Turkish Philanthropy Funds (TPF) is proud to announce the recipients from its Soma Disaster Relief Fund. Through generous support of more than 500 donors, TPF raised over $139,000 to be distributed to the following three organizations:
We are honored that you selected TPF. We are also proud that our community came together under the umbrella of TPF; eight Turkish-American organizations channeled their giving through TPF, and many others directed their members to give through TPF’s campaign, knowing how carefully we will choose the ultimate recipients.
After analyzing the needs in detail, since the government’s disaster agency, AFAD (Disaster and Emergency Management Presidency), provided emergency aid for recovery, TPF decided to support organizations involved in rebuilding and resilience activities in Soma and surrounding towns.
Our decision on awarding grants was based on the following factors:
Based on these findings, TPF has decided to fund the following projects:
Turkish Philanthropy Funds is still dedicated to finding projects that can diversify income generation in the town of Soma and neighboring communities. We will support and collaborate with organizations that can provide new avenues for revenue generation and increase opportunities for employment in sectors other than mining.
We appreciate your trust in Turkish Philanthropy Funds and thank you once again for your generosity.
TPF is working diligently to make your donation go as far as possible and have the maximum impact to provide relief to the victims of the disaster in Soma. Immediatley following the disaster, we turned to our partners on the ground who are the experts in the field and who know what is needed most. However, our partners have experienced obstacles in providing immediate relief in the area. Up until recently, the Turkish government was not allowing nonprofits provide social services in the town. They themselves have provided relief and scholarships to the victims and their families. TPF and other nonprofits, in the interim, have been assessing the situation to learn how to provide the most sustainable, long-term support.
The current situation revealed that the mine that exploded was in Soma, but those affected from the tragedy spread to over 15 towns. Therefore, our partners are generating plans to provide support and relief to surrounding towns. We've also learned that 32% of the children who lost their fathers are under the age of five, 38% are in primary school and 24% are over the age of 12. Of the 418 children affected, eight are disabled. Additionally, nine of the wives of vicitims are pregnant.
From these statistics, TPF has futher adjusted it's plans within the area to the following sectors. Nonprofits in Turkey are all interested in projects that can provide long-term impact and solution to the problem of mining in Turkey. We're also intereted in diversifying options for income generation or advocating on energy policies will have an impact on the whole community, not just the ones directly impacted by the tragedy. And lastly, the most important and urgent need is noted as pscyho-social support. Right now, these services are only provided by the government.
We have finally been able to identify key projects with whom TPF will be working. We will be making the announcement in the coming days and will keep all donors up to date. It is important to note that some donors have specified where they would like their donations to be used and TPF will be allocating those funds as per their request.
Please keep an eye out for our next report that will give a more detailed explanation as to the usage of the funds.
We understand that local NGOs are the first on the scene when disasters occur and that they know best what assistance is needed and understand the complex political, social and cultural context of a disaster. TPF has been working with organizations on the ground in Turkey providing social services, helping communities cope with disasters and educating the future generation. Currently, we have 38 formal partners in Turkey and a big network that we can tap into to get real-time updates. These connections enable us to make our grants wisely and be efficient.
Currently, our focus on the “three Rs” - Recovery, Rebuilding and Resilience – is an example of the strategic way we work on issues crucial to our communities after a disaster. Your help ensures a fourth: Results.
What’s happening in terms of relief efforts right now?
A new initiative, SITAP (Civil Society Platform for Disasters) responded relatively quickly to the SOMA disaster bringing together organizations that are providing and are planning to provide social services in the area to discuss the efficiency and effectiveness of the aid. A summary of their initial assessments in the region is as follows:
When will TPF start making grants?
TPF has sent a call for proposals to all of its grantee partners asking for applications. The applications will be reviewed and grants will be made on a rolling basis. Additionally, we have been in touch with organizations that TPF has not worked before but have been introduced, as they’re active on the ground in the disaster area. Currently, these organizations have been going through TPF’s eligibility process to be able to apply for a grant. We will announce the grants as we make them.
Our Priorities Now
After a disaster strikes, TPF sees its role as filling gaps between emergency relief and long-term development programs. TPF’s priority right now is to provide support on the following areas:
Our Arrangements for the Future
Our Van Earthquake experience has taught us that coordination among civil society organizations providing relief efforts is very important right after a disaster when needs are immense and funding is limited. Effective coordination allows funds to be allocated efficiently and effectively. Additionally, the government needs to also coordinate recovery and rebuilding efforts with civil society organizations. If enough funds are raised, TPF plans to support initiatives that can help with the coordination efforts among civil society organizations to prepare communities and civil society sector in large for future disasters.
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Combined with other sources of funding, this project raised enough money to fund the outlined activities and is no longer accepting donations.
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