Spiritual Leader and Peace Ambassador, Sri Sri Ravi Shankar to Visit Relief Camps in Kurdistan

International Association for Human Values (IAHV) Reaches out to Yazidis, Shias & Christians in Iraq

WASHINGTON DC--(Marketwired - Oct 31, 2014) -  Global humanitarian and spiritual leader, Sri Sri Ravi Shankar today called on governments of Europe, America and India to save the thousands of Yazidis trapped in the Sinjar Mountains in Iraq. Sri Sri will be visiting the relief camps next month where IAHV will also hold a conference in the Kurdish capital of Erbil on November 20th titled "Protecting Women and Bringing Stability and Peace" inviting regional political and religious leaders, youth leaders, community activists, peace builders and international delegates.

Video: http://vimeo.com/110429604

Since the early stages of the ISIS insurgence in Iraq, over 1.5 million Iraqis have been internally displaced or forced to flee across borders for their safety. The International Association for Human Values (IAHV) and its partner organization Art of Living Foundation which have carried out work in Iraq for the past 11 years have been working for the past six months to bring relief to refugees and internally displaced people (IDP). From its base in Erbil, the team has brought relief in the form of food, water and hygiene products to 5 different camps, each camp sheltering 550 Iraqi families, totaling about 2500 families.

"This is one of the worst genocides of the 21st century. Yazidis are an ancient community on the verge of extinction. Several members of this community visited me here in the U.S last week and pleaded for help to rescue the people from the ISIS onslaught. Christians, Yazidis and Kurdish Shias are languishing in camps in Erbil, Duhok and Khazir. Yazidis who were a community of 23 million have now been reduced to one million over the years," Sri Sri said.

Throwing light on the condition in the strife-torn land, he added, "Thousands are trapped in the mountains with no food or water. 7000 Yazidi girls and women, aged between 9-35 years, have been taken captive by the ISIS. We have rescued and rehabilitated a 15-year-old girl victim of gang-rape and are rescuing many other women trapped and being sold by ISIS for as little as $10. Basic needs are being distributed in the camps."

Additionally, some Kurdish Members of Parliament who participated in IAHV's Transformational Leadership for Excellence (TLEX) training last June also came to visit the camps, meeting refugees, assessing their needs and distributing relief items.

IAHV is currently in discussions with the Ministry of Youth to launch a youth Peace Ambassadors program, giving them skills in peace-building and conflict resolution.

IAHV is a non-profit founded by Sri Sri Ravi Shankar as a global platform for humanitarian initiatives that solves problems by uplifting human values.

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Media Contact:
Seema Sehgal