On October 23rd, 2011, the Van earthquake hit Turkey with a vengeance, killing 604 people and injuring well over 4,000. As winter approached, it was predicted that approximately 60,000 people were left homeless.
On the very same day as the earthquake, the Turkish Philanthropy Funds (TPF) created the Van Earthquake Relief Fund promising that 100% of the tax-deductible contributions would be transferred to organizations that directly help victims of the October 23 disaster. Thanks to everyone’s kindness, they raised more than $400,000 to date, the majority of which has gone into long-term recovery and rebuilding of the communities. Of the funds that have been generously donated, they have supported relief, reconstruction and rebuilding efforts in Van.
With matching funds from the organization, the EWBC community has raised 1,300 euros to support various relief funds in Turkey.
According to Melis Mine Figanmese of TPF, the funds we donate will help programs such as:
With a focus on therapy through art, TPF awarded Van Kadin Dernegi (VAKAD) $1,600 for a project that will bring professional psychological care through art workshops to parents and children between July 2-6. They are workshops organized by VAKAD’s partner, the Van Art Therapy Project, which is a volunteer-based team of art psychotherapists and psychologists working in the United States and Turkey.
TPF also extended a $13K grant to the Neighborhood Disaster Volunteers Foundation (MAG Vakfi) to train 15 people from public institutions on how to respond to earthquakes in especially vulnerable areas such as Van with minimum risk. Van is vulnerable not only because of its location on a geographic fault, but because of poor construction throughout the city. MAG Vakfi’s efforts strive to provide essential disaster awareness where the risk to human life is high.
Thank you to everyone who generously donated to the fund!! We trust you have made some families extraordinarily grateful! Every penny helps.
You can find more information about the Van Earthquake Relief Fund here: http://tpfund.org/en/VanEarthquakeReliefFund.aspx
And if you didn’t get a chance to give you still can!