As many of you know, a massive earthquake hit Turkey and Syria, resulting in thousands of deaths and devastating destruction to an area of the world that is already suffering after so much political instability and years of war. This has also had great impact closer to home for the families that came to Altona 7 years ago as refugees, including the Hamam family, which we as a church community have supported in the years since their arrival.
The Hamam family is grieving the loss of Widad’s neice, husband and three young children, as well as, a cousin, whose wife and children were all killed as a result of the earthquake. In addition to this, many of Mohamad and Widad’s siblings have had their homes destroyed and are now on the streets of Turkey and Syria, dealing with freezing temperatures, inadequate clothing and lack of access to food. Three of the families (17 people total), who are located in Turkey near the epicentre, are desperately trying to find transportation to Widad’s sister who lives 10 hours away and would be able to offer shelter to them.
We are in the process of wiring money to these families to help cover the costs of this transport and we also plan on sending additional money in the coming months to help them find their footing as they eventually begin rebuilding their lives. We know that these are short term solutions and that this kind of financial support does not address all of the issues at play. But we also feel like this is an opportunity to be responsive in this time of global need and to also show our continued support to the Hamam family. If you would like to donate, please send e-transfers to [email protected] with the memo “Hamam”.