The Devastating Earthquakes in Turkey and Syria

The Devastating Earthquakes in Turkey and Syria

Model and actress Poppy Delevingne, 37, shares her eye-opening experience during her visit to Turkey last year, where she witnessed the aftermath of the devastating earthquakes that struck the south of the country and neighbouring Syria. The earthquakes, which occurred in February, resulted in the loss of over 55,000 lives and displaced 2.7 million people from their homes. Delevingne visited the affected areas eight months later and was shocked by the enduring level of devastation that was still visible.

Upon arriving, Delevingne encountered endless mountains of rubble and damaged buildings. Families and children were living among the ruins in tents and containers on the side of the road. As October was ending, the cold was beginning to set in, making the situation even more challenging for those affected. Witnessing such scenes was undeniably heartbreaking, but it also left an indelible impression on Delevingne.

Despite the immense challenges they faced, the people Delevingne met showcased extraordinary resilience and strength. She was in awe of their ability to remain hopeful even in the aftermath of such a devastating disaster. The affected individuals had lost everything – their loved ones, their homes, and all their belongings. Yet, amidst their shattered lives, Delevingne witnessed a glimmer of hope.

Delevingne shares her encounters with the people she met during her visit, highlighting their remarkable stories of survival and hope. One of the most memorable encounters was with Sefika, a grandmother in her 80s, who was living in a container with her grandson Yucel. Yucel had lost both his parents in the earthquake, and Sefika had lost her daughter and son-in-law. Despite their tragic losses, Sefika displayed incredible resilience and had a twinkle in her eye.

Delevingne sheds light on the work being carried out by Save the Children in Hatay and Adiyaman, two of the worst-hit provinces. The charity aims to help families rebuild their lives by providing them with essential facilities such as showers and toilets. Mental health support, hygiene kits, and winter supplies are also part of the support systems in place. Delevingne highly emphasizes the importance of shining a light on these communities and raising awareness since it seems that the global attention has shifted to other ongoing conflicts and crises.

While overwhelmed by the welcoming nature of the people she met, Delevingne also draws attention to their openness and honesty in sharing their experiences with her. Despite the immense loss and trauma, she witnessed a sense of hope among the affected individuals. Save the Children provides safe spaces for children to receive mental health support, play, and process their experiences. Delevingne herself took part in one of the sessions, where she witnessed the children trying to live as children despite their circumstances.

Delevingne also participated in the distribution of hygiene kits, including items such as shampoo, soap, and menstrual products. She highlights the daily privileges many take for granted, such as being able to buy these essentials at a local shop. Unfortunately, the destruction caused by the earthquakes has left these women without access to such basic amenities and jeopardized their livelihoods. Delevingne’s personal experiences have made her deeply appreciative of the privileges she enjoys and have motivated her to share these stories with others.

Delevingne concludes by emphasizing her role as an ambassador for Save the Children and her commitment to raising awareness and funds for emergency response efforts. Through her involvement in annual fundraisers, she aims to support the organization in swiftly responding to emergencies like the earthquakes in Turkey and Syria. Delevingne believes strongly in spreading the word to encourage others to open their eyes to such humanitarian crises. While trips like these can be emotionally challenging, she recognizes the importance of taking the time to process and reflect upon her experiences when she returns home.

As Delevingne reflects on her visit to Turkey, she remains inspired by the extraordinary resilience, hope, and strength exhibited by the people she encountered. Despite the immense challenges they face, she is reminded of the power of compassion and the importance of extending a helping hand to those in need. The devastating earthquakes may have caused immeasurable destruction, but the unwavering spirit of the affected communities serves as a testament to the human capacity for resilience and hope.

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