Impressions gained from our trip

Udo and Sigi Stolte paid a visit to Kurdistan in North Iraq. They experienced both pleasant and shocking encounters.

07. May 2019


Geese distributed to Yazidi Refugees a year ago now have offspring.

Geese distributed to Yazidi Refugees a year ago now have offspring.

Food for Yazidi Refugees - in particular, fresh fruit for the kids.

Food for Yazidi Refugees - in particular, fresh fruit for the kids.

First the pleasant encounters: Despite months of bad weather with flooding the Yazidi refugees in
“our” camps were in good spirits. The reason: We have been able to provide them with fresh fruit
and other urgent food supplies. In addition, the geese and chickens they had received for the
purpose of breeding a year ago have offspring.

We were able to visit the town of Ba'adra, considered the political capital of the Yazidis, and
distribute food there as well. The recipients responded with much joy and thanksgiving.
But now we come to the horrifying encounters.

Increasing numbers of sex-slaves held by ISIS terrorists are now free and arriving in Ba'adra and
the nearby Ba'adra camp. They are deeply traumatised as a result of the terrible abuse they suffered at the hands of “Islamic State” henchmen. A recently freed teenage girl simply lay on a sofa
following medical treatment in a state of total apathy, unable to talk. Another young girl had to
watch what the terrorists did to her family. The shock caused her to lose all her hair. Two years have gone by and her hair has not yet grown again.

Other girls and young women spoke of matters I do not wish to disclose here. This also applies to
photos of the girls and young women concerned.

A small team from a local church have adopted the freed ISIS sex slaves. The team is training local
women in dealing with trauma and providing them with materials to help the girls and women overcome their traumata. We are planning to participate in this project and would welcome
donations.

We also came across traumatised men and boys. One eight year old boy, full of hatred, was acting
extremely aggressively. He didn't want to stay in the camp but had in mind to get hold of weapons
and take revenge.

One man was told that he could now return home because his town was now free from ISIS. His response: “Why should I return home? When the ISIS-terrorists attacked us they took 46 of us men
captive. They killed 45 and I am the sole survivor.”

Such stories leave us speechless.

Now and again people ask me whether we don't want to give up in situations where everything is
getting worse. But it is precisely these shocking stories full of unimaginable human suffering that
motivate us to continue with this work. In this way we want to show these people that there is
another way besides revenge, more violence or resignation.We want to give them new hope. Please
help us in this endeavour.