I'll be creating a series of portraits of the men, women and children who had to flee, with the one item that meant the most to them. They will each get to tell their story, and have their voice heard.
"I am Sitee, from Sinjar and I am 27 years old, In 2014 when ISIS attacked before we could run, we were captured by them. They took me to Syria and I was sold among them twice. After a year I took the opportunity to run and hide myself in a Kurdish family. After I came to the camp I heard that there are literacy courses for illiterate people. I remembered all the sorrows I had during the time I was in ISIS’s hands as I was alone some of the times but was unable to take any benefits because I didn’t even know numbers so I couldn't call anyone. I wondered how the situation would be different if I was a learned person at that time. I decided to participate in the course.
I encourage everyone who hasn’t been in school for whatever reason try your best to learn because ignorance is darkness and you aren’t obliged to spend your entire life living in that darkness."
Through various projects, The Lotus Flower offers these women, most of whom have suffered unimaginable trauma, the chance to rebuild their lives. From education, physical health, wellbeing and psychological support, Lotus provides women's centres as a safe space to learn, grow and feel empowered once again.
Many of the projects offer the women and girls the opportunity to gain valuable training and skills that can be used to earn an income, meaning they are able to support their families in meaningful ways. Evidence shows that if you lift girls and women out of poverty, they take their communities with them. Lotus works with the women and girls to provide projects, classes and skills they want.
It's very necessary for women to have confidence in themselves and believe that they are strong and powerful. - Seelvan, 13
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