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Syria’s Idlib Hosts Almost 1.2M Orphans

There are around 1.2 million orphans in the northern Syrian province of Idlib who need a huge amount of support, said the head of the Turkish NGO, the Orphan Foundation.

If orphans’ mothers are alive, they embrace these children, but if not, then it is their closest relatives such as aunts, uncles, and grandfathers. But for children who are deprived of such support, there are orphanages, Murat Yilmaz told Anadolu Agency.

Yilmaz underlined that the needs of these orphanages are enormous — relief agencies make efforts for meeting children’s food, clothing, stationery, health, and accommodation (such as heating) expenditures.
He noted that there are dozens of orphanages in Idlib.

Recalling that there is a 10-year-old war environment in Syria, he said his foundation has been active in the country since 2017.

“Seriously, our brothers and sisters have been moving to the north of the country towards the Turkish border for many years,” he said.

He stressed that his foundation tries to support Syrian refugees both in Turkey and this region.

“As the Orphan Foundation, we also work on sheltering children in the region. We have orphanages for boys and girls in [the Syrian city of] Jarablus, where our orphans are sheltered, educated. And of course, war means great pain, trauma, and great suffering,” he said.

Yilmaz noted that the foundation also makes serious contributions to children in the psycho-social sense.

Wider assistance

Saying that the foundation also has a social service center in Idlib’s Babiska region, he noted: “This social service center is the only place located among tents and briquette houses, where 10,000 people live.

“And at this place, we provide education and vocational training to both our orphanages and orphans. We have sports clubs for our children, we make intelligence games, and we also provide information about visual arts.”

He added that it is not possible to meet all these wide-ranging needs by a few institutions and there is a need for wider assistance and support.

As conflicts between the Bashar al-Assad regime and Syrians continue, hundreds of thousands of people have died and millions have been displaced. Currently, 4.3 million Syrians are living in Idlib.

There are non-governmental organizations, especially from Turkey, in Idlib providing humanitarian aid to these people.

Currently, Turkish NGOs are building thousands of briquette houses for displaced people.

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