By now, I’m sure you’ve all heard the news of the devastating earthquake that took place in Turkey and Syria on February 6. Nearly 50,000 people have lost their lives so far and hundreds of thousands more have been injured, but there are millions more needing assistance across both countries. And all of this in the middle of winter, while the ground keeps shaking… it’s a really desperate situation.
Lately, we’ve been receiving messages from postcrossers, asking how they can help. While we are not experts, we believe that donating money to local organizations that are on the ground is the most efficient way to help in an emergency like this, as they will know best what people actually need, and can funnel resources accordingly. So, we asked postcrossers in Türkiye and Syria which organizations they recommend — here are their answers:
- this is a non-governmental organization funded by the Turkish musician and philanthropist Haluk Levent. It works in several different areas of solidarity and cooperation, and it has been very active in disaster relief efforts.
- This is the governmental agency that is coordinating disaster relief efforts in Türkiye — they organize the work with other NGOs, and most of the food, clothing, and other needs of the victims are taken care of by this agency.
- Syrian White Helmets
- A volunteer-run organization that participates in rescue and evacuation missions in Syria, usually as a result of bombings, but now active in disaster relief efforts as well.
Besides these local groups, there are other international organizations present in Türkiye and Syria, among which the Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement, UNICEF and the UN Crisis Relief Fund are the ones we hear referred to the most. All of these agencies have decades of experience, and a good record helping in emergency situations.
We hope these links will help and encourage you to join us in making a donation to help mitigate the unthinkable effects of this crisis on millions of people. Your donation could become a hot meal, a blanket, a tent, or the help someone who has lost everything needs to restart their life — all of which will be welcome and important in these difficult times.