With your support, MADRE and the Organization of Women’s Freedom in Iraq (OWFI) created the Women’s Peace Farm, a shelter for women and families displaced by extremist ISIS violence. At the Peace Farm, women and the children in their care find safe haven. Not only that, they are growing food, earning income and beginning to rebuild their lives.
In a recent conversation with our OWFI activist partners, including director Yanar Mohammed, they shared with us stories and pictures from the Peace Farm.
We’d like to share a few with you now.
Here’s Yanar with a baby girl born at the Peace Farm. Her mother, Reemah*, arrived at the farm pregnant and alone, after fleeing ISIS violence with only the clothes on her back. The other women at the farm quickly rallied to support her, buying small goods, baby clothes and presents with some money they pooled together.
Today, both mother and baby are healthy and safe, and are benefiting from the community of support they’ve found on the farm. Reemah has found comfort in the new friends she’s made. And she’s growing food and earning income to support her daughter. She didn’t think she’d ever feel safe again after the violence she escaped, but slowly, Reemah is rebuilding a peaceful life.
Here’s an OWFI staff member with three young girls living at the Peace Farm. One of these young girls is named Asma*. She and her mother escaped from northern Iraq after her family was targeted with deadly ISIS violence. She’s been living at the Farm for a few months. At just 9 years old, Asma has already been through a tremendous amount. But despite the hardships she’s endured, she remains positive, happy and healthy.
What’s more, she’s already an impressive community organizer! Asma goes around the farm asking the other children living there if they have any needs, from socks to books to clothes. She makes a list to share with OWFI staff members and follows up to make sure that the children’s needs are met. Asma is thriving as a budding community organizer. And OWFI is so glad to have Asma, a young activist in the making, advocating for the children at the farm!
Our partners describe the farm as an oasis of hope, where families like Reemah’s and Asma’s can regain the sense of security and safety they’ve lost. The women living at the farm, they say, are united and resilient. The Peace Farm is a true community of support for women and families who have lost everything.
Your support of MADRE is seeing women and children in Iraq through the crisis of war. Thank you so much for making this work possible. We can only do it because we have you standing with us!
*Names have been changed to protect their identity.