Children in one of the camps in Izmir
Most of what we will talk about today is the result of a few great souled people coming together, relentlessly working to save refugees, providing life support, and other humanitarian services, searching and finding local & international support over the course multiple years in Turkey. It would be just an injustice just to give an update about what we have done, and not to share the magnitude of the Imece’s support for the refugee population since 2015. Imece has been on multiple fronts; giving life-support, providing food & supplies, hygiene products, and offering educational activities for the refugee children in multiple tent camps they serve and their families who made it to Turkey though multiple ways and ended up in Izmir trying to build a new life.
Last August in 2017, we released a dedicated blog post about Imece & Hadra—an 11 yr old refugee girl to share one of the education projects we partnered with them. At the end of that blog we gave heads-up that they were getting ready for a master project to impact the refugees in a meaningful way. That project is building a land & village for the refugee community, a self sustaining life where moms are at work produce or create goods while children socialize, learn language & different skills to integrate into a new society. Earlier in the same year, through the support of our donors, we have provided $10,000 in financial aid to help them purchase 3 container houses for the planned village. As the refugee families don’t have a roof to stay or have weather resilient places to get classes or education, these containers do come very handy. We are pleased to know that these containers are put into good use, integrated to the village life and helping and enabling Imece to accomplish many of the objectives they laid out for the community . Imece team has spent the last 6 months completing the infrastructure and technical details and permits to go live, they converted these containers into livable places, buying furniture and the essentials to host families, or use as a classroom, and made them fully functional.
If you haven’t yet, please be sure to check out the village video . A picture/video is worth a thousand words and it shows you how the self-sustaining village idea is put int action. Here are some more specifics from the village and the use of containers:
1- They hosted 2 families of which 1 still resides in the village and uses one of the containers, a family of a single mom and her 3 children. Imece’s focus is to have the children attain a good level of Turkish so that they can be integrated to the primary elementary education system afterwards. Last semester they provided the same education, and language and rehabilitation services to 24 kids of which all have been integrated to the mainstream education & schools.Kids playing on sand on the ground in Imece Village
2- They hosted another family in one of the containers on a temporary basis, and the family has been transitioned swiftly to Sanliurfa city where the children receive more comprehensive rehabilitation services.
3- They recently organized a workshop (April 9–24) where they provided grooming services, learned soap making as means of learning “how to fish”. Imece sells these soaps and similar hand-made goods in local markets and in festivals to raise additional funds for supporting the needs of the refugees or the village.
The Imece village includes many amenities such as a farm land where they raise crops, a kitchen producing meals—3 times a week for 40 people, a tent that offers various hand made goods workshops for the moms, an area to grow chickens and lambs, an olive tree field, laundry, toilet and bathrooms, and the 3 containers to use for accommodation for needed families and to serve as a classroom for children, and a patio for gathering a large group for various discussions and conversations. A self-sustaining village at its best to serve the refugees.
Refugee Moms in soap making workshop in Imece Village
We are delighted to see this progress in Imece Village, it was a dream come true by Imece founders for the benefit of refugee families & children to build a better life. We are excited that they have accomplished this master plan and we have been able to help them in a meaningful way with our containers. If you happen to visit the area, be sure to check it out, and you will see firsthand the happiness and hope of the villagers. The children are happy, playing on the grounds, learning, doing educational activities, and growing. As we wrap up our post, we would like to thank again many of our supporters who contributed to our Syrian refugee children education programs with over $150,000 investment in the last 3 years. We hope this writing is a good one where you feel your impact and you continue to support us and many of our relentlessly working partners in the field…
Bridge to Turkiye Fund
The view of the repurposed container