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In Turkey, new shoes for Syrian refugee children

© UNICEF Turkey/2013
With support from Kuwait and other donors, UNICEF is distributing 80,000 pairs of shoes to school-aged children in 20 refugee camps across Turkey.

By Tülay Güler

ADIYAMAN, Turkey, 15 November 2013 – There are many reasons children don’t go to school. Not having a pair of shoes is rarely one of them.

For many Syrian children living in Turkey’s refugee camps, however, lack of shoes and warm clothing can make or break their academic future.

As temperatures go down, getting children the clothes they need is an urgent priority. UNICEF, with support from Kuwait and other donors, is currently distributing 80,000 pairs of shoes to school-aged children in 20 refugee camps across Turkey.

Fourteen-year-old Hussein recently received a new pair of shoes at a child-friendly space in the Adiyaman refugee camp. His younger brother Macit, just 5, looked on with envy. “When I start school, I will have a new pair of shoes, too,” said the younger sibling.

Their mother, Nada, who fled with them to Turkey from Aleppo, in the Syrian Arab Republic, says that education is crucial – although she admits that she didn’t think so at first.

“When we first arrived here, we were mostly focused on surviving. We didn’t really think about the children’s education,” she says. “But life has to go on, and my children’s learning cannot wait indefinitely. For us, education is as crucial as saving lives.”

© UNICEF Turkey/2013
Representatives of UNICEF and Kuwait gather with Syrian children outside a child-friendly space in a refugee camp in Turkey.

Turkey is currently home to half a million Syrian refugees, nearly 60 per cent of them children. Their needs are enormous – ranging from education, health and nutrition to protection and basic survival.

“As the needs continue to increase, we rely on the support of our donors to help the children of Syria overcome the horrors of war and displacement,” said Ayman Abu-Laban, UNICEF Representative in Turkey. “We are particularly grateful to the State of Kuwait for its generous contribution to these efforts.”

A Kuwaiti donation of $3 million to UNICEF programmes for Syrian refugees in Turkey is helping create child-friendly spaces in refugee camps as well as purchase winter clothes, nutritional food, school furniture and water purification tablets.

This donation is part of a $55 million grant from Kuwait for UNICEF programmes in the Syrian Arab Republic and other countries affected by the Syrian crisis.




UNICEF Photography: Syrian crisis


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