On February 6th, a magnitude 7.8 earthquake struck the border area between Turkey and Syria. Although the exact death toll is still unknown, it is estimated that many thousands of children will have lost their families. The focus of our humanitarian response has been on supporting these children.

We have done this through the deployment of emergency funding to our alliance member in Turkey, Hayat Sende. They already have many years of experience working with the Turkish care system, supporting care leavers and fostering programmes. This means they are ideally-placed to help quickly and efficiently, already having deep knowledge of the local context.

Now, Hayat Sende’s work is more vital than ever. Already, before the earthquake, there were 14,000 children in institutions awaiting foster care. This number is now likely to increase many times over. 

Their rapid response has included providing direct support for new foster families who are taking in children orphaned by the disaster, as well as for young people who are living independently after leaving state care as a child. Since the earthquake, Hayat Sende have reached hundreds of students in this situation. They have begun to provide regular financial support to those in the greatest need, to help them to get through this difficult time. 

But Rumeysa, who is working on-the-ground in Turkey, has seen first-hand the need for supporting mental health as well as practical needs. She told us, “Since the earthquake, over three thousands aftershocks have happened. This is triggering to children and foster parents, who need psychosocial support now more than ever.” Fortunately, supported by Family for Every Child and your donations, Hayat Sende have been able to get trauma-informed care to children and families in Turkey too.

Thank you for your ongoing support to Family for Every Child. Your donations help us to strengthen each of our alliance member organisations on the ground, as well as our coordinated approach to humanitarian crises. 

If you would like to further support our emergency aid to Turkey, please visit the appeal page over here, and please consider making a donation to support Hayat Sende’s work.