Sindis – Sewing Sister

Sindis , 22. Back in the summer of 2014, I was living a happy, simple life with my husband and young son, excitedly awaiting the birth of our second child. But on Sunday August 3rd, everything changed, tearing our whole world apart. On that black day, forever etched in my memory, Daesh stormed our village of Tel Qasab, near Mount Sinjar in northern Iraq.

Like tens of thousands of other innocent families, we had no choice but to flee our home, leaving everything behind us. There was nowhere to go except for the mountain – and even that was not safe. Despite my being heavily pregnant, conditions on the mountain were terrible; there was no food or water, nor any medical aid. We were all at risk of dehydration and starvation, and Daesh surrounded us, and were firing on civilians.

After a few days on the mountain, I gave birth to our new baby, Hawar. It should have been a joyous occasion, but was fraught with fear and uncertainty. In sheer desperation, my husband Farhad went off in search of water. He never came back. We searched everywhere for him, but it was useless. He had vanished. Even today I have no idea what happened to him, and whether he is even alive.

As I desperately struggled to feed our newborn baby and care for our other son Haval, we were facing a real life or death situation. I decided we had to get to safety in Kurdistan, and later we came to the Rwanga community camp.

Though I had very little help in keeping my children safe from harm, I feel fortunate that we survived such a nightmare. I am also grateful to The Lotus Flower, which is giving me a chance of a future again. I am participating in the charity’s Sewing Sisters project, which has been established to help many women like myself learn invaluable sewing skills. The scheme will hopefully allow me to become financially independent and get my life back on track, and therefore fulfil my young family’s needs.

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