Trauma relief training to prepare children for school

This weekend, two of our Amurtel child psychologists trained in emergencies gave training to 34 teachers and caregivers from the tent community we are serving at a farm south of Adana.  There are about 1000 people sheltered at the farm, of which at least 200 are children.  Soon, the government will require the children to start attending classes, but without addressing their psychological needs, the children’s learning will be compromised.  The training program is designed to support caregivers and teachers in setting up opportunities for the children to release stress and emotions while returning to normalizing routines.   This weekend’s training focused on sensitizing the participants both to their own emotional needs, as well as to be aware of children’s needs, and learn practical, playful movement-based ways to help everyone experience some release.

There were deeply healing moments of tears and grieving, balanced with light moments of play and laughter.  One of the participants said, “Our days have been empty, but this weekend they were filled with so many activities, learning, and joy.”

Activities have started this week, with children receiving art therapy sessions from Nadia, one of Amurtel’s lead psychologists.  We wish to expand this program so to ensure the children have a full schedule of creative, fun, and academic activities.  Your support can provide this important initiative with tables, chairs, art supplies, educational games, and toys. Thank you!


Earthquake Relief Underway in Turkey

As many are aware, there were two devastating earthquakes affecting Turkey and Syria on Monday, Feb. 6. The first was magnitude-7.8 and hit southern Turkey at 7:17am and was followed 11 minutes later by a magnitude-6.7 aftershock. There was a reprieve for nine hours and then “a magnitude-7.5 earthquake rocked the region at 1:24pm local time. The numbers of those killed and injured are rising daily, and torrential rain and frigid temperatures are making the situation that much worse.

The situation in both areas is dire. At the epicenter of the disaster, the temperature at night drops to -8 degrees (C), and survivors pulled from the ruins literally have nothing to protect them from the cold.

AMURTEL has begun relief efforts in Turkey, focusing first on getting blankets and food to survivors. Our teams area also preparing to set up Psychological Trauma counseling centers along with Child Friendly Spaces.

All donations to support this work are much appreciated.