Report by “Youth Bridge Organization” – Ezidi 24 – Particular
This report highlights the government`s performance in Sinjar regarding both education and health sections in some areas of this region so, it is neutral in covering these areas. The report is based on information were collected and documented by monitoring and evaluation team in Youth Bridge Organization, who has been trained on monitoring and evaluating processes. As well as making interviews with people working in these sections in order to know the situation of education and health in Sinjar after ISIS` occupation. The aim of the report is to assay the government`s performance in the region.
These team members (16 monitors from different cultural and ethnic backgrounds) have been receiving trainings on collecting information from their sources without being affected by personal opinions of different people in the region. Here, we are delivering an informational report not as analyzing or justifying health and education situation in the region.
It has to be mentioned that this report does not introduce an assessment of the situation of health and education services, rather it gives a real view on these sections after all of the damage they had upon ISIS` occupation on 3rd of Aug 2014 and after returning of a relatively good number of people to their houses.
Health and education sections are considered crucial sections, which help in returning people to their houses. On the other hand, if the services were not good, people would lose the encouragement for return.
We have not made any change on the information, because our aim is to organize and arrange them. The information here indicate the real status of services of these two sections, and they state that the status of health and education should be reviewed as soon as possible otherwise people will be directly and strongly affected. This could be a reason for back-return of people to areas they displaced to before.
This report concentrates on Sinjar region\ 120 km west Mosul, which has exposed to ISIS` brattle attacks on third of August 2014. These attacks are considered as Yazidi genocide that has yield to murdering and kidnapping more than 10 thousands people (6314 women and children were kidnapped), it is known that their corpses are in 81 mass graves (formally recognized by Martyrs and Mass Graves Foundation), including the massacre that occurred in Kujo village on 15th of August 2014. The attacks included the damage of complexes and center of Sinjar city, which were recognized by Iraqi parliament as catastrophic areas. More than 400 thousands people (most were Yazidis) were forced to displace to Kurdistan region, especially Duhok, and now living in more than 16 IDP camps and uncompleted houses in nearby villages with thousands remaining on the top of Sinjar Mountain and returning of thousands of them to complexes in North district\ Sinoni and villages subordinate to it.
This report is one of the Youth Bridge Organization`s projects, which has initialized and trained the monitoring team. Youth Bridge Organization is one of the nascent, non-governmental organizations that works on developing youth`s abilities in building peace and community coherence projects. This organization works in Nineveh governorate, mainly Sinjar. This project was implemented by Youth Bridge with investment and support from National Endowment for Democracy (NED). The report focuses on diagnosing the services situation in Sinjar, which has a crucial relationship with stability, returning of people, and peace building in this area. The way that Youth Bridge takes to implement the project and diagnose the challenges that people have in their way to return to Sinjar is based on reasons mentioned above. This report covers the center of Sinjar district and villages and complexes surrounding it in the south side of the mountain, which are 72 villages and complexes in which people of Arab, Yazidi, Christian, Turkmen, Sunna, and Shia are living in. Some of these villages contain a mixture of these groups such as Sulag, Rambosi, Al-safo….etc.
Regardless to what was mentioned in the article 26 of Universal Declaration of Human Rights “Everyone has the right to education”, however people in Sinjar face difficulties in order to get this right.
In the period of Ba`ath Party control, people were having many difficulties to reach education. Presence of schools in the center of Sinjar district notwithstanding, most of the villages were lacking any educational foundation. Therefore, attending schools was very limited due to less job opportunities and fear of people (mostly Yazidis) from changing students` religion and cultures when they attend schools in areas away from their region.
The period after the regimen system was not much better than that period regardless to presence of both Kurdish and Arabic educational systems and the desire of attending schools in addition to job opportunities availability. The conflict between the Iraqi government and Kurdistan government on Sinjar as it is one of the regions related to the article 140 of Iraqi constitution led to failure of both sides to improve services situation in the area. That resulted in bad security, educational, and health situations in the region. That has negatively influenced on availability of educational foundations for people living in this area in addition to deprivation of many villages from education. Even if the schools in some villages were present, they were built by clay, thus collapsed upon ISIS` occupation on the area.
On 3rd of Aug, 2014, ISIS attacked on Sinjar which victimized thousands of civil people including killings, injuries, kidnapping, and massive displacement of district`s population. Until now, there are more than 2000 kidnapped of unknown fate. Education was also one of the sections affected by that event starting from killing and kidnapping students and teachers, migration of many of them, and the damage that affected educational buildings in addition to control of armed groups and governmental parties on some of them.
After complete free up of Sinjar from ISIS, we noticed return of many families to their houses from IDP camps, but the actions were shy from government to revive education in the region. International and local NGO`s rehabilitated some schools, but that was not enough to provide basic educational needs of the region. Despite passing mostly 4 years over the free up, still many people cannot reach school as a simple their simple right. These actions had affected negatively on the stabilization of the region because it led to back return of many families to areas they had displaced to previously, in addition to leaving schools from many students due to the challenges and difficulties that this section has in Sinjar. In the 72 villages and towns, which we covered, there are 5700 student from 5292 family returned to these regions, there are also 59 school 13 of them are qualified for teaching, 57 employees are employed in these schools in addition to 94 volunteer teachers. The following chart shows the number of villages and towns, employees, and number of qualified and nonqualified schools.
1.1- Difficulties and challenges that education section face in the center of Sinjar district and surrounding areas
There are still many challenges which hinder education process in these areas due to the huge damage of the educational foundation in Sinjar, and migration of teachers. Among the challenges that were mentioned in this report:
- Lack of schools in most of the villages and towns.
- Small number of schools comparing with population.
- Absence of education directorate in the region is one of the main problems that education has in Sinjar.
- Remaining of most of the staff in areas they displaced to, thus decreased number of teachers and staff.
- Lack of rehabilitating and equipping schools although all villages are free of ISIS.
- The region lacks to any literacy foundation.
- Lack of educational vocational foundations in Sinjar and surrounding areas.
- Acute shortage in scholarly needs such as seats, books, and stationary materials which are crucial for education.
- Acute shortage in teaching staff, the number of employees is inadequate, in addition to the huge number of volunteered teachers who may leave schools at any time if they are not paid.
- Increasing in number of students with decreased number of schools which leads to accumulating large number of students in one class resulting in decreased level of understanding.
- Lack of specialist teachers of many subjects, this leads to teaching some subjects by non-specialist teachers and thus affecting students` understanding.
- Difficulties in reaching schools due to the distance between students` houses and schools in addition to lack of transportations.
- Difficult living situations and security instability influences teaching process.
- Lack of playing and rest areas in schools.
- Lack of gas for heaters in winter.
- Most of the schools need to be rehabilitated (especially WC).
- Lack of financial aid for students from poor families.
- Insufficient support for students who want to return to schools after they have discontinued due to ISIS` occupation.
- Lack of governmental support in addition to delay in delivering needs from Mosul was one of the main points people mentioned.
1.2- Recommendations of education section in Sinjar and surrounding areas:
- Building new schools and educational foundations according to number of students.
- Rehabilitating the damaged schools and educational foundations which are affected by war.
- Opening a high school in Sinjar center as soon possible.
- Employing volunteered teachers and graduated staff from all specifications.
- Working in returning teacher from IPD camps to their areas.
- Providing scholarly needs for students and schools.
- Finding a solution for return of Arabic and Kurdish education administrations to the region.
- Building kindergartens due to their importance.
- Paving the roads from villages to schools.
- Aiding students from poor families.
- Opening literacy centers in the region.
- Opening vocational schools in the region.
- Providing playing and rest areas for children.
- Opening programs for those who want to return to schools.
- Finding a plan to overcome the delay in delivering needs from Mosul.
2- Health Section
There is no doubt that health section, in Sinjar and surrounding areas, was one of the most affected sections by the conflicts happened in the region leading to deprivation in reaching basic health services in the region. Health section in the region suffers from unavailability of treatment for chronic diseases, specialist doctors, medical needs, staff, and drugs. Regardless to the efforts made by non-governmental and international organizations with small efforts made by local government, there are still many challenges health section face in Sinjar and surrounding areas which is one of the main reasons behind people remaining in camps and instability of the region. Patients face many difficulties in reaching health services in Mosul,Tel-afar and Kurdistan due to the distances and visiting Mosul is considered unsafe because of the psychological issues resulted upon ISIS` control on the area.
About 90% of villages and towns surrounding Sinjar suffer from lack of health centers which is a reason hinders people return to their houses. In addition, Sinjar General Hospital lacks many of the crucial departments such as operations, maternity, and surgery beside lack of specialists. People, from most of the areas we covered, mentioned the importance of health centers in these villages and towns to fit number of population.
The following information were collected from Sinjar district and they show health section`s situation which require a rapid solution for these problems.
2.1- Challenges and problems of health section in Sinjar and surrounding areas
Health section faces many challenges which hinder people`s access to health services in the region. Health is considered one of the main factors affecting people`s return and stability of the region. Among these challenges:
- Acute shortage in number of hospitals if compared with number of population.
- Difficulty in reaching services in villages due to the distance between them and Sinjar center.
- Shortage in departments available in the hospital.
- Lack of the specialist doctors and medical staff in general.
- Lack of drugs and medical needs.
- Lack of administrative staff.
- Lack of ambulances and drivers.
- Lack of service cars for hospitals and health centers.
- The effect of security in the region on health section.
2.2- Recommendation of health section in Sinjar and surrounding areas
There are some recommendations were recommended by people working in this field:
- Increasing the capacity of the hospital and opening new departments such as operations and maternity.
- Opening an operation theater in Sinjar General Hospital fits with people`s need.
- Building new health centers in villages according to the number of population.
- Rehabilitating health centers and qualifying them for receiving patients.
- Providing drugs and medical needs for hospitals and health center.
- Building a general laboratory for tests.
- Increasing in number of specialist doctors and medical staff.
- Providing opportunities for doctors to study specialty.
- Distribution of employed staff on their geographical areas.
- Improving psychology department.
- Providing family planning department.
- Providing vaccination and health awareness programs.
- Providing ambulances and drivers.
- Providing service cars for hospitals and health centers.
The monitoring team in Youth Bridge Organization was trained on collecting information and monitoring them in order to prepare this report to document health and education sections in Sinjar and surroundings areas, which were 72 villages and towns. People from different backgrounds such as Yazidi, Christian, Muslims, and Turkmen are living in these areas. In some areas a mixtures of these religions and ethics are living together representing the prefect sample for life in Iraq such as Solag, and Rambosy. This report highlights health and education services situation in addition to main problems and challenges of these sections. These sections are considered crucial factors affecting on people return from camps.
If we compare the number of people returned to 72 villages and towns with the service situation, we will figure out badness of these services and difficulties people face to reach their basic rights.
5295 families returned to these villages and towns, there are about 5699 students from different levels.
There were 72 schools for Arabic and Kurdish education in these areas, but now only 13 are qualified and 7 among them are receiving students (4 Kurdish and 3 Arabic). 59 non-qualified schools, some of them were detonated while others were affected by war. There are only 57 employee in these schools, whereas 94 volunteer teachers are giving lectures. These statistics show the bad situation of education in the region.
Health section is not much better than education, if there is only 1 hospital (Sinjar General Hospital\ Sinjar center) in 72 villages and towns we covered. This hospital lacks too many departments and qualifications to help people in the region. There are 9 health centers in these villages and towns (3 in Sinjar center, 6 in other villages). Among these health centers 3 are qualified while 6 are non-qualified after all the suffer they had upon war such as denotation, bombing, and occupying them by governmental and armed groups.
The report explains health and education situation. The following is a comparison between number of returned and non-returned families, qualified and non-qualified schools, and qualified and non-qualified health centers in this region.
To download the file as PDF, M&E report -Sinjar