Uyghur Wellness Initiative
The Uyghur Wellness Initiative (UWI), known asروھىي ساغلاملىق تەشەببۇسى (Spiritual Wellness Initiative) in Uyghurche, is a collaborative effort led by Uyghurs, for Uyghurs. Our mission is to create a safe, dedicated space for Uyghurs to come together in this time of crisis for our holistic wellbeing - as individuals, families and a community.
Who We Are
The ongoing genocide in the Uyghur homeland has placed an immense emotional, social, mental, spiritual and physical toll on the Uyghur diaspora community. Diaspora Uyghurs are suffering grief and trauma due to the disappearance, imprisonment, and death of loved ones. They have been unable to freely communicate with family in the Uyghur Region since 2017, and many diaspora Uyghurs are still in the dark about their loved ones’ wellbeing and location.
Members of the Uyghur community and other Uyghur rights advocates in the US recognize the increased stress placed on diaspora Uyghurs with the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic and the compounding isolation that followed. In May 2020, we launched the UWI to support the holistic wellbeing of diaspora Uyghurs through public events, shared resources for coping with grief and trauma, and pro bono wellness professional referrals.
Our mission is reflected in our logo. In the Spiritual Wellness Initiative, we are coming together as a community. We are honoring Uyghurs' pride in our identity and love of our homeland. We are recognizing the circle of life, a circle that is broken in some places, but is holding together, and is still beautiful. Uyghurs' souls are broken by what we are suffering, which can never be forgotten and will cause terrible pain forever. But we do not need to suffer alone. We have the right to help and support. We can call on helping hands and community support to cherish our hearts and help us to not give up on life, despite our pain. As the generations of life continue, we want our children and their children to find the gifts of hope and love, pride in who they are, and healthy lives, despite the overwhelming trauma and grief of the Uyghur people.