Happy 2012! Like most people, we at TPF, have been thinking a lot about not only the year ahead, but the year past. For those in Van, Turkey, it was a hard one. The devastating earthquake that struck the Southeastern Turkish city left several hundred dead and thousands homeless. With temperatures below freezing that has become a pressing crisis. TPF is responding.
In just a short time, TPF has raised over $300,000 to help with the city’s relief and rebuilding efforts. TPF’s team held direct meetings with key organizations in Turkey in November 2011 to identify projects that will respond to immediate needs as well as have longer-term impact. Our selection criteria have been, implementation capability, efficiency, financial strength and transparency. Van Earthquake Relief Fund recipients are as follows:
KIZILAY (Turkiye Kizilay Dernegi – Turkish Red Crescent Society) Teams wasted no time in responding to the earthquake. They were on the scene within 2 hours after the first rumbles. The relief items have been deployed from the logistics centers of KIZILAY spread all over Turkey. One hundred one KIZILAY staff and dozens of KIZILAY Volunteers are still working in the disaster area in order to meet the needs of the victims. With support from TPF, KIZILAY provided 15 container houses, with running water, bath, electricity, cooking facility, etc. to the victims. With additional funds coming in earmarked for KIZILAY, we will send a second grant to the organization in the coming days.
Grant Amount: $91,500
HADD (Hisar Anadolu Destekleme Dernegi – Hisar Anatolian Support Society) aims to educate young women of displaced families in Eastern Turkey. HADD activities to date have been focused mainly in the city of Van. The organization runs multiple kilim weaving workshops in Van, two of which were destroyed in the October earthquake. TPF’s assistance will help HADD build a prefabricated workshop to replace the damaged ones.
Grant Amount: $20,000
VAKAD (Van Kadin Dernegi -Van Women’s Association) was established in 2004 to address the intersections of gender-based violence and women’s economic independence in Eastern Turkey. It provides women, primarily survivors of violence and displaced women, with legal and psychological support as well as trainings on women’s human rights and health. The organization was one of the first respondents to the earthquake providing food, tents, clothing to the victims. VAKAD continues to respond to basic needs especially of the most vulnerable populations such as disabled and elderly. TPF support provided emergency relief supplies for the victims.
Grant Amount: $12,000
KEDV (Kadin Emegini Degerlendirme Vakfi – Foundation for the Support of Women’s Work) aims to improve women’s’ economic well-being and quality of life. KEDV has gained vast experience in post disaster efforts during the Marmara Earthquake in 1999. Right after its active involvement in relief efforts, KEDV opened eight Women and Children’s Centers in prefabricated settlements in the disaster region. These centers are still functioning as local grassroots women organizations. TPF will support the establishment of a prefabricated Women and Children Center in Van to provide women and children with a safe, collective space to help them get over the earthquake trauma, and to support women’s leadership to recreate their own lives, homes and communities. Grant Amount: $25,000
CYDD (Cagdas Yasami Destekleme Dernegi – Association For The Support Of Contemporary Living) aims to contribute to the formation of a contemporary society in Turkey through education. CYDD provides scholarships to students in Van and has been assisting Yuzuncu Yil University to start the Spring 2012 term on time. With support from TPF, CYDD will build a prefabricated building for educational activities on the campus of Van Yuzuncu Yil University. The urgency of the need was a critical factor in TPF’s determination. The buildings will be finished by March 1, 2012 to be ready for the Spring semester.
Grant Amount: $50,000
PROJECTS PENDING APPROVAL
AKUT Search and Rescue Association (AKUT Arama Kurtarma Dernegi), initially designed for mountaineering search and rescue, became well known for its rapid, organized response to the Marmara quake in 1999, an effort that saved hundreds of lives and showed that AKUT’s disciplined approach to citizen volunteering was effective across a broad range of terrains. AKUT’s response to the October 2011 Van earthquake has also been remarkable. TPF will help AKUT to purchase equipment that are used during search and rescue efforts.
ACEV (Anne Cocuk Egitim Vakfi – Mother Child Education Foundation) serves communities in need with carefully designed early childhood and adult education programs in Turkey. The organization not only provides an alternative education model to those who do not have access to formal education but also supports existing preschool activities, and develops programs that strengthen the relationship between school and family. ACEV was one of the first organizations out-of-town that responded to the earthquake in Van. TPF support will contribute to ACEV’s efforts in building a Family Rehabilitation Center. The goal is to provide long-term solution to the needs of the families in Van.
We would like to recognize GlobalGiving, The American Turkish Society, Mayor’s Fund to Advance New York City, Assembly of Turkish-American Association, Bridges of Hope Project, Turkish-American Chamber of Commerce, Turkish-American Business Forum, Turkish American Cultural Association of Michigan, Turkish-American Association of Arizona, Turkish-American Association of California, Turkish-American Cultural Association of Washington, American Turkish Association Houston, Turkish American Student Association, Turkish American Association of Minnesota, Turkish-American Ladies League, Association of Turkish- Americans of Southern California, Turkish Cultural Association in State University of New York, Binghamton, North Florida Turkish-American Cultural Association and all the more than 500 individuals, who have donated from $2 to $22,000, for supporting TPF’s Van Earthquake Relief Fund.
“Happy New Year” shouldn’t just be something uttered at the stroke of midnight at the end of December. It should be something to strive for the next 365 days. Through our project partners, we have seen glimmers of change in Van. When we look to the future we can imagine the glimmers growing brighter. For our part, the TPF team will do everything to disburse the Van Earthquake Relief Fund to make the most impact in the region. That will go towards our efforts to make it a truly happy new year.