Turkey is home to more than half of the nearly 6 million displaced Syrians in the region and we are only talking about those registered. Being the first neighboring country, escaping to Turkey is the most natural route for those living north of Syria, but in the refugee camps financed by UNHCR and managed by Afad, the Turkish government agency similar to our civil protection, there are assistance programs that meet the primary needs of just over 300,000 Syrians.

The most difficult situation is that of those who live outside the official camps. In fact, our commitment focuses on spontaneous fields, isolated and far from inhabited centers. The one we have been taking care of for almost ten years, consisting of about 900 families for a total of over 6000 people, is not followed by any NGO or local institution, it is located on land that was previously used as an illegal landfill and of which the remains are still present. The inhabitants, including children, work as laborers for a few Turkish lira a day. The tents they live in are often improvised, bare, cold. There is a lack of basic sanitation, clean water and fuel for the winter.

Many of the children were born in the camp and know nothing else. During their childhood they did not have access to basic educational services or adequate health care. Most are illiterate, malnourished and without any prospect of life. There are over 4000 minors inside the camp, a number that continues to increase. There are also over a hundred orphans abandoned to themselves and therefore even more exposed to the consequences of degradation: from lack of food to violence.

Specifically, we bring food and basic necessities to the camp, from blankets to sleeping bags, from wood to clothes for the winter. We deliver powdered milk to the many newborns on the verge of malnutrition that we constantly monitor. The presence of a doctor on our missions is essential to treat infections due to dirty water, skin or other diseases; ailments that in Italy would be easily treatable and that in a refugee camp instead risk being lethal. We have opened and manage two school tents in twinning with a primary school in Turin, and we provide non-formal education programs coordinated by Italy to support the two teachers on site. We take special care of some fragile families, located between Turkey and Syria, with sick or handicapped children.

Ongoing projects in the spontaneous refugee camp
Food security remains one of the main problems of those who live in a spontaneous refugee camp, therefore not managed by UNHCR, Turkish civil protection or other NGOs. Procuring and distributing food is an urgent and complex task. We procure over 900 food packages every month, one for each household. The food packages are ordered from Italy from local suppliers and then personally distributed by the SSCH team.

At the camp there is a long distance adoption project for 111 families of orphaned children of at least one of the two parents, if not both. The amount donated by supporters turns into vouchers that can be spent at selected retail outlets. The frequency of the distribution of vouchers is monthly and is followed and monitored by the SSCH team which departs from Italy and which coordinates with local contacts. Upon returning to Italy, SSCH sends each supporter photos and short reports on the children supported.

At the camp there is a long distance adoption project for 111 families of orphaned children of at least one of the two parents, if not both. The amount donated by supporters turns into vouchers that can be spent at selected retail outlets. The frequency of the distribution of vouchers is monthly and is followed and monitored by the SSCH team which departs from Italy and which coordinates with local contacts. Upon returning to Italy, SSCH sends each supporter photos and short reports on the children supported.

Since September 2019 we have set up a small school that we call the Rainbow Tent and which hosts about 200 children who go there compatibly with the work they are obliged to do in the fields.
SSCH took care of the purchase of the school tent, the material and provides the salary of the two teachers as well as the monthly supply of school materials.
Provides training and educational programs via Zoom to teachers every two weeks.
From July 2021 the Rainbow Tents have become two and SSCH takes care, as mentioned, of all the monthly costs of both.

During the monthly visits to the camp made by SSCH there is a volunteer doctor who, for the duration of the stay, visits and provides basic medical care to children and adults. The conditions in which he works are often precarious and this is another area on which we need to act and improve. SSCH takes care of the purchase of medicines and in the most serious cases it endeavors to facilitate hospitalization and to provide continuity of treatment.

Food shortages make malnutrition a common problem in all areas where SSCH operates. For this reason, we supply milk powder for babies and other specific foods for all cases of malnutrition identified and monitored by our medical staff. Over the past two years, we have dealt with 45 individual cases. These are severely malnourished babies or children under 3 years of age that we constantly support and whose growth we constantly monitor.

Over the years, SSCH has taken care of many children and adults in serious conditions of poverty, frailty and disease, offering them economic and health support.

Every winter we take care to provide aid to combat the cold that grips the field in a vice. Refugees live in simple tents and are constantly in need of wood, new blankets, new mattresses, shoes and jackets for the growing children, sheets to strengthen the thermal insulation of the tents.

An educational knowledge/twinning project initiated in the 2020/2021 school year is active between a class of Don Murialdo Primary School in Turin and the schools named “Rainbow Tents” in the Syrian refugee camp we support as an association and the association’s urban school on the Syrian border.
This proposal aims to promote a path of active citizenship through knowledge and discussion among the pupils of the schools involved and involves a mutual exchange of knowledge and agreed common educational activities.
The goal is to build relationships that go beyond geographical boundaries with a view to building a culture of peace and knowledge and respect for the other.

We believe that school is a place of opportunities and exchange and that it plays a crucial role in broadening horizons and opening up possible future prospects.

In Syrian refugee camps, women have been deprived of their identity and they live isolated due to the disintegration of the social context and their role in the community and in the family.

Women and girls are particularly at risk of sexual violence due to forced displacement, poverty, family separation, lack of basic social and structural protections, and low availability and security of access to services.

In this panorama, Fatma, a 15-year-old girl who has been living in the refugee camp that we have been supporting for 10 years, asked to be supported in her small, but big project of creating jewels made of beads that SSCh takes care of bringing to Italy and which they are given to supporters against a donation.

Fatma and two of her friends produce wonderful bracelets, anklets, key rings and much more and we at SSch take care of sending them to donors who request them.

The income gos entirely to Fatma and her helpers and we are creating a virtuous circle of solidarity and support and, above all, a way to free oneself from welfare and live off one’s work.

We hope that many other young people have ideas to emerge and create a basis for the future, following the idea of the enterprising Fatma. And we will try to be there for them.


On Syrian territory, there are 13.5 million people registered in need. Of these, 6.3 million are internally displaced, i.e. left homeless within Syrian territory. Because of the bloody war, reaching and bringing aid to these populations is difficult for any international organization.
The Syrian civil war began on March 15, 2011 with the Arab Spring, but since 2014 the UN no longer reports the number of registered victims which has obviously increased over the years; his latest estimate is 191,369 people, at least 8,803 of whom are minors. As regards the current situation of the displaced in more detail, 4.5 million people are in areas that are difficult to reach or in cities placed under siege. The Syrian one is in fact defined as the “greatest humanitarian and refugee crisis of our times”, as declared by the UNHCR High Commissioner Filippo Grandi. In Syria there is a lack of basic necessities such as food and clean water. There is a lack of ad hoc structures to accommodate the displaced, who are an ever increasing number. The actual end of the fighting seems very far away, and therefore the situation does not seem to improve.

Ongoing projects in the spontaneous refugee camp

SSCH supports a project for a paediatric clinic located in the Bab Al Salam refugee camp, located on the Syrian-Turkish border in Syrian territory.

The camp, which has now existed for 10 years, is currently under the administration of the Turkish government and is home to approximately 30,000 people including those living in the adjacent settlements.

The project envisages providing support to the clinic located in the camp (which is already operational), by supporting the salary of Dr. Ali Nasser and an assistant / nurse, the purchase of medicines and medical consumables, the running costs of the clinic such as water, electricity, cleaning products, etc.

The support of the facility will cost EUR 1,000 per month allocated according to the budget presented below.

The project foresees the opening of the clinic 3 days a week from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and has a duration of one year, possibly renewable, from 1 September 2022 to 31 August 2023.

The Aman, Safe Space and Women Empowerment Center project occupies an entire building in Idlib, a city of about 150,000 in northwest Syria, the capital of the eponymous governorate administered by HTS, a rebel coalition opposing the Hassad regime. It is a project in which SSCh is collaborating for the first time with Elaf, a local humanitarian organization, serving as an operating partner.
The goal of the Aman project is to create a safe space where women and girls can build a social network, receive the specific support they need, and acquire new skills useful for daily life, finding employment, and generally for their and their families’ well-being. The activities directly involve and will involve 280 women, 360 girls and 90 children, for a total of indirect beneficiaries that will exceed 3,000 people.
Between war and earthquake, northwest Syria is a battered place that needs a huge collective effort to flourish again. Women, then, are a concentrate of cultural and structural fragilities. Since the outbreak of war, it has become increasingly dangerous for them to even leave their homes for fear of violence and harassment. Aman finally offers a protected space where they can meet, study and discuss.
To build the project we discussed directly with them, women, girls, mothers, daughters, to understand what the main needs were and structure courses and workshops to meet them.
Even the staff hired to run the activities are women, so they are as much trainers as beneficiaries.
The courses (daily, weekly, or monthly as appropriate) include in-depth studies on the consequences of early marriage and gender-based violence. Courses on parenting skills and family life management. Courses on computer skills and English. Courses on photography and painting. Courses on health education and first aid.
Special attention will be paid to children and people with disabilities, and each frailty will be monitored. An experienced social worker will be available daily to provide basic individual support to special cases identified by the teachers during the course of the activities and to refer them, if necessary, to available  specialized services.
The young children of the women involved in the activities will be cared for within the facility so that the mothers can attend the workshops and classes  peacefully.
The building that was chosen to host the Aman project is located in Harim district, far from potential military targets, so as to reduce risks due to the ongoing conflict. Realizing that some social and cultural barriers could make it complicated for women who wish to access the Aman project, Elaf has prepared a promotion and awareness campaign targeting the entire population.