Dear Wendy Williams, World at Play Manager First of all I would like to thank you and your organization and WAP volunteers group a lot for coming to Izmir, Turkey and reaching refugee children. In 2 weeks time, at 10 days in several locations in and around Izmir, your members (more than 10) and our members (more than 20) have reached nearly 600 refugee children for play and sport activities. Each day, we all together played with children where they live and spent 7 hours with them. We provided lunch for children and sometimes for the families in every day.
It was an extremely nice and different experiment for our association (Association of Bridging Peoples) as well, to meet WAP volunteers and have the opportunity to attend your sessions and I would like to express this herewith very gladly in the name of all the members of our association. I will send the feedbacks received from our members and volunteers later as a second part of this report.
We do think the refugee children had grate benefit from the games and we think they enjoyed the sessions since the attandance rate is always high. Most of the children and their families are living in tent settlements near to agriculture fields in Foca, Torbali and Turgutlu or in the slums in Izmir. Because of the bad living conditions and several discrimination they faced the children are really in need of this kind of care and affection, which give them the possibility to live their childhood even if for a very limited time period. Maybe the first time they had fun altogether for 5 years because of the WAP activities. In our opinion it’s an important contribution to bring them joy of living through playing games and also create another mean to the solidarity this way.
Especially their families felt that they are not completely forgotten and there are peoples from all around the world trying to reach them. This is also the most important contribution you offered in the context of your expedition. Despite of the wars and all the bad events in the world, WAP is showing that there are still people that give effort to make the world a better place and even if they come from different cultures and have different languages they can communicate each other and share the common aims and come together to expand the solidarity. And playing with children is the purest and most loving way for it.
As we found the opportunity to observe, the volunteers of WAP were very sensitive to the situation of the children. In order to provide a high rate of attandance and to keep the shy children inside the games they showed extra efforts and never lost their motivations. They were very energetic and they were always caring and friendly to the children. Finally I would like to state that you and your group are always welcome here in our association in Izmir. Please don’t hesitate to keep in touch. With regards and solidarity, Prof. Cem Terzi President of Association Bridging Peoples