Aid to the refugees in the city is the bulk of Tiafi’s work. Most refugees still stay in wild camps outside the city doors and wait there to continue their journey to Europe – or to change conditions in another way. The camps are hidden from the eyes of the authorities, hidden from the eyes of the authorities Streets and away from the settlements.
Even half collapsed ruins in the landscape are used as living space. Women and children in particular are valued for their care when working in the fields for harvesting fruit and berries and thus earn a manageable income. The men are used for heavy work. However, this income is seasonal and is sufficient for the most necessary groceries.
The lack of infrastructure from running water, electricity, medical care and sanitary facilities complicate living conditions. Mafia structures, patriarchal systems and the exploitation of Turkish landowners drain on the possibilities of the people.
Here, too, Tiafi, Avicenna Hilfswerk and the 3 Musketiere are committed to providing clothing, drugstore items and food, as well as setting up a school to give the children a perspective through basic education and teaching the Turkish language.
We can take part in lessons and watch the enthusiastic children learning. The boys and girls outdo each other in writing our names on the whiteboard. A tour of the ruins and the small tent city shows us the tough reality of life in the bright sunlight of a beautiful spring day. The living space is narrow and dirty, fresh water has to be procured with great difficulty, drying laundry, sewage and an area where women bake flat bread are close together. Despite the dire situation, the faces of the Syrians are relaxed. The women smile at us calmly and invite us for tea. A family even prepares a princely lunch for us. I imagined the mood tense. The conditions are not good, but it is nice to see that people endure their hardship with a brave serenity.
We have a load of shoes with us, which is happily received.
It is March and a relatively warm day. It is hard to imagine what the conditions should be like in winter.
Fortunately, Anne manages to make the right decisions about accepting the community center and maintaining the point of contact for the refugees. Fortunately, Avicenna Hilfswerk and the 3 Musketiere were able to bring enough donations to secure Tiafi’s future existence in the coming months.
The days in Izmir helped to structure the individual projects on which the community center is based and to provide the school in the refugee camp with a more stable financial base.
I have learned many lessons over the past few days and I am happy to be part of it and at least to be able to make a small contribution to help. The direction in which future political decisions will affect the lives of millions of people cannot be predicted. The people who are stranded and in need around Izmir get help to continue.
Children and their mothers are learning to read and write there right now, they are being given food there right now, they are getting prostheses right now and they are learning to walk again. There are things that cannot wait for political decisions, and they need organizations like this.