Woman’s Sustainable Farming project

The Woman’s Sustainable Farming project rebuilds farming households by empowering women to restart cultivating their land. Nadia’s Initiative has designed, developed, and implemented the project. The project’s broader effect is its revitalising nature to the Sinjar agricultural industry. The project’s broader effect is its revitalising nature to the Sinjar agricultural industry. This is done through the reclaiming of land, which allows farmers to build a foundation for the local economy to reverse some effects from the genocide committed against the Yazidis.

Nadia's Initiative

Location: Iraq

Nadia’s Initiative emerged in 2018 as a response to the profound disruption endured by Nobel Peace Prize Laureate and UNODC Goodwill Ambassador Nadia Murad in 2014 when The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) launched a devastating attack on her native homeland of Sinjar, Iraq, committing genocide against the Yazidi population. Their campaign is a stark illustration of contemporary terrorism and genocide, marked by unspeakable atrocities, including abductions, executions, sexual slavery, starvation, and destruction of public and private infrastructure, and deprivation of necessities. One of the defining aspects of Nadia’s Initiative is its unwavering commitment to a bottom-up and survivor-centric approach. This is realised through the deliberate inclusion of exclusively Yazidi staff members hailing from Sinjar, ensuring that the projects and programs are intricately tailored to meet the genuine needs and aspirations of the survivors and their communities. The Woman’s Sustainable Farming project is one of these projects.


Nadia’s Initiative empowered 33 women who were survivors of genocide, the primary breadwinners for their households, and had returned to their pre-genocide communities in Sinjar with comprehensive livelihood support. This support included theoretical trainings; distribution of tools, equipment, and supplies based on each woman’s business needs; construction and rehabilitation of infrastructure such as boreholes, irrigation, solar, and greenhouses; practical trainings on the equipment and supplies; and ongoing support from the NI team. Within six months, many of the women had begun harvesting their first crops, and some had already started selling crops at local markets.


The Woman’s Sustainable Farming Project is dedicated to providing sustainable livelihood opportunities for women. The project aims to equip women with the knowledge and competencies to implement sustainable farming practices effectively. This project involves 33 female-headed farming households and employs a comprehensive approach.

The project includes theoretical and practical training sessions on sustainable farming techniques. Additionally,  it provides essential tools and seeds to support these women. Going a step further, the project facilitates the construction and installation of greenhouses and solar panels and rehabilitation of water infrastructure. Ongoing technical assistance ensures consistent support for the participants. A robust system of continuous monitoring and evaluation is firmly in place to guide and empower the participating women and glean insights that will shape and enhance future endeavours.

A central focus of this project is addressing a critical regional concern of food accessibility. By empowering women to cultivate their crops, the Initiative enables them to provide for their families and generate income by selling their produce. Beyond these individual benefits, these empowered women become change agents, offering their communities access to fresh, locally-grown food. This contributes to a broader impact that resonates across the region.

This project increased the resilience of these survivors, helping them and their families find renewed hope for their future in Sinjar, in the dimensions of economics, environmental sustainability, and their outlook. All beneficiaries reported that this project positively impacted their lives.