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Helen Ramos Miscellaneous February 7, 2023

Your Urgent Support is Needed for Earthquake Victims

Early yesterday morning, a catastrophic 7.8 magnitude earthquake struck Turkey, Syria, and surrounding countries, followed by a second 7.5 magnitude quake in the afternoon and waves of forceful aftershocks. Over 5,000 civilians are confirmed to have died as thousands of buildings have collapsed in every city and village across the region, and many are still stuck under the rubble in near-freezing temperatures. Hundreds of thousands of people have become homeless. The disaster shook an already vulnerable region with internally displaced civilians and refugees from the Syrian civil war.

Blossom Hill Fellows are continuously assessing the situation on the ground and some have already reported some casualties. In southern Turkey, four of our beneficiaries, including three children have been killed and a student is still missing. In northern Syria, a staff member from our partner organization lost four children. But with connectivity problems, we do not yet know the full scope of this disaster on our staff and their students, some of whom we are still trying to reach.

In addition, a significant number of our staff and program beneficiaries have been displaced from their homes, which have either collapsed or are unsafe, and are unsure how long before they can be resettled. Many have shared that they are currently in the streets in the cold, sleeping in their cars or in parks, with little access to water or power. Essential infrastructure has been destroyed making movement to safe grounds difficult.

Our Fellows continue to monitor the situation hour by hour and are assessing immediate needs to provide critical support. They are currently working to help those affected get on flights to safe grounds. And we are collecting funds to support our students, staff, and their families who are personally impacted.

While there are still many unknowns, we know that the road to recovery will be long and hard. Please consider making a donation now. Every dollar will directly go to the hundreds of children and families in our programs who have been affected by this crisis.