Friday, November 30, 2012

11.28.12 Olive Tree Refugee Camp

“Thousands have become stuck along the Syrian-Turkish border in recent weeks as Turkey has been restricting entries until the government can build more camps, creating a  growing human logjam” ~ Los Angeles Times

We met with a brave woman who works with the International Rescue Committee (IRC) and  IHH Foundation (Insani Yardin Vakfi - Foundation for Human Rights and Freedom and Humanitarian Relief Foundation) assisting refugees on the Turkey/Syrian border and raising money to support this work.  She has family in Homs still so she asked us not to use her name for their safety.

Given the very difficult circumstances of Syrian refugees the IHH Foundation is conducting many relief activities on the borders.

In particular, she has been instrumental in establishing the The Olive Tree Refugee Camp through IHH Foundation. Olive Tree Refugee Camp provides temporary asylum to Syrian refugees stranded between the Syrian and Turkish borders. These refugees can not enter into Turkey due to overcrowding nor can they return safely into Syria. The camp will provide relief to refugees that are victims of abuse and war.

Olive Tree Refugee Camp is the first refugee camp located on liberated Syrian grounds near the Syrian/Turkish border. It is secured by the Free Syrian Army and is conflict-free. Regime interference has not been reported in or around the campsite area in over a year.

It has a health center that is open 24/7, a Community Center and an Educational Center/School.

he Health Center has a short list of essential drugs, which are chosen because of their affordability and effectiveness in treating the main diseases the refugees could be afflicted with, an ambulance, attending physician available around the clock, primary care and minimally invasive procedures and has these targeted specialties: Gynecology, pediatrics, internal  medicine and psychiatry.

The Community Center has internet access, a media room for socializing, a prayer room and a meeting room where leaders among the refugees gather to discuss issues affecting the camp.

The School/Education Center has certified teachers that are refugees of war and volunteered teachers from assisting and neighboring countries, an elementary school curriculum, school supplies and an outdoor playground.

The Turkish government generously donated electrical transformers and clean water.
Winter is approaching so they are working on securing blankets and warm clothes.

For more information here's IHH's contact details:

Nalan Dal
Institutional Partership Coordinator
IHH-Humanitarian Relief Foundation, Turkey
Phone: 90.212.6312121 x265

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