How was the year 2022 in the scope of a project we implement in 6 provinces of Türkiye, in partnership with Diakonie Katastrophenhilfe and thanks to funding by EU humanitarian aid? Let us briefly take look at the year and share stories of the people we have supported.
2022 was a bleak year for humanitarian aid in view of climate and food crises, disasters, and wars. Today, one in every 23 persons in the world needs humanitarian aid. Next year, it is projected that the 274 million population in question will increase to 339 million. This is the highest number witnessed in the field of humanitarian aid for decades .
Support to Life (STL) is an independent humanitarian organization, founded with the principal aim of helping disaster affected communities meet their basic needs and rights.
As a humanitarian aid organization that strives to ensure that individuals and communities affected by natural or human-made disasters can access basic rights and services, we have worked hard last year. As the implementing partner of international humanitarian organization Diakonie Katastrophenhilfe, we reached over 11 thousand refugees thanks to funding by EU humanitarian aid. In this project, implemented in Batman, Diyarbakır, İstanbul, Mardin, Mersin, and Şanlıurfa, our purpose was to raise the living standards of refugees living in rural areas by assisting them in accessing basic rights and services such as education and shelter. In addition, through our information and support line, we answered questions from all over Türkiye in Turkish, English, Arabic, Kurdish and Persian languages, briefing around 5 thousand 500 persons on their rights, responsibilities, and services they could receive.
Here are the achievements of the project implemented by our team of 130:
We worked both in the field and through digital channels to ensure refugees under temporary or international protection can access information on basic rights and services such as education, health, and legal services. Also, we provided one-to-one support to our beneficiaries. One of them was the Nigerian refugee John. Who lives in Diyarbakır. We helped John, whose fingers and toes were amputated after he crossed the border in freezing temperatures, receive international protection status to access health services. We placed him at a care house for persons with disabilities and contacted NGOs who can supply prosthetics.
We provided psychological and legal support to nearly 1,200 persons in 2022. For instance, Aliye, who was subjected to violence of her husband for many years and decided to get a divorce, described the support she needed by saying: “The day after I left home, I came directly to Support to Life.” We referred Aliye, who requested legal support with divorce, alimony, and custody of her children to the lawyer assigned by the Batman Bar. In addition, Aliye also participated to information sessions we organized on women’s rights, gender equality, rights against sexual violence.
With our support activities against gender-based violence, this year we reached more than 270 women. While we provided legal support to some such as Aliye, we also provided cash support in addition to legal support to 158 persons. Farise is one of them. Following our 3-month rent support, referral to Social and Economic Support Service, and school supplied for her children, Farise now lives in better conditions with her family. Farise’s oldest son now attends school instead of working on the streets.
Children are an important part of our humanitarian work. We ensured that more than 60 children enrolled in school. Two of these children were of the Silo family who were agricultural workers at wellheads in Mardin. The family, that had to constantly change locations due to their jobs, could not enroll their children to school because schools used address-based enrollment system. We helped them with the address update and school registration.
In our capacity development programs that continued throughout the year, 1,540 persons participated in the online and face-to-face trainings we provided on refugee law, child protection, psychological first aid, and gender-based violence. Additionally, at our digital learning platform, Support to Life 360, we shared our information and expertise on humanitarian assistance with free trainings that everyone can attend.
As Support to Life, we will continue our work in the field until humanitarian aid is no longer needed. Until then, we will support life of the people in need.
*Name of our beneficiary was changed in the framework of respect for personal rights.