July 15, 2024
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EUROPE & MIDDLE EAST News

Empower young quake survivors and restore their hopes for the future with this!

Empower young quake survivors and restore their hopes for the future with this!

In a world full of challenges and uncertainties, sometimes the brightest lights are those that shine amidst darkness. Ece Çiftçi embodies this spirit, founding the SocialBen Foundation at the young age of 14 with a vision to empower children in Turkey’s underserved areas with access to opportunities in creative industries and sports.

However, fate had a different plan for the foundation after the devastating earthquakes of February 2023 struck Turkey and Syria. Suddenly, SocialBen found itself at the forefront of providing emergency assistance to children aged 7-13 in the regions most affected. Today, the foundation’s reach extends to 73 cities in Turkey and 11 more abroad, reflecting the resilience and dedication of its mission.

Despite the immediate focus on addressing the trauma and aftermath of disasters, the essence of Çiftçi’s dream remains alive within SocialBen. “Art schools or sports-team entrance exams don’t wait for children disadvantaged by disasters,” Çiftçi affirms. The foundation aims to nurture dreams and cultivate stars in the realms of sports, arts, and sciences.

Within the southeastern cities of Adıyaman and Hatay, SocialBen has established permanent skill-development and psychosocial support centers to provide a safe haven for children reeling from the earthquake’s aftermath. The impact of the earthquakes on over 6.2 million children in Turkey and Syria was profound, leaving many displaced and struggling to find a sense of normalcy.

In such uncertain times, the role of SocialBen becomes a beacon of hope for children like Zehra, a volunteer who found solace in being part of a project that brings a sense of normalcy to young lives disrupted by tragedy. As children find themselves displaced and their routines shattered, these centers offer a haven where they can begin to address their traumas and rebuild their lives.

Through a diverse range of workshops spanning from arts to agriculture, children are provided with avenues to explore, learn, and grow beyond the confines of a traditional classroom. The nurturing environment of SocialBen’s centers fosters not just skills development but also social connections and emotional healing crucial to rebuilding lives.

Research underscores the long-lasting effects of disasters on children, highlighting the need for continuous support and intervention. Organizations like SocialBen recognize the importance of creative expression, play, and psychological care in helping children navigate through traumatic experiences and build resilience for the future.

As SocialBen expands its reach to open more centers, the vision of Çiftçi comes full circle – to raise forward-looking children who can lead their communities towards a brighter tomorrow. With unwavering support and nurturing, these children have the potential to become global citizens who carry the torch of hope for their cities. In the face of adversity, let us remember that within the hearts of these young souls lie the seeds of a brighter future.

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