The Worldwide Tribe team member Dan spent a month between April and May 2016 working on-the-ground in Izmir, Turkey with volunteers Sim and Esme.
After the implementation of the EU/Turkey deal we were very keen to see if and how we could support refugees in Turkey. Instead of trying to make the crossing to Greece, many refugees are choosing to stay and create lives for themselves in Turkey, though they can face many difficulties in doing so.
Our team on-the-ground worked closely with a local organisation called ReVi, who welcome and look after refugees in the area.
ReVi are currently supporting over 300 refugee families in Izmir, visiting each family as they are identified and working to address their immediate needs. This is partnered with ReVi’s long-term goal to provide education, development and a stable community which, in time, will enable the refugees to support themselves.
During our time on-the-ground, our team met with new families as part of the ReVi group, introducing them to the organisation and the area, and establishing their needs. We provided immediate aid relief for necessary items including food vouchers, diapers, baby milk and food products, and gave information on access to education, healthcare, employment opportunities and community activities.
We also supported with the organisation of football tournaments for children and young people living in the area, and arranged two day trips for Syrian refugees who volunteer with ReVi, one to Ephesus and one to the beach.
We are so happy to have been able to facilitate additional funding for ReVi, which will have a huge impact on the organisation going forward. The funds will be used to pay the salaries for 6 Syrian refugee teachers, buy backpacks for 30 new students as well as fruits, juices as snacks for both ReVi schools for one month. The funds will also cover materials for the schools, one month's worth of wool for 11 families who participate in ReVi's entrepreneurial knitting project, and gas stoves and tanks for 8 families to participate in community dinners.