It has been almost one year since the deadly earthquakes struck Türkiye in the early hours of February 6, 2023. Hundreds of thousands of people remain displaced 12 months later. In the province of Hatay, where IsraAID runs our Child-Friendly Space (CFS), thousands of homes and critical infrastructure were destroyed and only 250,000 of the original 1.7 million residents remain. Families that chose to stay and were unable to find accommodation have been housed in tents and cramped metal container homes. Many have few surviving possessions and the rainy winter season makes it all the more challenging.
In this context, IsraAID and local NGO Nirengi Association’s CFS remains a crucial resource. The CFS has been open for seven months and continues to play a vital role in our efforts to support earthquake-affected families. We deliver stress-relieving activities for hundreds of children aged 3 - 11 each month, offering a warm and safe space for them to process their emotions and experiences through play and learning. These havens, staffed by IsraAID trained local facilitators, provide children with a much-needed sense of stability whilst parents have a moment of respite. Staff are trained to identify child protection concerns and promptly refer cases to relevant welfare services.
Since our last report, the demand for enrolment has grown and we opened a second class for children aged 3 - 5, enabling us to provide services to more families in need. To date, nearly 2,000 vulnerable people have benefitted from our CFS activities, supporting them as they rebuild their lives and regain a sense of normalcy.
IsraAID and Nirengi Association’s Child-Friendly Space (CFS) in Hatay Province has now been open for three months and has played a vital role in our efforts to support children and families affected by the devastating earthquakes just eight months ago.
In partnership with local NGO Nirengi Association, we conducted comprehensive training on the CFS methodology for 18 facilitators. Participants were trained in mental health and psychosocial support and equipped with the tools to strengthen their own communal and social frameworks and enhance their capacity to face future emergencies.
The CFS has since welcomed around 200 children aged 3-11 each week, offering much-needed respite for caregivers and a secure and nurturing environment where children can simply “be kids.” The dedicated space provides children with stability, routine, and a range of activities designed to promote play, socialization, learning, and emotional expression. CFS facilitators, many of whom are earthquake survivors themselves, help children process their experiences and are trained to identify child protection concerns and promptly refer cases to relevant welfare services.
As the new school year takes off, many schools still have critically damaged infrastructure and 2.5 million children are still grappling with the trauma of loss and displacement. IsraAID and Nirengi Association are committed to supporting children as they rebuild their lives and regain a sense of normalcy. Thank you!
In the aftermath of the deadly earthquakes that struck Türkiye on February 6, 2023 and killed more than 50,000 people across the region, millions are still struggling to rebuild their lives. There has been severe damage to crucial infrastructure, including hospitals and fire stations, and 3 million men, women, and children have been displaced.
IsraAID's Emergency Response Team arrived within 30 hours of the initial 7.8 magnitude earthquake. Our professionals - including specialists in emergency logistics, water and sanitation, and mental health - focused from the outset on large-scale relief distributions and have directly reached 40,800 people in cities across southern Türkiye, including Kahramanmaras, Iskenderun, Antakya, Osmaniye, and Samandag.
Due to the extensive destruction and cold winter temperatures, IsraAID's team worked around the clock to provide support to the most vulnerable communities. We partnered with AFAD, Türkiye’s governmental disaster relief agency, and local and global NGOs to pack and distribute hundreds of kilograms of food, tents, warm blankets, sleeping bags, solar lights, and other humanitarian relief items. We also sent essentials from our logistics hub in Ukraine; leveraging IsraAID’s global knowledge, equipment, and peoplepower to strengthen our emergency response in Türkiye.
Damage to water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) infrastructure was extensive and access to clean water has remained an ongoing challenge. As a member of IsraAID’s emergency response team noted,
“A lack of water means lack of hygiene. Without water, people will be unable to wash themselves, increasing the chance of diseases spreading."
To address WASH needs, IsraAID distributed 3,500 hygiene kits. Each kit provides essential items like diapers, menstrual hygiene items, and baby wipes, which enable affected communities to restore some dignity and maintain their health amidst the crisis. In addition, we installed 7 community-sized water filters which provide access to safe water for drinking and cooking in locations serving displaced populations. This includes two displacement camps and three local NGOs, one of which is a free food kitchen which caters for 3,000 displaced persons daily.
Because of your support, we have also been able to train local leaders in psychosocial support, self-care, and burnout prevention in order to minimize the long-term mental health impacts of the disaster.
“Providing psychological first aid from the first moment after a trauma is crucial to help people stabilize.” - IsraAID CEO, Yotam
Your contribution has made a significant impact on the lives of those in need, bringing hope, comfort, and relief to individuals and families facing immense challenges. Thank you!
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