Lisa and Amanda here. After spending much of Dec. in Turkey volunteering and living with İmece İnisiyatifi Çeşme (Imece), a small and effective Turkish NGO, which was founded just three years ago, we would like to raise further awareness and support.
Imece works in the region of Izmir and is the only NGO with a licence to work in the unofficial refugee camps there. They work with individuals and families who have been displaced by war and conflict, originally providing them with essentials such as food and hygiene items, as well as an education programme for children.
Since many families now have opportunities to earn a basic income, the focus – in addition to the continued education program - is now on more long and medium term goals of building a village for women’s training workshops. One project is in the field of solar energy, where women will be trained on the basics of solar energy and how to install solar panels. This is an impressive and visionary project, which has an immediate, as well as potentially medium and long-term positive impact for families. A small solar panel costs just EUR 3, and can immediately improve living conditions in camps by powering a light bulb or charging a mobile phone, for example. There are also many solar companies in the region, opening up potential employment opportunities for the women, thereby improving the lives of their families. It is also the dream of many to be able to return home one day. With these new skills, the women can make an excellent contribution to the reconstruction of their country. During the training, the women would also live at the village along with their children, who would also be engaged in activities so the women would be able to focus on the training.
This village is still being built – using mostly recyclable materials - and, in addition to taking part in Imece’s education program, we also helped with some of the construction work and lived there. One family from Syria already lives there and it is expected that the first people will move in for training within the next few weeks.
Take a look at our FB posts @ https://www.facebook.com/BalkanRouteStuttgart/?fref=ts
We got involved through a small and effective German NGO, Balkan Route Stuttgart, which supports Imece through sending donations and volunteer. Find out more about them here - https://balkanroutestuttgart.de/
Through sheer luck, we were born into our time and place and we’ve never taken that for granted. No matter how hard things might seem for us at times, we still belong to the world’s richest 5% and we want to give something back. Please support us with this by sending a donation here (tax-deductible in Germany). No part of your donation will be used to finance our trip; we have already completed our time at Imece and covered all our costs on our own.
Thank you for your support and do contact us if you have any questions at all.
Lisa and Amanda xxx