“Azez 2017 Unlimited Amusement” project for the children born during the Syrian civil war and living in refugee camps has been carried out in the opposition-held district of Aleppo, Azez, in Northern Syria.
10.000 children have participated in the festival for ten days organised by International Refugee Rights Association and IHH Humanitarian Relief Foundation in Azez and Mare. Singer Metin Senturk, TV presenter Ikbal Gurpinar and rally driver Burcu Cetinkaya from Turkey have joined the joy of children having a lot of fun on the last day of the festival in Al-Salam refugee camp.
IRRA press chief Neslihan Onder, in her statement to Anadolu Agency (AA), said “We organized an event called “Unlimited Amusement” for the internally displaced Syrian children. We entertained the children in Azez and its outskirts. We targeted the children born in this region during the civil war and living in refugee camps. In these events, face painting and clown games have been played. We witnessed smiles of the children. Those are the children who have seen nothing but warfare and refugee camps. We wanted to show them that there are different worlds other than the one in which they have been living. Thank God, we have left beautiful traces and memories on the kids through the events we did.”
Onder said “When we talked to people about the project, some reacted as follows ‘there is an ongoing war there, how are you going to organize a festival in such an environment?’ But we successfully did it and reached many more children than we previously planned to do. The number of children we targeted was 3000, but we reached 10.000”. Onder, expressing that they communicated well with children and had a good time with them said: “We came here with 40 volunteer women. This volunteers treated the children as if those children are their own brothers and sisters. They played games together. These children have seen nothing but warfare. We made them happy and forget the war. There have been a lot of suffering in their life. We wanted to relieve their pains. There are still hundreds of thousands children that we have not been able to reach. The world has been ignoring them. We raised awareness of refugee children via this event. The refugee children in Syria realized that they are loved by the people of another country.”
Havva Nur Demir, a volunteer for IRRA, said: “I have three sisters. Coming here I have made thousands of sisters. I treated the children as if I am their older sister. We addressed the children born into war and who have seen nothing but warfare. We witnessed their feelings. We played with them. We shared a lot of things. They really need caring. We socialized really well with them and I think we left a beautiful legacy in the region. The children we have taken care of did not want to let us go at the end of the festival.”
Zahra Nur Latif, 10, joining the festival in Al-Salam Refugee Camp thanked to everyone who contributed to organizing the festival.