Refugees in a camp in Turkey, near to Syria border. © Dimitri Bettoni / OBCT
  • The Eastern Anatolia region is among the poorest in Turkey: 25 of the country’s 28 refugee camps are concentrated here. But of all the people who have found shelter in Turkey, only 10% live in these structures. The situation is made worse by the almost total lack of assistance, toward both the host community and the guests.

    Project objectives: meeting the basic needs of the Turkish population’s poorest segments, ethnic minorities and refugees who have been denied access to the camps, guaranteeing access to education and health and food services.

  • 240 families benefiting from canteen services

    1000 beneficiaries will receive basic health care

    100 Syrian children will have access to primary education each year

‘amal is an Arabic word that means ‘hope’.
And Amal is the name of a twelve-year-old girl, whose daily life in her native country, Syria, was turned upside-down by the outbreak of armed conflict.
This conflict has been carrying on incessantly since 2011.
I left Homs with my father, my mother and my little brother in 2015 after our home was destroyed during bombing. To escape the war we had to face a long journey; eventually we managed to reach Turkey, where we found shelter in Iskenderun, in the Eastern Anatolia region. But our problems are not over yet”.

Many refugees have no assistance in Turkey, it's as if they did not exist. But they are not invisible.

Where we are in Turkey:

Unfortunately, we only know a few Turkish words.
And this is a really insurmountable obstacle, especially for my dad: he has trouble getting acquainted with local adults and, as a result, he is finding it very difficult to find work. The lack of money means that he cannot afford to send me and my brother Tariq to school nor take care of my mum.
At home, back in Homs, she used to work as a nurse in one of the city’s hospitals. But since our escape from Syria, she is has been having constant health problems: she needs medicines and a doctor’s assistance

The problems affecting refugees in the South-eastern Anatolia region are many: they cannot access public services, information and regular job opportunities. The difficult situation is further exacerbated by the context: in such an underdeveloped area inhabited by so many Turkish citizens affected by severe economic difficulties and ethnic minorities – who are also excluded from the public welfare or educational systems – social tensions for the few available resources are very high.
To deal with these difficulties in the best possible way we intend, on the one hand, to co-operate with the local Caritas – closed in 2010 after the assassination of its bishop – with the objective of renewing its influence in the area as charitable entity open to those in greater need, irrespective of faith or ethnicity. On the other hand we intend to support the construction and management of a new primary-to-secondary school in Iskenderun.

Health, nutrition and school: these are the key points we are focusing on to give dignity back to the poorest families and the refugees.

In the first case, we envisage a number of activities to meet the most urgent needs of the Turkish population, the ethnic minorities and the refugees facing greater difficulties, thus helping to mitigate vulnerabilities and increasing their possibilities for mutual inclusion.
In the second case, we intend to address the educational needs of many refugee children and young people who are currently not able to attend school to guarantee that they have the chance to access education, continue to study and become part of the social fabric, which they wouldn’t otherwise have.

  • My name is Can Farhad Sadredin, I am Iranian and I am the project manager.

Project’s overview

The project aims to address the problems faced daily by both the many refugees who are in the area and the poorer sections of the Turkish local population in the region of South-eastern Anatolia.
The activities of the project, which will last two years, specifically envisage restoring the role of Caritas Anatolya and its functions in support of the weakest, through the launch of:

  • a canteen service
  • basic health care service (distribution of hygienic-nutritional kit for children and winter kits, medical examinations)
  • support service for children for public primary school attendance (distribution of school kits and intensive Turkish courses)
  • training activity aimed at women who are alone or live in extreme poverty. (handicraft courses and Turkish or English courses)

With regard to the primary, middle and secondary school under construction in Iskenderun:

  • outfitting of classrooms and laboratories
  • covering the teachers’ management costs
  • handing out bursaries to all the 100 children who will attend primary school each year
  • Project title
    Re-launch of Caritas Anatolya and its humanitarian relief and education support services in Eastern Turkey

    Project manager

    March 2017/March 2019

  • Partners
    Apostolic Vicariate of Eastern Anatolia

    Other entities
    Municipality of Iskenderun and Mersin