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.
After fleeing the city of Sinjar, Iraq, Amani and 17 members of her extended family arrived at the Bajed Kandala Yazidi Displacement Camp on August 12, 2014. For the first two years she lived in the camp Amani recevied almost no education. At the end of 2016 she was able to attend a makeshift school within the camp and resume her studies. When asked what she wants to do when she is older her response was simple, "I want to have a family, an animal and live in peace." This image was taken on December 29, 2018.
Mena and Amal attend an Arabic lesson in a makeshift school within the Bajad Kandala displacement camp in Iraqi Kurdistan. This image was taken on December 29, 2018.
Sahr is 11 years old and, like everyone living in the Bajed Kandala Yazidi Displacement Camp, is originally from Sinjar, Iraq. Sahr was only seven years old when she and her mother and three siblings fled on foot, eventually making it the camp they now call home. Her father remained in Sinjar to fight the Islamic State and they have not heard from him since 2014. This image was taken on December 29, 2018.
Runa is one of six children and the only in her family that is currently attending school. Her siblings are not forced to attend and several have tried to find work rather than resume their education. When asked why Runa still comes to school she responded, "I want to learn English so I can get a job and leave Iraq with my family." This image was taken on December 29, 2018.
Nahida, age 12, attends a school session being held in the Bajed Kandala Yazidi Displacement Camp in Iraqi Kurdistan. Nahida and her family, like most of the nearly 9,000 individuals in the camp, fled Sinjar in 2014 and have been living in this camp for the past four and a half years. Nahida's favorite thing to study is English and wishes to live in America or Canada with her family. This image was taken on December 29, 2018.
Samira is 11 years old. She is also Yazidi- an ethno-religious minority that has existed in Iraq for centuries. Most experts cite 74 genocides throughout their tormented history, the most recent being in August 2014 when ISIS descended on the city of Sinjar killing thousands with the goal of eradicating the population. Unlike many, Samira and her family were able to flee on foot and eventually made it to the Bajed Kandala Displacement Camp where they have lived for the past four years. Samira enjoys school, playing futbol (soccer) and would like to be a teacher someday. This image was taken on December 29, 2018.
Sahara, age 8, stands during a lesson inside of a makeshift school within the Bajed Kandala Yazidi Displacement Camp in Iraqi Kurdistan. Sahara is the middle child among her four siblings and hopes to one day be able to leave Iraq. Sahara's favorite color is purple. This image was taken on December 29, 2018.
Majda, age 8. Majda is the youngest of seven children and today lives in the Bajed Kandala camp with her four sisters and mother. Her father and two older brothers chose to remain in Sinjar to fight when the Islamic State attacked the city in August 2014; Majda and her family have not heard from them since. This image was taken on December 29, 2018.