Assisted Refugee program
In response to the House of Commons motion calling for action, the Canada Government announced on February 21, 2017 the prioritization of 1,200 refugees in 2017 for the Government Assisted Refugee program. The government has focussed on the resettlement of vulnerable Yazidi women and children and their families.
Project Abraham works directly with the Yazidi community to help them resettle, heal, and integrate fully into Canadian society as a way of enhancing the services that the government is already providing.
Conclusion Grandmothers Partnering with Africa and Project Abraham play important roles and are working hard to help people suffering in different parts of the world or as refugees in Canada.The Kids Fest & Concert event played a small but satisfying role in these endeavors. Having the groups come together also raised an interest & a desire to find out more about each others initiatives.