REFUGEES IN TURKEY
• According to UNHCR, there are more than 2.7 million registered Syrian Refugees in Turkey. There are also at least hundreds of thousands of refugees from Iraq and Iran.
• In relation to Turkey’s population of 75 million, this is equivalent of 11.6 million Syrian refugees in the United States – the entire population of Ohio.
• The number of refugees is increasing – nearly one million refugees have arrived in the past 12 months alone.
• An estimated 50,000 refugees live in Ankara, Turkey’s capital city.
• Syrian and Iraqi refugees in Ankara have fled both civil war and ISIS. Some are very surprised to learn that Christians in Turkey and other parts of the world are giving to help meet their needs at this time of crisis.
We aim to help refugees living in Ankara by meeting both short-term and long-term needs. With Kurtulus and three other Ankara churches participating in this program, food box distribution takes place three days a week, serving about 1,000 refugee families each week. Each food box provides approximately a week’s worth of food staples for three persons. While refugee families are often larger than three, this food serves as a vital supplement to a sometimes meager diet. We started out with five families, but we now have close to 6,000 registered in our database.
Refugees coming to our center for their food box also have access to donated clothing, blankets, baby diapers, and more. Our first aid room offers simple health services and basic medications. Parents arriving with children may leave them temporarily in our supervised playroom. There is a prayer room for persons who wish to receive prayer in Christ’s name. We have Bibles, New Testaments, and other resources for interested persons, including evangelism and discipleship courses and Christian media resources in Arabic.
Helping refugees think about long term solutions is an increasingly important part of our work. We are now providing English language courses throughout the week for refugees and, since so many of our refugees will be in Turkey for the foreseeable future, we are about to launch a Turkish language course.
Our biggest long-term project is the Jaraki Sewing Project [link to “Sewing Project” page]. We teach refugee women to make purses, tablet cases, messenger bags, etc. from old Turkish rugs. The project has been growing quickly and new women are signing up to join. We compensate the women for the products they make and we have begun to sell them around the world. This project has since grown into a full-scale business, which you can read more about on the Sewing Project page [again linked].
We have also partnered with Coffee Haus Coffee Roasters to open a new cafe in the neighborhood of our refugee building. The cafe is employing refugees and training them in marketable business skills. The cafe is also featuring the products that the refugee women are making and all of the profits earned there will go back into the refugee ministry.
You may use the link below to make a gift to Alcansa Relief, the US tax-exempt charity established to process gifts for this project. The amount of your gift will be remitted to Kurtulus Church in Ankara for the refugee ministry minus a 5% fee to cover administrative costs. Your gift will enable Kurtulus and other Ankara area churches to provide vitally needed assistance to refugee families.
Please feel free to share this website with others whom you feel are interested or would want to help. You may wish to share this with your pastor, your church, or small group. If you are in a small group, for example, would members want to each sponsor one or more food boxes each month? You have our permission to share this project on your Facebook page and other social media.