March 2023 mission
Two of us left Italy, Arianna and Pietro, the photographer.
The situation is one of uncertainty, we are just three weeks away from the earthquake that has devastated Turkey and Syria.
SSCh, thanks to the local team in Syria, has immediately brought relief to the people of Jenderis, one of the hardest hit areas of this nation already devastated by eleven years of war.
Mattresses, carpets, blankets, gas stoves, food, milk for babies and specific support for the many, too many, new orphans.
Now we have a permit to go inside for just one day, check the aid, document and finish what we have started.
Not immediately. We spend the first few days in the camp, the usual huge camp on the Turkish border. The camp that has depended on our aid for ten years.
We deliver aid to orphans, we distribute food baskets and powdered milk for babies, we spend a lot of time in the school tent that we call the Rainbow Tent.
And it is indeed a rainbow of colours and emotions, the only place in the camp where we breathe hope.
We connect with the primary school in Turin, a moment when two different ways of being children meet, making us adults realise that there is no difference when it is children who speak.
We check the wells, there is more to be done and we will think about it later.
As always, we spend a lot of time with the most fragile families and try to listen and support them wherever and however we can.
Mothers alone, blind grandmothers cared by little orphan granddaughter, sick children, forgotten adults.
There is space for everything and every kind of misfortune in misfortune.
We leave the camp and move towards the border, Anna Farina joins us and after moving hours and half a day in a ghostly Hatay razed to the ground by the earthquake, a bit like pinballs due to unforeseen events and delays, we are finally in Syria. Not before visiting and supporting the many families in Kilis still living in unacceptable conditions.
Anna goes to the Bab Al Salam clinic with Dr Ali and returns in the evening happy about the doctor’s work and for having been able to help families in the camp itself.
We in Jenderis visit the areas devastated by the earthquake, Pietro films and takes photos that are a punch in the stomach. We catch up with many of the families and orphans that our local team had already helped a few weeks ago and plan the next aid: tents for those still on the streets.
We meet orphans, broken families, injured children and so much despair.
We meet Amal, whose eyes are as empty and deep as two ravines. They show us the video of how she was pulled alive from the rubble, after seven hours.
The video is atrocious, she is sitting next to us and does not move a muscle in her face.
We promise to all the Amals to come backsoon, just a few more weeks, with tents, food and some hope.
How? Hope is a most precious present, and when you give it away, you open a door which you can’t colse anymore.
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