and a flat football
One of the DART (Disaster Assistance Response Team) members tells the story of a family they met while setting up tents for those affected by the quake in Turkey in February.
‘Tulay is 32 years old and a mother of three chatty boys. We met the family and a lot of other people when we were about to set up a tent. As we arrived, the boys aged 9, 10, and 11 were in the middle of an intense football match with questionable rules. As we were waiting for the material so that we could start working, we joined their game. For a second the world seemed like a less devastating place as we were running around in the sun, giggling and laughing every time one of the little boys lost his shoe in the dirt. “I want to team up with you”, one of them said to me through a translator app and immediately his little cousin jumped in as he wanted to be part of the team, too. So, we kept on kicking a way too flat ball into a non-existent goal, losing shoes and running into each other.
When we eventually sat down and shared some freshly baked bread we started talking. “I was all alone with the kids on the night of the earthquake”, Tulay tells us. “Our house got destroyed completely and now we are staying in this tent together with our neighbours.” When I asked one of the boys where he is going to school, he told me that it got destroyed so there is no school for him right now. When I asked him if he liked school he states just: “Medium.” It made me laugh because he was just like any other 10-year-old boy, playing football and not liking school. At the same time, it saddened me to see how drastically the lives of these little boys have changed – and there is nothing I could do about it. So, I kept on talking with them using a translator app, sharing bread with their 7-year-old cousin who would only take a bite if I had one first, making them laugh with my poor Turkish trying to keep their minds off all had been through, even if only for a second.’
GAiN continues to respond to the needs in Turkey and Syria in the aftermath of the quakes. You can help by donating today to our relief appeal at give.agape.org.uk/turkeysyriaquake.