Photo Credit: Gift of the Givers

A 7.8 magnitude earthquake has devastated cities and towns in Turkey and Syria; Gift of the Givers has teams on the ground assisting with aid.


Global (07 February 2023) – Gift of the Givers is more than just a South African-founded organisation; teams are based throughout the world’s most volatile regions to offer aid to those who need it most. The Syrian-based teams have opened their doors and hospitals to aid the victims of the devastating earthquake that has affected both Syria and Turkey.

The 7.8 magnitude earthquake shook Turkey and neighbouring Syria, leaving total devastation in its wake. At the time of writing this, the death toll stands at 4,300.

Gift of the Givers has always committed to global disaster relief. Over the years, the organisation has sent aid to every major disaster known to humankind. From war-torn disasters to weather and fire-related disasters too.

In Syria, the teams have opened their hospital doors, taking in any victims that have survived the earthquake. The Gift of the Givers Ar Rahma Hospital was activated shortly after the disaster and the Hilaal Hospital near the Turkish border is on standby today. The teams doing search and rescue are struggling due to the cold weather and predicted snow.

“Our paramedics, ambulance teams, medical staff are actively involved in opening both our hospitals and clearing additional space to take in casualties of the Earthquake from villages and cities around our Ar Rahma Hospital.”

Many of the organisation’s centres within Turkey have been evacuated. The Gift of the Givers Bayt Kareem Child Care Centre in Gaziantep, Turkey was cleared out but thankfully no one was injured. Around 500 of the surrounding buildings have been damaged by the disaster.

“Gift of the Givers only responds if a call is made by the affected country for international assistance. Not only has the call been made, but we have been contacted directly by the Turkish Ambassador to South Africa, Aysegul Kandas, and by the Consul General in Cape Town, Sinan Yesildag, to assist in this huge disaster. They will facilitate all the arrangements in Turkey. Our SA Ambassador to Turkey, Dipuo Letsatsi-Duba has also requested our intervention.

Currently, our team members including Dr Naeem Kathrada and Colin Deiner, Head of Western Cape Provincial Disaster are in meeting with the Turkish Consul General and the GM of Turkish Airlines, Muhammed Soner Aydin. We will be meeting the Turkish Ambassador and DIRCO later today.

Search and rescue and medical teams with specialised equipment are already on standby to fly out by latest tomorrow. Turkish Airlines will facilitate the transport.

Medical supplies, equipment, consumables, tents, blankets, food and other humanitarian aid will be purchased in Turkey. We are expanding our volunteer medical, search and rescue teams.”

If you would like to support the people of Syria and Turkey, you can do so by supporting Gift of the Givers here or donating via BackaBuddy here. You can also stay up to date on the team’s work within the two countries by following Gift of the Givers on Facebook.

Sources: Gift of the Givers
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About the Author

Tyler Leigh Vivier is a writer for Good Things Guy.

Her passion is to spread good news across South Africa with a big focus on environmental issues, animal welfare and social upliftment. Outside of Good Things Guy, she is an avid reader and lover of tea.

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