Turkey is home to the highest number of Syrian refugees and remains an oasis in the middle of an unstable region beset with conflict. Some 224,750 Syrians have been born in Turkey alone since the unrest in Syria in 2011.
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Turkey hosts nearly 3 million refugees from its southern neighbour and approximately 30% live in 22 government-run camps near the Syrian border.
SKT Welfare’s deployment programme provides volunteers with the opportunity to become fully invested in the end-to-end process of aid delivery.
Involvement allows individuals to make a real tangible difference to families in dire need, and build a true appreciation for the mechanisms and challenges that accompany international relief efforts.
Several times a year, we take groups of aspiring change makers out to Turkey to deliver essential aid to Syrian families living as refugees. Volunteers identify families in remote areas for door-to-door deliveries, distribute food packs, visit schools and orphan-care facilities, as well as spend time with locals.
In order to provide individuals with an experience that explores the full gamut of humanitarian aid efforts, volunteers are required to raise a set amount of funds before they travel on a deployment. This enables them to see their fundraising transform into necessary items, such as, food and clothing for those lacking such basic necessities. Our experienced and professional teams on the ground provide support, guidance and direction for volunteers who join the programme.
Sofia — who was one such volunteer — recounts her deployment experience with SKT Welfare:
“From the very first pound I raised of my three-thousand-pound target, right down to the last parcel I delivered to a family in need, the Turkey Deployment was definitely an emotional and humbling experience. The days I spent in Reyhanli, Turkey helped me to understand that continuous acts of charity are paramount to ensure that we mean it when we say: love for your brother what you love for yourself.”
Unparalleled levels of trauma, dislocation, uncertainty and an absence of schooling, has left an entire generation of Syrian children reeling. Over 2.8 million have been affected by the crisis, resulting in hundreds of thousands of orphans in acute need of support.
With the Syrian education infrastructure totally decimated, more than 760,000 displaced children have missed whole years, or more, of schooling. Compounding this is unremitting exposure to violence, family separation and intense psychological and emotional distress.
To help redress this, SKT Welfare built the Springs of Hope Family Centre which caters for the needs of 215 Syrian orphans as well as 70 widowed mothers. Located in the town of Reyhanli — near the border with Syria — the Centre houses those who have been victims of the civil war; providing food, education (secular and religious), recreation, and counselling services. The Centre reintroduces Syrian children to a secure, stable, environment; which is integral for the wellbeing of the population.
One of the most important aspects of the Centre’s endeavours are opportunities provided for the mothers to upskill; enabling them to seek employment and, consequently, more independence. Psychological and wellbeing support is provided to the widowed mothers and orphans to help them cope with the immense trauma they’ve experienced.
Springs of Hope operates on a full-time basis and, once again, this only continues to be possible thanks to your generous donations.