The Coronavirus pandemic has made extraordinary measures necessary to deal with unprecedented challenges. Abdullah works for an organization delivering humanitarian assistance and tells us how aid is continuously delivered to those most in need amidst COVID-19.
I am Abdullah Önder Özkul. I work as project manager at Support to Life in Diyarbakır. As part of our humanitarian aid activities, we implement a project to increase refugees’ access to rights and public services in partnership with the Germany-based humanitarian aid organization Diakonie Katastrophenhilfe. Since the start of the pandemic, we have learned a lot about how to best adjust our activities, especially in our work for refugees, and we have developed our own and other stakeholders’ capacities.
Our main goal in this project is to increase the living standards of refugees and supporting their active participation in society by providing them with access to rights and services. The project activities are funded by European Union Humanitarian Aid. While individual protection and capacity improvement targeting the refugee population are carried out as part of the project, we also work to improve the capacities of humanitarian workers, service providers, and other institutions.
OVERCOMING THE DISTANCE THOUGHT NEW METHODS
As Support to Life, we were already familiar with capacity building processes, but not under conditions requiring physical distancing. The pandemic brought online capacity building meetings to our lives. We adapted quickly because we had already completed our corporate preparations on a number of issues such as online trainings, applications, management of assessment and evaluation systems.
We announced our first online training in Diyarbakır in November 2020 and organized trainings in December and January. This training on refugee law, child protection and humanitarian standards attracted a lot of attention, which was motivating. Since the turnout was beyond our expectations, we increased the number of sessions. Thus, we came together with more than one thousand people on online platforms.
The humanitarian sector is well-equipped to deal with unexpected situations, sudden developments and emergencies, planning and taking action. At Support to Life, we had to adjust the way we successfully support the lives of those in need.
Abdullah Önder Özkul
Support to Life / Diyarbakır