Currently there are about 2.8 million refugees living in Turkey. "Only" about 500,000 of them live in structured and organized camps, where they are supported by well known NGOs. But still, 2.3 million refugees, 1.5 million of them children, live in "wild camps" which are not structured or they try living in cities like Istanbul, Izmir, Gaziantep or Adana. The people live there in inhuman conditions! Without any infrastructure, without water or electricity.
The bare necessities are lacking. Mostly without any means, the people need the simpliest things like water, rice, oil and bread. But also baby food and hygiene products like diapers and sanitary pads are urgently needed.
There is a incomprehensible need in the Southern parts of Turkey. Most of the 2.8 million refugees are stranded here. Just behind the border they are registered and split up into different camps. But even here, many are living in "wild camps". Without support and without the perspective of work or of a dignified life, they are forgotten by the rest of the world.
Last year, the "Three Musketeers" provided humanitarian aid directly on site and helped 4000 people with more than 15 tons of food.
In the Syrian border region exist numerous "Health Houses". Victims of Bombings are taken care off and get medical help here. Yet it lacks in everything. From food to hygiene products and medical equipment, everything is needed.
One of those "Health Houses" is in a small 4-room-apartment in the city Rehanli. There are currently 24 men and two boys living there. Close by there is another "Health House" for women and girls.
The "Three Musketeers" will support the people living there with food and medical equipment like desinfectants, bandages, crutches or wheelchairs.
After the first few missions in Turkey and along the Balkan Route it was clear to us, that we have to help refugees, helping them not only with direct emergency aid on site, but also support them in the long-run.
Boundless was born! The idea behind it is simple. We want to give women a prospect of a new life with the production and sale of handmade bags, backpacks and accesoires, which are made with traditional printing methods.
We want to pay special attention to single women with their children. It is difficult for them, alone and without the protection of their families, to set up their own life in safety and dignity.
Many of the young women have lost their husbands during the war or on the run and live now on their own as single mothers with their children. Those young women have little options to earn their living.
They mostly live in two parts of Izmir. In "Basmane" there are around 70,000 Syrian refugees living at the moment and in "Buca" another 40,000. The accommodations, you cannot really call them apartments, are for the most part run-down and in bad conditions. The women have to pay overpriced rents for the rooms, that are decrepit and with mold on the walls, while not having running water. That is why prostitution is for some the only possibility to earn their living. To support the women and preventing them to be forced into prostitution, we want to give them the possibility to earn their living and to keep their dignity, with the production of bags and other textiles.
In our "Community Center" in Buca, we want to help the single women with bureaucratic topics and to earn their own living with the production and sale of textiles, while their children are supervised and able to go to school.
In the first step we want to get 10 sewing machines for the women. A tailor from Syria will then show the women how to use them and teach them how to sew.
Apart from that we are currently looking for suitable suppliers for sustainable materials, like "organic linen" or "organic cottom". The fabrics are then printed by hand with a traditional method using stamps made out off basswood. At the beginning, we want to make three to four different bags from the printed fabrics and sell them in Germany and Europe. Of course everything is "non-profitable" for us!
It is our aim to give the women the prospect of earning their own living and for them to get some of their dignity back.
Here you can watch a Video that shows, how the fabrics are printed with a traditional method with stamps made out off bass wood. The stamps are also carved lovingly and arduously by hand.
The people, who are living and hiding in the forests or in abandoned houses, do not exist officially.
Therefore they do not receive any support. The people are living in constant fear of being caught, beaten, tortured or deported.
Official camps exist, of course, but under which conditions should the people live there? The camps are more like prisons and hopelessly overcrowded!
300-400 people, mostly young men between 15 and 30 years old, are hiding here and try to cross the "green" border to Hungary and go from there further towards Central Europe. A nearly impossible venture! The Hungarians created an almost insurmountable "buffer zone". With a "security", especially hired for it, which is more or less making hunt for the refugees.
If the refugees are caught, they are robbed of their clothes and their little belongings are destroyed.
In the city Subotica, we work together with a amazing group called "Fresh Response". The group consists of young people from around the world. Young volunteers, who made it their task to help those people.
We support this group as well as the refugees in the forests and abandoned buildings directly with fresh vegetables and fruits, fresh water, hygiene products and, of course, with warm clothes and blankets. We also help with medical equipment like desinfectants and bandages, as well as medicine like cough syrup or pain killers. The Volunteers also drive the refugees to a hospital in acute emergencies.
Since it is impossible to import the supplies in Serbia, we buy the needed supplies on site.
Here you can find a map to get an overview of the region and the individual locations of the camps.
Alltogether we covered 15,000km during our missions.
The Vasudev Foundation is still a young NGO in New Delhi, India. Together with their founder Prateek, they help the people in the slums of New Delhi. They support them with clothes, water, food and hygiene products and do an amazing job on site. They also help "underprivileged" children to get access to education and make it possible for them, with the help of many volunteers, to go to a privatly organized school.
Prateek and his team work tirelessly to help the people in need.
We support Prateek, the Vasudev Foundation and his team with regularily donations. Next year we plan to go to New Delhi, where we want to support the team of the Vasudev Foundation NGO directly with a team of Musketeers.