Through HERA's reunification efforts, we were able to assist uniting a family that had been held in the ISIS capital city of al-Raqqa, Syria.
In May, 2016, HERA’s support and aid led to the reunification of three (3) persons. The persons were identified as a Kurdish mother and her two sons. The mother had been sold to an ISIS fighter as a wife.
“I was treated like a slave,” reports the mother, who has asked to remain nameless in public documentation. “When I heard that it was possible to leave, I did everything I could. If I failed, we would have been killed for planning to escape”.
HERA’s team was alerted to the plight of the family through our network of smugglers. We then worked with these smugglers to ascertain the family’s exact location and plan an escape. Working with local partners, HERA managed the complexities of bringing a family of three out of al-Raqqa, the de facto capital of ISIS.
“From the beginning, we knew this was going to be challenging,” says Davey Gibian, the Director of Middle East and Africa for HERA. “But the family was going to attempt to escape regardless of our help. It was our responsibility as humanitarians to assist in any way we could”.
The family was brought to an undisclosed location in Northern Iraq. Here, HERA’s team was able to provide safe transport to Kurdish-control territory.