Less Fearful, More Active

Cover Design by Mullan’larl © UNICEF Turkey 2001

Less Fearful, More Active -- The Psycho-social School Project for Children Affected by the 1999 Earthquakes in Turkey
© UNICEF Turkey 2001


At three o’clock in the morning of August 17th, 1999, a tremor measuring between 7.4 and 7.8 on the RS wrought havoc in the Marmara region of northwestern Turkey. Later that winter, on November 12th, a second equally devastating earthquake struck the Düzce province.

Eighteen thousand died and more than six hundred thousand were made homeless as a direct result of the two catastrophes.

As part of it’s response to the needs of the children and mothers of the Marmara region, UNICEF, in collaboration with MONE, initiated the Psycho-social School Project, which aimed to help over a quarter of a million children and their families to cope with the traumatic after effects of the disaster.

The project is broad in scope and Turkey itself has never before seen such a wide-ranging collaboration between the communities, the helping professions, academics and the government.

This is an account of that response. It is about the children and their families and teachers and how so much was done to restore their confidence and to renew their faith in the future.

As one child who took part in the programme put it:

I have learned to be less fearful, more active.

The fully illustrated text of Less Fearful, More Active is also available for download in print-ready pdf format. [PDF 1.25MB]

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