The Yazidi Genocide and the Story Behind the Necklace
The Yazidi Story
In 2014 the world became aware of the Yazidi people. Though they had been a persecuted people group for centuries prior – enduring 73 genocides throughout history – their unfortunate fate as one of ISIS’s targets brought on their 74th genocide and catapulted them to the forefront of international news. ISIS ravaged the Yazidi town of Sinjar, murdering and kidnapping many, and then forcing the weak, infirmed and elderly to march up the nearby mountain. Many died on the march, and many of those that made it to the top starved to death. You may recall the grim news footage of mothers stranded on the top of the mountain, desperately trying to pass their children onto hovering UN aid helicopters – doing anything they could to try to save their children’s lives.
When we heard of this atrocity, our team was burdened to help these people. Over the months, we became more and more determined that when ISIS was finally beaten, and the area cleared, we would build playgrounds for their children so that upon their return home, amongst the rubble, they would see bright beacons of hope welcoming them home and beckoning them to come play. As Lenya describes it, “our playgrounds represent punching a hole in the darkness where the light of Jesus – the light of the world – can shine through and let these children know that they are loved and not forgotten.”
Representatives from our team eventually travelled to Iraq where they met with the highest Yazidi leader, Baba Sheikh, and discussed the idea of building playgrounds. His frank comment was simply that “one will not be enough.” Our team also met with survivors who shared their heart-wrenching stories and showed them news footage of the horrifying death of several young Yazidi women that were placed in a cage and burned alive. They insisted that our team watch the video, imploring them to share their story and tell the world what was happening to them. Our team members came home resolute to build the playgrounds and tell the Yazidi’s story. You can imagine, then, that we were absolutely overjoyed to be able to build several playgrounds in the Sinjar region.
The Yazidi Horse Necklace
It is with a heart to honor our Yazidi friends – to be their voice and share their story — that we created the Yazidi Horse necklace. To the Yazidis, the horse symbolizes heroism, bravery and struggle. In fact, there are ancient statues and images on tombstones in Armenia (where the Yazidis once fled during a genocide) representing horses. We created this piece of jewelry to honor their struggle and their strength. When you wear the Yazidi Horse necklace, we encourage you to use it as a conversation piece, so that you, too, can help share their story.
Interested in joining the Lovement? As the old adage goes – even a little goes a long way. Consider making a one-time, tax-deductible donation to Reload Love, or become a Groundbreaker and partner with us on a monthly basis. Together, we can be the hands and feet of Jesus to the children he loves.