"A Glimmer of Hope" - Syria Earthquake: Three Months On

May 25, 2023

In February, thousands of families were severely affected by a series of devastating earthquakes in Türkiye and Syria. Everything was destroyed, and chaos and fear prevailed - with children bearing the brunt. To prevent further aftershocks, War Child and local partners sprang into action.

Preventing the Aftershock

In the heavily affected areas of Türkiye and Northwest Syria, over 50,000 people lost their lives, and tens of thousands of families lost everything - including loved ones. The psychological impact of the disaster manifested itself differently in every child. Some children became fearful or angry while others withdrew into silence.

It was evident that urgent psychological first aid was necessary. Delaying such assistance would increase the risk of lasting damage - something we desperately wanted to prevent.

Psychological First Aid

Due to our long-standing work in Syria, our partners were able to take immediate action in the northwest region. Amidst the rubble, we provided shelter for families. Our colleagues on the ground worked tirelessly to ensure an adequate supply of food, tents, blankets, mattresses, heaters and winter clothing - essentials for survival. Besides these necessities, we also focused on addressing the profound psychological impact on children. We moved quickly to provide psychological first aid and psychosocial support.


Children gradually find ways to cope with their fears and experiences and relax

Photo: War Child


Children can once again pursue their education

Photo: War Child

Learning to Relax

Thanks to the incredible support of our donors and supporters we have been able to reach 43,093 children and adults through our emergency response to date. We are witnessing as children slowly find ways to cope with their fears and regain a sense of peace and relaxation.

In addition to the psychosocial support activities, thanks to a contribution from the Dutch Giro 555 campaign, children have been able to return to school since April. Over a thousand children have gradually returned to their old routines which greatly contributes to their overall mental health and wellbeing.

Our priority in the coming months? Ensuring as many children as possible can return to and stay in school. We are also actively engaged in the reconstruction of devastated school buildings. Four schools will soon undergo significant renovations. With this approach, we hope to stimulate children's healthy development and offer them a glimmer of hope in a country devastated by years of war and natural disasters.