The devastating earthquake that struck southern Turkey and extended to Syria has left tens of thousands of residents without homes, shelter, or basic necessities. The catastrophe of the century has renewed the horror in the hearts of families, fearing the loss of any loved ones. However, the response of WATAN Foundation has been swift and effective.
From the very beginning, WATAN Foundation has mobilized relief efforts to provide basic necessities such as housing, food, and more.
One of the leaders of the field teams in WATAN, Mohammed Khatib, describes the scene when they arrived in Jisr al-Shughur as indescribable. Hundreds of families were sleeping in the open air, some of them managing to prepare a shelter using some blankets they were able to take from their homes. The response to the preparation of shelter centers was like returning life to the body of these families, where they gathered and started choosing their new temporary residence, including their permanent one.
WATAN Foundation distributed 4634 tents within the affected communities in the northwestern regions of Syria and established 13 temporary shelter centers for those fleeing the earthquake until the 10th of March of this year. The response of WATAN Foundation to the earthquake-affected people began on February 6th, with 3,383 tents distributed until February 28th, in addition to other responses that included the distribution of non-food items and fuel to provide some warmth to the residents of the temporary shelters in the countryside of Aleppo and Idlib.
Abdulrahman, a resident of the town of Baksariya in the countryside of Jisr al-Shughur, one of the earthquake survivors, recounts his experience, “I don’t want to remember what happened because it was like the horrors of the Day of Resurrection. My only concern was to get out alive. I ran with my children, and I thought I was dreaming when I finally made it out alive, after seeing our destroyed home… How did I manage to escape with my children? These questions haunt me daily, and I can’t find an answer.”
WATAN Foundation’s humanitarian efforts extend beyond earthquake relief. Earlier, WATAN worked on the establishment of the Dar Al-Karam complex, consisting of prefabricated housing units (caravans), and improving the infrastructure in the camp to ensure safe and dignified living for its residents. Additionally, they provided projects that included the construction of RHUs prefabricated housing units in multiple areas in northwestern Syria.
In line with capacity building, the Shelter sector seeks to increase the development of a rapid response network to expand coverage to easily accessible areas, and thus increase the number of beneficiaries, in order to achieve sustainable results. At the beginning of the disaster, WATAN launched a fundraising campaign through its official website and social media platforms aimed at providing urgent support in all basic services such as safe shelter, warmth, and food to affected families in northern Syria and Turkey.
WATAN Foundation’s response to the devastating earthquake in northwestern Syria is a humanitarian effort worth supporting.
Your support can make a significant difference in the lives of those affected by this disaster. Together, we can rebuild and restore hope for a better future.