May 2019 mission

The weather is warm when we leave Italy. When we arrive in Turkey it is a lot warmer.

This is positive, since it means that children have come through another winter in rough conditions. The sixth since we met them.

In Adana, every evening, we meet the interpreter who supports us in all our missions. He helps us to negotiate the cost and the preparation of packages and he looks for the van and the drivers that take us around. It’s not easy to organize the whole mission from Italy. We send emails, messages and we make phone calls and everything that will accelerate all the activities once we get there. Nevertheless, it is very likely we incur in unexpected events, due to the language and the places where we go. The whole area is certainly not easy to travel. Security on the move and organization always come first.

This time we travel without a doctor and this will be a problem at the camp, still we couldn’t find anyone who could substitute the doctor that usually comes with us.

After some twists and unexpected events, we finally make it to the camp (it’s actually two camps in one area), where we distribute almost 500 food packs. The distribution becomes more and more organized each time, as we follow a list of families made within the camp itself from our contact persons.

The weather is hot. When we arrive at the camp, less children than usual are waiting for us since they are working in the surrounding cultivated fields. They are exploited for few euros a week. In the late afternoon they come back tired but always smiling, and we can spend some time with them.

Spending time with those children is heartbreaking but still deeply fulfilling. You feel helpless but alive. You learn how to go ahead, no matter what difficulties you have to overcome.

The morning after we move close to the border and deliver the checks to the 22 families we support.

We have one and a half day. It might appear to be a lot of time but actually it’s not, since we sit down and talk with each family. We try to be close to them so that it’s not only financial help they get from Italian families, but also support and understanding. I (Arianna) write down many things because I like bringing the news and the stories back home to the people that are helping these children and their families. I try to build an ongoing exchange in order to create a connection.

The conditions of the refugees are always though, almost desperate, from several years.

During the time we spend in Turkey or at the border with Syria, our contact of the Iraqi Red Cross distribute 300 food packs in the Barika camp, the same camp we went to give food and medical aid in February.