A day with Turkish Red Crescent in camps for Syrian people

تم النشر: 30 أكتوبر 2014 15:17 CET

By Tommaso Della Longa, IFRC

“Be a doctor”, “Help people in need”, “Live in a safe place without bombs”, “Return home”, “Become a Red Crescent member as the people that is supporting us”. These are some of the hopes and dreams that Syrian children share with us during a Red Cross and Red Crescent partners meeting in Islahiye camp in Turkey, 40 kilometres from the Syrian border. Here, all the participants to the meeting had the opportunity to experience first-hand the activities of Turkish Red Crescent is implementing.  In this camp, ten thousand Syrians are living with services provided by Turkish Red Crescent in close cooperation with partners inside and outside the Red Cross Red Crescent Movement. 2,700 students are served by a school where they can follow programmes based on Syrian educational ones to be able to return in the future in a Syrian class. On the other side, they will learn also Turkish and English, along with other formal education.

 “When I arrived here, I was pregnant,” says a Syrian woman who came 2 years and half ago from Aleppo with her husband. “My little princess was born here, inside the camp. My family is divided between Idlib and Aleppo: we had unfortunately rare contacts between us”. A new generation is growing in the camps, while the Syria crisis is entering in the fourth year of armed conflict. “My husband was a construction worker in Syria with a medium income. Now sometimes is a daily worker and we try to survive”. All the Syrians here have debit cards to buy food items in the supermarket inside the camp: this programme is run by Turkish Red Crescent and WFP and also AFAD.  “They get 85 Turkish liras per month per person in the family: 60 for food and 25 for not food items. With this programme, we support also dignity of people: instead of providing food parcels, we let Syrian families to decide on their own what to buy and when”, explains the Turkish Red Crescent team.

AFAD, Turkish Red Crescent and other relevant partners provides all services inside the 21 camps that are hosting 230 thousand Syrians, from food and not food items to shelter, educational and recreational activities and psychosocial support. After visiting some tents, all the group was accompanied by several Syrian children all around the camp, from the school to the place where they were drawing their dreams. As in many other emergency situation, children seem to have great energies to react to the tragedy of war. Their smiles and eyes  were  fascinating for all the Red Cross Red Crescent group. But when it comes to questions about their dreams, a lot of kids change their expression and start to speak about a world without war, a life without the ugly sound of the bombs, their will of returning to their home. This is why all the activities carried out by Turkish Red Crescent are more than fundamental: not only life-saving activities, but also a vision on how to save an entire generation.