Rebuilding Hope in Türkiye after the 2023 devastating earthquakes


In the wake of the devastating earthquakes that shook Türkiye in 2023, the resilience of its people was pushed to its limits. Thanks to the Decathlon International Solidarity Fund support, the International Blue Crescent Relief and Development Foundation was able to provide houses for 100 people as well as food assistance. Mrs Hacer tells us her story.

On the morning of February 6th, 2023, the earthquakes that shook Türkiye were the beginning of a nightmare that would devastate millions of people across the region. Like many people living in Kahramanmaras, the epicenter of the quakes, Ms. Hacer and her husband faced extreme danger as the tremors threatened to destroy their home.

The earthquake shook the apartment where they had lived peacefully for many years accumulating wonderful memories. As the walls began to collapse, they feared the worst was to come. Ms. Hacer and her husband, who has been bedridden for 7 years, clung to one another. Miraculously, they survived the initial crumbling of their apartment building to be rescued through the daring efforts of the brave search and rescue teams. From that point on, their life became very difficult.

In the first days after the earthquake, Ms. Hacer and her husband were housed in a tent. Three families tried to shelter here for a month, but access to basic needs such as water, food and hygiene supplies was difficult among the chaos. Especially for her husband who was unable to walk, conditions became more difficult each day... Ms. Hacer recalled those days: "Maybe we survived the earthquake, but we fought the real battle for survival after the earthquake. It became very difficult for us to meet our daily basic needs... I am already an old woman, my husband is bedridden, there were days when I had to leave him and go to another settlement to find clean water. It was difficult, I had a very hard time..."

IBC was able to provide Ms. Hacer and her husband with a container house funded through international aid and support. This was a source of great hope for the family and provided not only physical but also emotional relief for Ms. Hacer and her sick husband.

Ms. Hacer reflects on the tremendous support IBC provides to her and her husband, to whom she is the primary caregiver. “I have been taking care of him. The most important thing for us was to settle in a hygienic place suitable for patient care, and IBC helped me a lot in this regard. They provided us with disposable bed pads, cleaning supplies, wet wipes and many other things. They also provided us with daily hot meals, breakfast and clean drinking water. The event that affected me the most and caused my eyes to fill with tears was the battery powered wheelchair that was delivered to us so that my husband could go out and get some air from time to time. When the team here brought it to us, I cried for days out of joy. If they had not helped me with all these needs, I would not have had the strength to do these things. I sincerely thank everyone who contributed."

Ms. Hacer says that even when she hears the word "earthquake", she experiences a great emotional breakdown, and she shares with us that she is able to hold on to life again thanks to this support from IBC.

"After the earthquake, we were devastated both financially and emotionally. Our house was destroyed, we did not even have a single personal item left. Here we are trying to rebuild our lives with your support. I feel stronger now, we are in great solidarity with my neighbors and the institutions that support us, and this is good for us."

Ms. Hacer's story is a lesson for us on how a reaching out a helping hand to people in the midst of a disaster can revive hope.

This project received the support of the Decathlon International Solidarity Fund managed by the KBF.

"After the earthquake, we were devastated both financially and emotionally. Here we are trying to rebuild our lives with your support. I feel stronger now, we are in great solidarity with my neighbors and the institutions that support us, and this is good for us."
Ms. Hacer
Victim of the earthquake in Türkiye

Source: IBC

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