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.