You might remember that in early March, our entire team on Lesvos was evacuated to Athens because of the escalating situation on the island. While in Athens, the team was able to rest and recuperate from the stress of the events leading up to and including the evacuation. In the midst of all of this, our team also made use of this time to think about All4Aid’s future and explore what possibilities there are for our reach to grow beyond Lesvos.
We then decided to send three of our long-term team members on a vision trip to Adana, Turkey, near the border with Syria, to do a Feasibility Study. They spent a week there, getting to know the city, talking to local churches and organisations, learning more about the refugee situation and exploring the possibility of All4Aid starting a project to serve refugees in Adana. Here are some their perspectives about their experience in Adana:
“Because Adana is very close to the Syrian border, the majority of refugees in Adana come from Syria. One of the biggest differences I noticed as compared to Lesvos, was how the refugee population lives in and among the locals in the city. While we were in Yuregir District, in one of the neighbourhoods where there is a large refugee population, we were able to meet with the community leader and visit several different families in their homes and see how they live. We were able to talk with them to see what kind of needs they have in their homes and in their community such as washing machines and showers. There is so much value in taking the time to sit, visit, and listen to their stories.” – A. R.
“Reflecting on my time in Adana, what stands out the most to me is when we spoke with the Community Leader of the neighbourhood where most refugees live and with one of the refugee women who is living in that same area. Both expressed the need for health care and personal hygiene guidance for refugee women. Thinking back on this conversation, I can imagine how wonderful it would be if they could have a day care centre for small children, so that parents can work to support their family or a women’s centre where they can come to do their laundry but also have some of these needs they expressed met. They could learn about health and hygiene, learn basic English skills, receive early-motherhood training or even participate in hand-craft activities all while waiting for their laundry.” – P. S.
At the end of their vision trip our team members produced an excellent Feasibility Study Report on the possibility of starting a project in Adana, Turkey. If you have an interest in receiving that report, please send us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and we will be glad to share that with you.