Today • • 22 June

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Children Reeling from the Türkiye Earthquake Trauma

An international day by the United Nations (UN) to honour refugees worldwide, World Refugee Day on June 20 aims to celebrate the strength and courage of those who were forced to flee their home country to escape conflict or persecution. This World Refugee Day, join us as we share the stories of refugee families that we met during the 4th phase of our Türkiye Earthquake Distribution. 

Your constant support since the earthquakes in Türkiye almost 5 months ago have provided immense help to those on the ground. Our team is on the ground, currently distributing bread packs to earthquake survivors and their first stop – Gaziantep. 

Our team from Singapore, including our CEO Mr Basheer Ahmad, visited orphaned families that were living in an orphan home called Dar Salam. Currently, there are 49 orphaned families residing there. The building and the welfare of the families are taken care of by Mdm Manash. 

Before arriving at Dar Salam, our team brought along tidbits and snacks for the orphans, as well as a voucher worth 1,000 Turkish lira ($40 USD) from BIM supermarket. InsyaAllah, this amount will enable them to buy their daily needs. 

Amongst the families that we met, here are their stories: 

Adjusting with the loss of their only parent

This is Mustafa, 10, who is living at Dar Salam together with his family of two sisters – aged 18 and 15 – and a brother. The family came to Türkiye 10 years ago but had previously lived in camps before arriving at Dar Salam four years later. 

Unfortunately it was only two weeks ago when Mustafa and his siblings lost his mother, their only parent left, due to a brain tumour. Mustafa’s mother had been suffering for eight long years. His dad passed away during the Syrian conflict. 

Right now, Mustafa’s oldest sister, Shahid is forced to step in as the head of the family, at the mere age of 18. InsyaAllah she will be entering University soon to pursue her studies and intends to change her family’s life around. 

Children still in trauma from the Earthquakes

Mdm Wafaa Hammadeh is the mother of these lovely children. In total she has six children – four daughters and two boys. They came to Türkiye four years ago in an urgent attempt to get medical help for her daughters, one of whom, Rajaa, has kidney cancer, while her other daughter has a condition that causes fluid to build up in her brain called hydrocephalus. Initially, Mdm Wafaa entered Türkiye with three of her children while the others were left in Syria. Alhamdulillah a year later, the family was reunited in Türkiye. 

When asked by our team how the family is coping, Mdm Wafaa shared that it has been very hard for them as they are not legally registered in Türkiye. This translates to certain restrictions that they are allowed to do, as well as the school that she could send her children to. Unfortunately, the children are still in trauma after the recent earthquakes that hit Türkiye earlier this year. 

Alhamdulillah together with our aid and our partner, Onsur’s help, the family has received substantial assistance. For instance, Onsur has established education centres that allow these children a chance to learn. 

Came to Dar Salam after the earthquake 

Mdm Hibah and her family came to Türkiye 10 years ago and lived in a district in Kahramanmaras. Her main intention of coming to Türkiye was to treat the injury that her husband suffers from, after a shrapnel hit him in the head. Unfortunately, her husband died three years after the family arrived in Türkiye, when he succumbed to his injuries. 

He left behind six children, with the eldest being 18-years-old.

Our team met the lovely family, as well as their youngest, Isa, 4 and older brother, Musab, 6. The family were forced to come to Dar Salam after the devastating earthquakes early this year had destroyed the place they called home. Just like many other families who were traumatised by the tragedy, many of them attend psychological treatments. 

These are the stories of the families affected by the catastrophic earthquakes in Türkiye. Your adi and contributions to our Türkiye Earthquake Emergency Appeal has helped these families to slowly rebuild their lives. 

In the coming days, our team will still be in Türkiye, where they will continue the distributions of the emergency aid that you have contributed to. Stay tuned to our social media platforms for the latest updates from our team!

At the same time, we invite you to make the most of World Refugee Day contribute to our Care for Refugee campaign and help deliver urgent and sustainable aid to the most vulnerable.