Natural disasters do not only destroy buildings, roads and infrastructure, they upend human life; forcing many to suffer post-traumatic stress. That is what happened in Van last October. Our partners are making enormous strides in helping not only the physical well-being of the victims of the 2011 earthquake, but also the emotional.
During the month of July, The Van Art Project conducted workshops of art therapy to work with the community affected by the earthquake. The goal of the project was to provide tools and skills to the local women and children to help them cope with their trauma. “This is the first time I have ever shared with other women; now I know I am not alone” commented one participant of the project. A young, selectively mute girl, due to the trauma of the earthquake, began to sing by the end of the weeklong project. These examples confirm a successful project. The Van Art Project looks forward to a 2nd Annual Event next summer.
Additionally, Anne Çocuk Eğitim Vakfı (AÇEV) has worked tirelessly through the winter months to complete the build of the Van Post-Trauma Family Counseling Center, where psychological rehabilitation services are now available to adults and children. Since its April 2012 opening, some 328 people have received services (202 adults/young adults and 128 children)
and the center foresees thousands more. The center employs two adult therapists, child therapists and two field specialists. With a grant from TPF of $50,000, AÇEV will be able to make a long lasting effect on the people of Van.
Türkiye Eğitim Gönüllüleri Vakfı (TEGV) is also hard at work in Van. What students do after school is just as important as what they do in school. That is why TEGV has been working to build an extracurricular activity building in Muradiye, Van. They are proud to announce that they have completed their project and will hold an opening ceremony on October 18th. The project aims to benefit 800 children per year with educational programs and extracurricular activities.