Current aid project: Turkey – Tiafi
Food, physiotherapy, aids, education, counselling, financial support
Anne o’Rorke, an Irish woman, runs the non-profit organisation „TIAFI“ (Team International Assistance for Integration) in an old factory in Tepecik, a district of Izmir with a particularly high density of refugees.
This centre aims to improve the situation, self-sufficiency and integration of needy Syrian and Turkish families in Izmir, based on an international group of Turks, Syrians and other countries. The centre is an inclusive and supportive safe haven open every weekday. The centre offers a range of services: individual support at the drop-in support desk „TIAFI Info Point“, a kitchen with free hot lunches, therapies for children with disabilities, and creative educational and skill development activities for women and children. Strong efforts are being made to support Syrian refugees in their acute situations. In addition, however, TIAFI extends its services to the local indigenous community as needed to improve integration and strengthen social cohesion between Syrian and Turkish people in the region.
Among the most vulnerable people seeking help are those with severe psychological trauma and post-traumatic stress, single mothers and children with disabilities and war injuries or trauma. There is no free physiotherapy in Turkey, but many refugee children suffer from bomb injuries and many need prostheses.
Since 2017, Avicenna Kultur- und Hilfswerk e.V. has been funding flexibility coaching for children with – mainly war-related – disabilities. This includes the salary of two physiotherapists, the cost of materials, rental costs and the cost of prostheses for the children. Two sessions of 45 minutes each have been available for each child every week since 2018.
As of November 2020, this therapy has 69 children registered between the ages of one month and 14 years, and more than 50 others on the waiting list.
Due to the Corona Pandemic, the free hot lunch is no longer available, and instead food parcels are distributed to those in need, funded in part by Avicenna. Some donors have taken on a sponsorship for monthly funding and so we can ensure regular support for some families.
Syrian families leave their homeland and follow the hope of asylum in Europe. Through Turkey, many of them arrive in Izmir, because the distance to the Greek islands is shorter there than in other places. Many traffickers have adapted to the refugees‘ situation in Izmir. Together with TIAFI, Avicenna wants to take care of the refugees and offer them a perspective so that they do not have to make the life-threatening journey across the sea. Avicenna and TIAFI focus on women and children, who are exposed to the greatest dangers on the journey. During the war, they often lost their husbands or are dependent on them, because for cultural reasons only the men could get an education in their home country. Most of the women have also only been able to attend school for a short time and do not speak any other language besides Arabic.
Avicenna and TIAFI will jointly set up a „refugee academy“ and day care, where exclusively single refugee women will attend courses and learn the Turkish language as well as basics in business, IT and handicraft skills, while their children will be cared for by trained educators in the same building. With the knowledge they learn, they will be able to build up a livelihood and their own income for themselves and their children. This perspective will enable them to avoid the dangerous journey across the sea in Turkey and to gain independence over their own fate and that of their children.
Thanks to the support of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and the Schmitz Foundations, we are able to implement this project.
You can read more about our work with Tiafi here and TIAFI Report 2022.
All this is only possible with your support. Thank you for your donation!
Avicenna Kultur- und Hilfswerk e.V.
Deutsche Apotheker- und Ärztebank – apoBank
IBAN: DE 55 3006 0601 0005 0195 00