landscape

Witness by Maranie Staab

Dusk falls over the Bajad Kandala displacement camp. 01.06.19

I’ve several days yet remaining in Kurdistan but the reality of me leaving to return to my comfortable life is starting to crystallize. Those who’ve allowed me into their lives—many of whom I now call friends— will remain here, their futures but a question mark. I’m buoyed by the strength and the resilience I’ve witnessed while simultaneously being saddened and infuriated by the injustice.

Studying for a better tomorrow by Maranie Staab

When the #yezidi community from Sinjar was forced to flee from ISIS in August 2014 the education of thousands of children and young adults was disrupted. Today, in the Bajad Kandala camp in Iraqi Kurdistan some NGOs and a host of Kurdish volunteer teachers are working to aid in education efforts. Though classes are only for a few hours several days a week if one is to walk through the camp they will see children and young adults studying in their spare moments, many working to learn English, all doing so in the hope of finding a good job.

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Education // Bajed Kandala by Maranie Staab

One of the many consequences of displacement—whether it be because of conflict, poverty, environmental, political or otherwise—is the disruption of education for children and young adults alike. While in Mosul last year I remember meeting young adults, similar in age to myself, who had no choice but to abandon their studies when ISIS took hold of the city.

For the Yazidis displaced from Sinjar in August 2014 the story is similar — despite efforts from (some) NGOs and individual volunteers, education halted as people were forced to flee and has yet to resume the regularity or attendance that existed in Sinjar. in the Bajad Kandala camp in Iraqi Kurdistan one school operates and the majority of educational efforts are being made by volunteers—other displaced Yazidis living with the camp.

My first night in the Bajed Kandala Camp by Maranie Staab

It’s a cold, rainy first night in the Bajed Kandala 2 camp for displaced Yazidis. Of the nearly 200,000 Yazidis still displaced four years after the ISIS seige on Sinjar, approximately 15,000 call the Bajed Kandala camps home. I’ll be here for the next 2 weeks teaching, photographing and just spending time ... please consider following along.

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