+49 (0)221-12069894 info@avicenna-hilfswerk.de

Tiafi Overview

TIAFI is a community centre in Izmir/Turkey and Avicenna is the main financial supporter of Tiafi

Provides educational and health-related services to disadvantaged refugee children and women


  • Team International Assistance for Integration
  • Registered Turkish Charity
  • Community Center in Tepicik Neighbourhood of Izmir, a disadvantaged neighbourhood with high share of Syrian refugees
  • Management: Ann O ́Rourke
  • Ramp-up of past projects by German multilaterals GIZ, BMZ as well as Avicenna Hilfswerk e.V.Services Offered

Concept & Strategy

  • Empower vulnerable refugee children and women in a safe, inclusive and supportive environment
  • Address specific needs of Syrian refugee women and their children which are struggling to obtain the necessary support from existing systems within Turkey
  • Provide educational and health-related services as well as emergency relief to families in need
  • Enable integration of refugee women and children in society in Turkey
  • Close tie-in of community centre into local Turkish community. Active dialogue with local mosques, free community lunch open for Turkish citizens, etc.


  • Childcare Services: Daycare with psychological support for traumatised for refugee children
  • Health-Services: Physiotherapy for children with disabilities and war injuries
  • Educational-Services: TIAFI school in Turkish, Arabic, English, Support of school projects in remote camps


  • Literacy Classes: English, Arabic, Turkish classes for refugee women and children
  • Professional Education: Sewing workshop, computer workshop (planned)
  • Health & Other Education: Seminars for women on health issues, women ́s rights, family matters


  • Info Point: Information point for refugees, assisting with Turkish administration, health-services, emergency issues
  • Community Kitchen: Free lunch for Syrian and Turkish community to foster integration of centre in local neighbourhood
  • Transport Services: Transport for children from and to their homes to attend events/services at Tiafi


Projects for children

Physische und psychische Gesundung sowie Bildung von Flüchtlingskindern

Physical and psychological health recovery as well as education of refugee children

flexibility coaching

  • Significant number of handicapped, war injured, and special need Syrian children in İzmir
  • Public health institutions often not accessible to Syrian refugees
  • TIAFI is the ONLY place in Izmir to provide physiotherapy servicefor Syrian disabled children
  • 2 sessions special treatment per child every week, session duration is 45 minutes
  • 68 children part of the programme:
    • 35 children with cerebral palsy
    • 13 children with cistic fybrosis
    • 12 children with joint problems such as joint stiffness due to previous burns
    • 4 children with war injures
    • 3 children with scoliosis
    • 1 child with spina bifida
  • Current capacity of 2 physiotherapists. Budget foresees a 3rd physiotherapist to address waiting list of more then 60 children
  • Ca. 5200 sessions provided over last 12 months, partially as online instructions for parents due to Covid
  • Lectures and training for families of handicapped children

TIAFI School

• More than 25,000 Syrian children are not going to school in the Izmir area
• Issues are lack of language skills, disorientation in Turkish school system and traumatic war experiences
• TIAFI school helps children to prepare for Turkish school (language, history, geography) and provides psychological support
• Provides administrational support with Turkish Municipality and schools, registration, etc.
• Support to Syrian and Turkish children in their school duties such as homework, exams, and projects.
• Fosters academic development of children as well as integration
• School currently attended by 28 children
• ABC class for children in normal school, 13 participants


• TIAFI offers Child Care Service to the children aged from 4 to 6
• Provides safe, stimulating and learning environment for your refugee children
• Psychologist supports children in dealing with traumatic war experiences (loss of parents, etc.)
• Opportunity for mothers to take on employment in Turkey or attend educational programmes at TIAFI
• Daycare last year was ca. 18 children per day as capacity has been reduced due to Covid. Capacity for next year expected around 25 children


Refugee camp school

Schule im Flüchtlingslager

Situation for refugee children in Turkey

  • Every refugee child in Turkey has the right to attend school. In reality that access is not available for most Syrian children
  • Turkey would need to build 15,000 schools to accommodate them
  • Children don‘t speak Turkish and get discriminated against in Turkish schools
  • There is no transport system between the camps and official schools
  • Children have to work as fruit-pickers during harvest season


The School Project

  • In 2017 Avicenna converted a room in an abandoned building in a camp in Western Turkey into a class-room and established the school
  • School provides basic literacy to displaced children of a “lost war generation”
  • Project is run in cooperation between Avicenna and Tiafi since 2019
  • Our teacher, a Syrian refugee, and his wife teach the children Arabic, basic Mathematics & Science
  • 1 Tiafi project member supports the school on a weekly basis and teaches Turkish
  • Occasional support through children psychologist’s visit in the school
  • Grade 1-3 and pre-school. Number of students fluctuates between 15-60, depending on harvest season
  • Besides providing access to education, school has become a central element in the camp’s social structure. Children and parents are benefiting from routine and discipline that existence of the school has introduced


Projects for women – TIAFI Academy

Projekte für Frauen – TIAFI-Akademie

TIAFI is providing refugee women professional training to financially sustain a life in Turkey

Sewing workshop

  • Sewing Workshop offers professional training as taylors / sewers to women
  • Textile industry in/around Izmir provides work opportunities for skilled taylors and sewers
  • Tiafi provides certificates about attended courses and acquired skills to support job applications post completion of training
  • Course duration: 12 weeks
  • Participants: 15-30
  • Key course content: Basics of sewing, introduction to sewing machines, stitching techniques, pattern making, measurements

Mobile phone repair

  • In the mobile maintenance course women (and selected men) gain knowledge and skills on the repair of mobile phones
  • Shortage in Turkey of skilled repair employees provides ample job opportunities in mobile phone shops
  • Course duration: 3 month
  • Participants: 15 last year. Capacity to be increased to30 next year, subject to funding
  • Key course content: Mobile phone basics, software, buttons, camera, vibrators and sensors, screen, microphone, networks

Computer Lab / IT-course

  • Tiafi has installed a computer lab to provide access to IT and the internet for refugees in need
  • Courses in IT and hardware are being ramped up
  • Course duration: 3 months
  • Participants: 15 last year. Capacity to be increased to 30 next year, subject to funding
  • Key course content: Fundamentals of computer operating system, word processing, spreadsheet calculation, internet usage, bookkeeping software, etc


Educational services for women and single mothers. Focus on Turkish language and health- related services to support integration in Turkey

Literacy courses

  • Language is among the most prominent obstructions for integration of Syrian refugees in Turkey
  • TIAFI offers Turkish language club for Syrian women. Rolling three-month courses for 35 participants
  • English literacy courses. Currently 15 participants on the course at the moment and a waiting list of 30

Health-related & other education

  • Various seminars on health-related topics, women ́s rights and family matters
  • Examples: Preventing difficult child behaviors, Psychosocial Development Stages for Children and Adults etc.
  • Seminars conducted in Arabic and Turkish to reach Syrian and Turkish women at the same time
  • Seminars provide immediate help, educate and foster integration between Syrian refugees and Turkish locals
  • 4 Seminars per month, up to 40 participants each
  • Currently paused during Covid. Partially replaced with podcast „Tiafi Talk“


General Projects

Tiafi - Allgemeine Projekte

Projects aim to position TIAFI as Go-To-Point for refugees and create acceptance of center in local Turkish community

Info Point

  • Arabic & Turkish language advice, in person and through 24/7 emergency telephone service and online/social media
  • Address serious early challenges faced by many refugees upon arrival as well as ongoing problems due language barrier
  • Open to all refugees but focus on supporting women in providing specialised advice for integration in Turkey
  • Assistance with local asylum system, various Turkish governing systems, destitution services, accommodations, healthcare options, education, social services, and law consultancy
  • Arabic Facebook page with 17,000 followers
  • 4,000 families registered in Tiafi system for foodsupport only
  • Supports ca. 50.000 refugees p.a.

Community Kitchen

  • Community Kitchen prepares up to 350 meals per day at no cost to guests. Capacity expected to increase due to economic situation
  • Meals are prepared by Syrian and Turkish volunteers as well as 2 employed chefs
  • Supports acceptance of TIAFI center in problematic Izmir neighbourhood by locals
  • Fosters integration through interaction between Syrian and Turkish volunteers and guests
  • During COVID, no meals were served for consumption at TIAFI’s premises. Focus was shifted to food distribution to refugees and locals in need
  • Izmir Municipality is providing food contribution to support the Community Kitchen

Transport Services

  • Syrians usually live in the poorest neighborhoods, shanty towns, and suburbs near industrial zones with limited public transport options.
  • Accessability of social services is difficult for most refugees
  • TIAFI provides transport to most of its activities, specifically for childrens ́physiotherapy treatment, children ́s classes, daycare, etc.
  • 1 hired driver utilizes Tiafi’s own van. Vehicle requires upgrading/replacement
  • 1 hired driver with their own vans provides additional driving/collection services when needed


by AVICENNA Kultur- und Hilfswerk e.V.