The Yezidi children in Iraq have been trapped in tented camps in Kurdistan and on the harsh mountains of Sinjar since ISIS attacked their towns on 03/08/2014 and massacred their people. Thousands of Yezidis were slaughtered that day and the following weeks, and many more captured and used as slaves by ISIS.
This massacre left approximately 4,000 children without one or both parents. There is absolutely nothing to do in the camps, isolated in dusty deserts and far from the towns. The only recreational sporting activity is football but many are too poor to own shoes, let alone a football.
Some of the camps have more than 20.000 Yezidis in them, making distribution difficult. In such circumstances we liaise with managers and football clubs, or simply distribute randomly to the poor when we have a chance, especially on Sinjar where conditons are extremely harsh.
Footballs provide much-needed relief from the boredom of life in a tent and create a cohesiveness and team spirit. This is great for encouraging the traumatised children to mix and get both boys and girls participate.
Not only is football great exercise, but a perfect way to make friends and, for a few minutes, forget the many horrors these children have experienced.
We believe in supporting the local economy and buy the footballs locally. Shipping footballs from abroad is an enormous expense and environmental cost, and simply not necessary when we can get them on average for $5 each in Iraq.
So far this year we have provided hundreds of children with footballs and with your support we’ll continue to do so.
Thank you so much for your help with this project, it is so greatly appreciated by all!