Turkey hosts the largest number of Syrian refugees who fled from their country at the beginning of the war. According to UNCHR, 3.654.173 million refugees have registered at the Turkish government, while a vast amount of people live in the unstructured camps spread across the country. The region of Adana hosts one of those camps in the area of Tuzla, where SSCH is present since 2013. In that area live around 500 families, with 1000 children suffering malnutrition and infections due to the dirty water they have to drink. Hygienic conditions are terrible, so viruses bacteria and other kind of diseases easily spread across the camp.
People living in the area work in the fields from 7 in the morning to 5 in the afternoon, for something like 2 euros per day. This wage is not even enough to buy a little bit of the food they contribute to grow every day. Furthermore the camp is far away from the nearest town (more than an hour by car) so they don’t have access to any service or basic form of assistance. Child labour is ordinary, since it is the only way for children to get food, but it implies that children are cut out of the educational system.
Since 2013 SSCH provide food packs, milk powder when necessary, blankets, winter clothes and medical aid. The situation is worsening as to malnutrition and education, still we wanted to give something from our hearts, a little oasis of colour, a place to cure the soul ….
Objectives and duration
The objective of the association is to build a School Tent in order to provide educational services that children cannot find in the camp. The majority of children is unschooled and illiterate, therefore the classes cover all basic education, in order to teach them how to read, write and count.
Aside the school project, SSCH aims to keep fighting against malnutrition. We registered 4 serious cases risking death: three new born children and a three years old girl. One of the new born babies is paralysed and is fed artificially.
Besides SSCH want to take care of 100 registered orphans. They are the most vulnerable. The area where the camp is situated is not safe: when children go to work in the camps, they face violence and sometimes kidnapping. The orphans are more vulnerable than the other children since they are not protected by any adult. SSCH wants to give them food so that they are not obliged to work in the fields and put themselves in danger. The project is intended to run for the next two years. Periodic reports will be written each month.
There are 110 orphans divided into 26 groups. The priority is to keep siblings together. In September 2019 we started a project of “distance aid”, connecting children with Italian donors who give them the basic food they need. The donors give 40-50 euros per month for each group of orphans. This aid is important, but it is not enough. We calculated that each group should spend approximately 110 euros in food, since most of the children suffer from malnutrition or pathological problems.
Our volunteers travel to Turkey each month. The monitoring activities are made of written reports and pictures in cooperation with the local persons at the camp and the teacher of the school tent.