As Turkey and Syria rebuild after the devastating earthquakes that struck six months ago, stories of support from community organisations demonstrate the power of compassion and solidarity during times of crisis.
The two earthquakes that hit southern Turkey and northern Syria in February caused widespread devastation. At least 58,000 men, women and children have died. Homes, hospitals and schools have been destroyed. Lives are changed forever.
In the days that followed, Christian Aid local partners were on the ground in Syria supporting relief efforts. As six months have gone by, our partners have continued their work to support communities as they begin the long road to recovery.
The situation was particularly grim in northwest Syria. Only 5% of reported sites were reached by search and rescue operations in the first 72 hours after the earthquake. There was, and continues to be, a lack of heavy machinery to remove rubble.
Christian Aid has reached more than 60,000 people in northwest Syria in the weeks and months that followed. Winter kits, emergency kits for children and cash to pay for essentials have been distributed to vulnerable families. Another 5,000 people have been helped in Southern Turkey.
Christian Aid has been working with local partners in Syria for decades. But recent continued efforts are made possible by the generosity of our Christian Aid supporters. Over £3.4 million has been donated – thank you!Read more about Christian Aid's initial response
Thank you to everyone who has donated. Our appeal remains open. Every prayer, every gift, every action brings hope to people hit by disaster.
The impact of community organisations
Where tens of thousands have been displaced and in need of life-saving essentials, community organisations have been making a meaningful difference. Their support has been crucial as people rebuild their lives.
MIDMAR is a renowned advocate of social responsibility and a Christian Aid local partner in Syria. At MIDMAR, they believe that empowering and strengthening communities can take various forms.
Supporting children’s mental wellbeing through recreational activities
The experience of crisis after crisis would be difficult for anyone. These children are grappling with so much, making it difficult for them to engage with their peers.
In April 2023, MIDMAR took 150 Syrian children to a recreational activities’ venue in Gaziantep, Turkey.
The children had the chance to take part in group games such as tug-of-war, face and watercolour painting, group singing and ball games.
The time spent at the recreational venue brought joy and a sense of normalcy to the lives of these children, despite the challenges they face.
Ensuring that these children grow up in an environment that resembles a normal life is a duty shared by various community organisations, including MIDMAR.
Empowering women economically and socially
Following on from four years of community work and initiatives, MIDMAR launched the ‘Bayt Sity’ Kitchen project in response to the earthquakes.
The project served a dual purpose: supporting women in the region and providing much-needed meals to residents impacted by the earthquakes, while actively engaging women in addressing community concerns.
Located in a region in northwest Syria, the Kitchen served in an area where 40% of families grappled with hunger – only further exacerbated by the earthquake.
‘Bayt Sity’ Kitchen united 22 Syrian women across three kitchens. These women worked relentlessly to prepare meals for earthquake survivors.The project distributed an impressive total of 30,000 family meals, benefitting approximately 136,000 people.
The success of projects like these from MIDMAR reflects the resilience and strength of Syrian women who play a pivotal role in rebuilding their communities.