When Betoul Abras graduated in Psychology from the University of Aleppo, the Syrian Civil War was already underway. In 2013, she left her job in the country and, with her parents, became herself one of millions of Syrian refugees in Turkey. She worked in a community center of the International Blue Crescent (IBC) in cooperation with Malteser International providing mental health and psychosocial support to thousands of refugees in Kilis, Turkey. Today, Betoul works with Malteser International to prepare projects in psychosocial support and trains partner organizations of Malteser International on psychologically related healthcare topics. Her book "Memories Shattered by War" tells the story of ten Syrian refugees in Turkey and their experiences of the brutal conflict that has sparked the largest humanitarian crisis of our time.Read more
With over 3.5 million refugees from Syria who fled the ongoing war in their homeland Turkey is one of the most welcoming countries in the world. The influx of refugees into Turkey began in 2011 and the large number of refugees poses an increasing burden on the country's social infrastructure.
Only nine percent of the refugees are accommodated in the 26 refugee camps in Turkey. The vast majority of Syrian refugees either live on the streets or have to endure desolate and unhygienic housing conditions. They are not properly integrated into the labour market and many of them do not speak the Turkish language. There is no prospect of people returning to their home country in the near future.
Many people are suffering from the consequences of violence experienced in Syria. In order to prevent them from chronic post-traumatic stress disorders it is important to provide them with psychological support.
Help the Syrian refugees in Turkey!
With your donation we support the integration of Syrian refugees
We provide humanitarian aid for refugees from Syria in Istanbul from our location in the southern Turkish border towns of Kilis, Gaziantep and Reyhanli and provide cross-border aid in Syria itself. The focus of our humanitarian work in Turkey is on health care, education and integration into the Turkish labour market, strengthening civil society and providing psychosocial support for refugees.
“It used to be very grey, but now I can see life in colors rand I feel safe.” Wars and conflict can affect a child’s feeling of security and hope, displacement can also turn a child’s life upside down. Safe spaces for self-expression can play a central role in helping children work through their experiences of trauma. Through her drawings, 10-year-old Shaheda is processing her experiences and expressing her wishes or hopes for the future.Read more
Batoul, herself a Syrian refugee in Turkey, is helping other refugees from the ongoing conflict in her homeland to deal with their often-traumatic experiences. She works with Malteser International to prepare projects in psycho-social support and trains partner organizations of Malteser International on psychologically related healthcare topics.Read more
World Refugee Day - 20 June 2017
Turkey: A school for refugee children from Syria
Syria: Humanitarian situation worsening constantly
World Mental Health Day: Facing down trauma with normality
Four years of war in Syria: "One of the worst humanitarian disasters of our times"
Middle East Refugee Crisis
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Photo credit: Gonzalo Bell/Malteser International