Orphanages have been established in Dohuk Province to accommodate the Yazidi children orphaned by ISIS who hail from Mount Sinjar.
In the city of Duhok in North Iraq, the Ain Sifni Charity Association is sponsoring dozens of Yazidi children who were orphaned by ISIS. According to the director of the charity organisation, the orphanage welcomed 16 children when the project was first launched, although this number has increased since that time. “First, we opened one orphanage which had 16 children, but now there are three orphanages,” said Udi Ali Sulaiman, the supervisor of the orphanage and the director of the Ain Sifni Charity Organisation. “The total number of orphaned children in each orphanage is 40 children.”
Most of the children currently being taken care of in the orphanage are from Mount Sinjar and the surrounding areas. According to the supervisors, many of these children saw their parents, and siblings being killed in front of them, leaving them mentally scarred.
As a result of their traumatic experiences, the orphanage provides psychological support to these children, in addition to the other essential services.
“We use all our effort to help orphaned children to get out of the psychological state and trauma they have experienced,” said Zuzan Hassib, the secondary supervisor of the orphanage. “We carry out various intellectual, mental, artistic, and sports activities. We also organise trips to different places for entertainment.”
Due to these activities and more, the organisers have been able to observe a significant improvement in these children’s psychological conditions.
Many initiatives to care for orphans left behind by ISIS’ brutality have been launched since the defeat of ISIS in Iraq.
However, civil society organisations throughout the country have called on the Iraqi Government and international aid organisations to help in the rehabilitation of these children, in addition to providing them with their core needs.
Due to the high number of orphans in the country, the Iraqi Government should make the necessary investments to care for these orphans in order for them to grow up feeling equal to other children. Furthermore, the risk of militant organisations exploiting these children increases with lack of proper care, potentially causing more problems for the country in the future.