Resilience in the Face of Adversity: İmge's Story After the Earthquake
This story reflects resilience, love, and unwavering determination in the face of adversity, showcasing the indomitable human nature.
July 24, Hatay - In the wake of the devastating earthquakes that struck Hatay, 35-year-old İmge, a young mother, found herself thrust into a world of uncertainty and resilience. Alongside Gökhan, her husband, a barista who temporarily lost his job due to the earthquake's aftermath, İmge is living with her two children in an informal tent settlement, surrounded by the tents of her aunt, cousin, and best friend. Their house, heavily damaged by the earthquake, rendered them unable to return to their previous living conditions.
Nazlı, her 5-year-old daughter, woke her up on the night of the earthquake, thirsty for water. As İmge got up to bring her daughter some water, the ground beneath them began to shake violently. The shaking was so severe that I thought the whole building would collapse on us at that moment. I immediately ran to my son Demir's cradle and took him in my arms," Imge recounts her experiences. It is impossible not to agree with her when she says it was a miracle, as right after she took Demir in her arms, the side wall collapsed onto the cradle. In the midst of chaos and confusion, they managed to escape with their lives, but with nothing else.
Left with only the clothes on their backs, the family faced the cold and rainy weather with little protection. Determined to provide for his family, Gökhan set out the next day in search of essential items for their baby, such as diapers. Overwhelmed by desperation and the ongoing tragedy he witnessed, he contemplated breaking into a nearby shop that sold baby supplies. According to İmge, another miracle happened at that moment. Gökhan then encountered a compassionate and kind store owner in his neighborhood who, despite being an earthquake victim himself, generously provided him with diapers and baby clothes.
Though grateful for this act of kindness, the supplies they received were not enough to sustain them for long. İmge realized the overwhelming needs of her little ones and yearned for more support. During one of UNICEF's hygiene kit distributions in Hatay, İmge and her family shared their story. She sincerely shared with us their fear, sadness, despair, and determination to hold on to life despite everything.
"We never imagined that our lives would change so dramatically. The earthquake turned everything upside down, and we were left with just the clothes on our backs. But we have to move forward, for ourselves and our children. Life goes on, and we are determined to rebuild and create a better future."
With the generous financial support of BPRM, UNICEF provides hygiene kits to affected families in the affected areas. These kits come in five categories and with a total of over 75,000 kits having been distributed so far. İmge is one of these beneficiaries. She states that she finds the hygiene kits, which meet the basic needs of her children, very useful. She adds, 'UNICEF's hygiene kit is a very important support for our family. It provides us with essential supplies for our baby's health, helping us stay clean and uphold our human dignity. However, the needs of little babies like mine are never-ending. I wish we could receive this help more often."
"Receiving the hygiene kit from UNICEF is very important support for our family. It provided us with essential items for our baby's well-being and gave us a sense of cleanliness and dignity. But the needs of little babies like mine are immense, and I wish we could receive these kits more frequently."
İmge and her family faced unexpected challenges that changed their lives dramatically. However, they refused to give in to despair and instead found strength in moving forward for the sake of their children. With support from organizations like UNICEF and its partners and compassionate individuals, they discovered solace and knew they were not alone. Their story reflects resilience, love, and unwavering determination in the face of adversity, showcasing the indomitable human nature.
UNICEF's focus on long-term recovery and sustainable solutions, beyond immediate relief, together with the Government of the Republic of Turkey and other partners, contributes to the rebuilding and improvement of lives in earthquake-affected areas. In line with its commitment to ensure the welfare of children, UNICEF continues to have a positive impact on the lives of many families, such as Imge and her family, by giving them hope and support in the face of difficulties.