Our two new Trustees had their creativity and decision-making judgement put to the test in their very first week. Through our contacts in Gaziantep, we discovered that our Interpreter / Translator / Guide and Friend was sleeping rough “in the garden.” A cultured and educated man, he had not been able to find a regular job and had just drifted into homelessness.
Happily, the shop-keepers, and our translator, were all from Aleppo, so we were able to share news and plan a future for our translator. First we consulted (and cajoled) our contacts in the seven Syrian NGOs. We found out very quickly that ‘large’ NGOs can not give money/help to individuals. This came as quite a shock to us. Legally correct, but hardly common sense.
However, it does raise the question: how many other Syrians are sleeping rough, and what, if anything, can we do about it?
We are a very small charity but we do seem to have stumbled on (as yet) unmet need. Safety nets are few and far between in Turkey. We shall be asking more questions.