Help A Yezedi Family

Request for Help for Yezedi Family – Request over after an extremely successful response. September, 2019. Reported by Sandra Onufryk

$6591 was raised to help the Yezedi mother and daughter who were both held captive by ISIS. Although the mother had been released about two years ago the daughter remained in captivity until late spring. Mother and daughter were reunited in a Jordanian refugee camp that the mother hurried to as soon as she realized her daughter was in the camp. She has since had to return to her other children in Canada but the daughter’s case is being expedited by Immigration Canada and we hope that the girl will be here soon. Thank you to all who donated as these funds will be used to help repay the travel costs of the mom and will help the family with a number of costs once her daughter arrives in Richmond Hill.

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You have heard from Katy and me before. We have asked you to help us help others and you did. However, every so often a case so terrible comes to our attention that we feel the need to make another special plea. This is the case of an 11 year old Yezedi girl called Waifi.


Five years ago this August ISIS overran a Yezedi town in northern Iraq. As non Muslims all the men in the town, including Waifi’s father and brothers were killed immediately. Waifi and her mother Adlan were taken into captivity, separated and sold into slavery. I prefer not to share the details of their captivity, only to say that they suffered extreme physical, mental and sexual abuse, virtually beyond your imagination. Waifi was only 6 at the time. However, there were girls younger that shared the same fate.


Three years ago Adlan escaped and eventually came to Canada with her younger children, some born since the dreadful events of August 2014. She never forgot Waifi and grieved continuously for her. However, on May 28th of this year a miracle occurred. The ISIS stronghold was captured and Waifi was found and released.


During her captivity Waifi had been converted to the Muslim religion, wore a hijab, forgot her native language, spoke Arabic and began to see the woman who “cared” for her as her mother. She had forgotten Adlan and her previous life.


Waifi now lives with her paternal grandmother in a camp in Iraq. We are working with the Canadian Section of the United Nations High Commission for Refugees to secure an early transit to Canada. In the meantime Adlan immediately borrowed money from wherever she could get it and has gone to the refugee camp to be reunited with Waifi.


In the camp Waifi is relearning her language, religion and culture and remembering her mother. She is even learning how to sing “O Canada” and to speak some English. Donations are needed to help pay for the loan Adlan took to fly to Iraq and for her expenses there. Airfare costs will be incurred to bring Waifi to Canada. A long course of psychological counselling will be needed and it will be expensive. 


We are targeting $5000 in donations from Maple Grove. We all have mothers, wives or daughters or are women ourselves. It is hard to imagine what these women and girls have been through. Perhaps we would rather not think about it. However, we can do something to help make things better. Please give by writing a cheque to Maple Grove United Church and indicating that it is for the Yezedi family.


Thank you,
Sandra Onufryk and Katy Joaquim

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