Buddhist Compassion Relief Tzu Chi Foundation

Oct 01st
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Home Feature Stories 2023 Earthquake in Turkiye and Syria Awaken Hope with Love -- Tzu Chi Volunteers Conduct Home Visits in Istanbul

Awaken Hope with Love -- Tzu Chi Volunteers Conduct Home Visits in Istanbul

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After the devastating earthquake in Turkiye and Syria, the many images in the news and media made so many people sad and close to tears. Families that were complete lost members, while others survived. Faced with the eternal separation from their beloved, they lose hope, even if they escaped death themselves.

As the aid operation progressed, members of the Tzu Chi relief team saw heartbreaking scenes in the disaster area. Through deep empathy, they accelerated their assessment and relief work. On the one hand, they visited related organizations to seek cooperation or help in assisting the victims. On the other hand, they also strove to find ways to understand the current situation of the survivors.

With empathy, volunteers unite with love to rebuild life of victims

In Turkiye, Tzu Chi volunteers learned that, after the earthquake, many victims poured into Istanbul to seek refuge with their relatives. Most of them were penniless, without even a change of clothes. Their wounds after the earthquake have not been repaired, and the victims face existential problems of no money, no food, and no place to stay. They are very sad. The care of Tzu Chi volunteers is like timely warmth in a freezing winter.

Tzu Chi volunteer Nadya Chou said: "Many disaster victims slowly poured into Istanbul. Because the earthquake happened at midnight, they didn't have anything else with them, including money, food, and clothing, nothing. We will provide them some daily necessities with our blessings and concern first, so that they can feel the warmth in the lack of everything.”

With the assistance of Prof. Zuma, principal of El Menahil School, Tzu Chi volunteers purchased supplies and visited a disaster victim, Kurdi. Kurdi said with emotion: "Thank you for bringing us these necessities of life. We have no money now. These materials are of great help to us. We really need food, clothes, etc. All our things are buried in the ruins."

What the volunteers gave was just ordinary daily necessities, but Kurdi regarded them as treasures. He said that the shoes he wore when he fled the disaster area were muddy and damaged, with signs of shock and horror from the earthquake, just like his broken heart. We hope that, through loving companionship, the victims will be empowered and their wounds can slowly heal.

"I went to El Menahil School yesterday and had dinner with Tzu Chi volunteers. They greeted me warmly and asked me what I would like to eat. It felt like a family. It was really warm," Kurdi said. He expressed concern for his family: "I haven't seen my family for a few days. I don't know where they are now. I miss my youngest son very much. Fortunately, I saw Tzu Chi friends. Yesterday, I was really happy."

His younger brother Bashar, who lives in Istanbul, took in Kurdi; he also took in relatives from two other families. Seeing smiles gradually returning to his relatives' faces, he was deeply moved.

Bashar said: "When you come to us and hug us, we feel your trust and support. If you only give us food, we will finish it, but, when you give us love, the love will stay. In our hearts, it will not disappear." The company of love is the power to turn life around and let people see hope for future. However, the road to recovery is still long, and love is indispensable!


Source: DaAi News, reported by Jessica Yang and Chihming Teng from Turkiye, 2023/02/14