Humanitarians in the field supporting Syrian refugees in Turkey

There are more than 3.4 million Syrian refugees in Turkey. Due to the challenges in getting a legal status, financial problems, language and cultural barriers, some Syrian refugees face difficulties in accessing health facilities and other public services. In order to improve access to the relevant services, and therefore their integration into the Turkish public system, Doctors of the World Turkey – Dünya Doktorları Derneği (DDD), with support from the European Union, helps refugees in addressing a variety of specific needs. Case managers play a key role in helping refugees in various areas such as education, legal advice, and administrative support.

Ayman is a 32 years old Syrian refugee, whose life has changed since he received his refugee I.D. card. For four months, he has been trying to go through the registration process alone. Suffering from an infected leg requiring secondary treatment, he couldn't seek medical care at the hospital without an I.D. card. Therefore, he turned to DDD for help.

The case manager started by meeting the beneficiary, listened to him and ssessed his needs and concerns. Depending on each beneficiary's needs and demands, the person is referred and accompanied to relevant services when needed (NGOs, lawyers, education services, administrative services, health services). The team helps beneficiaries to have access to a legal status and also shelter, administrative, healthcare, education and juridical services.

Finally, with the help of a DDD's case manager Ayman managed to go through the process at Sefaköy immigration centre and received his ID card. DDD also helped him access a governmental hospital and undergo the surgery he needed.

Now Ayman is healthier, stronger, and even managed to find a job at a small market in Sultangazi, Turkey. He told us, “The DDD case management programme helped me to regain my independence, self-worth and self-esteem; literally it helped me save my life.”

Aysha is a 34 years old Syrian refugee. For a year, she knocked on many doors, visited many schools but never received the assistance she needed due to the language barrier and lack of information about schools accepting Syrian students. Her situation improved when a DDD case manager helped her find a school for her kids. Relieved that the education of her kids is ensured, she now feels ready to look for a job in Turkey in order to support her family.

Ahmad is a 19-year-old Syrian refugee who is a very skilled machinery technician. For a year, he had been looking for work with no results. Employers acknowledged his skills but refused to hire him because he couldn’t speak Turkish. He couldn’t afford a private language school and felt powerless.

DDD's case management programme helped him to enrol in a free language course and gave him the emotional support he needed. Thanks to this assistance, he could find work with a private company. Ahmad says he is smiling a lot more these days and he is now able to envision success in his new life. Three stories, 3 different people, 3 lives which changed through the assistance provided by Doctors of the World Turkey (Dünya Doktorları Derneği) with the support of the European Union.