Establishing A New Primary Healthcare Center in Southern Türkiye (Hilal Kent Camp 2)

This project promises to improve the healthcare and well-being of thousands of Syrian refugees in Hatay by providing accessible, comprehensive healthcare and psychosocial support.

As we move forward in our continuous efforts to support those impacted by the devastating earthquake that struck southern Türkiye last year, a promising development is taking shape on the Reyhanlı-Antakya road in Hatay. Here, the construction of a new health center at the “Hilal Kent 2” camp is underway, designed to provide essential primary healthcare services to the earthquake-affected families.

About the Project

The “Hilal Kent 2” camp is home to approximately 3,100 Syrian refugee families, totaling around 15,500 individuals who have been displaced by the earthquake. The new health center is projected to serve an estimated 17,000 people, ensuring that healthcare is accessible to both the camp residents and the surrounding community.

This project is a collaborative effort involving many esteemed parties including HiHFAD, the Turkish Ministry of Health in Hatay, the Governor of Hatay, and the Disaster and Emergency Management Authority (AFAD). The timeline set for the completion of this essential infrastructure is by the end of June 2024.

Goals and Services Provided

The primary goal of this project is to construct a fully operational primary healthcare center that provides not only routine health services but also specialized medical care. The center will offer:

  • Regular primary healthcare consultations
  • Vaccination programs
  • Surgical operations
  • Dental care
  • Radiology services
  • Follow-ups for cancer cases
  • 24/7 emergency and ambulance services.

Operating hours will be from 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM on weekdays, ensuring that healthcare is both accessible and timely.

Enhanced Support Through Psychosocial Services

Understanding the profound impact that displacement and trauma can have on mental health, the center will also focus on providing comprehensive psychosocial support. This includes:

  • A dedicated area for mothers and children
  • Mental health education
  • Programs on healthy thinking
  • Primary psychological assistance
  • Recreational activities for children under five

These services are critical in building resilience among the refugee population, helping them to cope with the challenges they face and facilitating better integration into their new environment.

Phases of the Project

The project is divided into two main phases:

  1. Construction Phase: From January to June 2024, focusing on building and equipping the primary healthcare center.
  2. Operational Phase: From July to December 2024, during which psychosocial support services will be rolled out.

Partnership and Funding

The Turkish Health Directorate will provide the necessary medical staff to operate the center. Meanwhile, Hand in Hand for Aid and Development (HiHFAD) is committed to covering the costs associated with the psychosocial support services, including staffing and program implementation.

As construction progresses, the anticipation grows not only among the potential beneficiaries but also among all stakeholders involved. This health center is more than just a building; it is a beacon of hope, a testament to the resilience of the human spirit, and a crucial step towards healing and recovery for thousands of Syrian refugees in Hatay.

Stay tuned as we continue to update on the progress of this vital project, aiming to make a significant difference in the lives of many.

Our 2022-2023 Annual Report is Live!

Hand in Hand for Aid and Development is thrilled to release its comprehensive impact report on achievements, responses, and humanitarian efforts for 2022 and 2023! 🎉

This report provides an in-depth look at our dedicated endeavors to accomplish objectives and strategically amplify positive impact for the communities we serve.

We invite you to delve into the details by clicking on the report file below or following the provided link:


2022-2023 Annual Report

New Primary Healthcare Center Opens in Syria Northwest: A Beacon of Hope for Affected Communities

Kafr Arouq, Idlib – In a significant stride towards enhancing healthcare accessibility, the town welcomes the inauguration of a newly constructed health center replacing the former facility, a sanctuary of hope and healing for the vulnerable communities. This modern facility emerges in response to the urgent healthcare needs exacerbated by the deteriorating conditions of the previous center and the growing demands of the community.

A Testament to Compassion and Innovation: The Kafr Arouk PHC, established through the collaborative efforts of Hand in Hand for Aid and Development and the CHOOSE LOVE organization, stands as a testament to the power of collective compassion and innovative thinking. Spanning an impressive 500 square meters, the center is designed to cater to the diverse medical needs of over 35,000 local residents and neighboring visitors, ensuring high-quality care for all, especially the vulnerable segments including the elderly, children, and those with disabilities.

From Fragility to Resilience: A Path of Profound Change
Explore the Impressive Milestones Below

The necessity for the new facility was underscored by the challenges faced at the old center, including structural damages from recent earthquakes and the subsequent risks to safety and service continuity. Overcrowding and inadequate facilities further impeded the center’s ability to provide essential healthcare services effectively.

Mohammed Khalifa, a 63-year-old resident of Kafr Arouq’s camps, has endured the hardships of chronic illness exacerbated by the emotional toll of displacement. His health battles, including heart surgery linked to profound emotional distress, exemplify the struggles faced by many displaced individuals living in challenging conditions. The Kafr Arouq Health Center stands as a beacon of hope for Mohammed, offering him and countless others critical access to necessary medications without cost—a lifeline for those hindered by financial hardship.

Living with his wife, son, and three grandchildren in the camp, Mohammed’s story mirrors the adversities of numerous displaced families grappling with the harsh realities of shelter life, particularly during the relentless winter months. However, the new health center has transformed their healthcare experience, providing a welcoming, accessible environment where Mohammed finds solace and support. The center’s user-friendly facilities ensure that he and his family can now seek medical attention in comfort and dignity, free from the barriers that once stood in their way. Mohammed’s sense of relief and newfound ease of access to healthcare services underscore the center’s vital role in restoring health and hope to the community.

“The center has become very suitable for us. I can easily enter it and find a good place to sit and wait. I felt a great sense of relief when I entered this center, and now I can access medical services with my family without facing any obstacles or difficulties.” he said.

Equipped with state-of-the-art amenities and an array of clinics, the new center is strategically located on the ground floor to offer easy access, eliminating the barriers previously encountered due to the old center’s upstairs location. It features a spacious waiting area, a serene courtyard, and is fully accessible, ensuring a comfortable and safe environment for all patients and visitors.

After their home was destroyed in an airstrike, Majida and her family found solace in the Kafr Arouq Health Center, crucial for their ongoing medical needs. Previously, accessing healthcare was a struggle; the old center’s inaccessibility forced her to seek distant services, incurring high travel costs. However, the new health center’s opening has revolutionized her experience, offering easy access and enabling her to visit independently, significantly alleviating her physical and financial burdens. This change marks a significant improvement in her family’s quality of life, providing them with essential healthcare services right at their doorstep.

“When I used to go to the old health center, I could not go up to the center on my own, so I had to go to a health center in the village of Kili and rent a car to get there, and this was financially exhausting. When this center was built, access to clinics became very easy. Now I enter the center alone without anyone’s help, after I needed two people to help me climb the stairs in the old center.” she said.

As the Kafr Arouq Health Center begins its journey, it stands as a beacon of hope, symbolizing a future where healthcare is within reach for everyone. It reflects a community’s resilience and a steadfast commitment to ensuring that no one is left behind in the pursuit of health and well-being.

For Mama Campaign

Hand in Hand for Aid and Development is proud to join @actformama 🧡

This Ramadan we’re launching a charitable giving campaign to support a healthier future for mothers🤰and babies👶 around the world!

Join us to do all we can #ForMama.



A Year After the Quake: Reflections on Loss, Recovery, and Resilience “Mays’ Courageous Journey to Healing”

Mays: A Tale of Hope and Resilience Amidst Tragedy

In the wake of a devastating earthquake that shook southern Türkiye and northwestern Syria to their core, one story of survival stands out amidst the rubble – the miraculous tale of Mays, a young girl who defied the odds and emerged from the darkness into the light of hope.

“A minute and a half altered the trajectory of our lives entirely. It’s been a year since the earthquake struck, yet its lingering effects persist” reflects Aqaba Al-Haddad (38), embracing his 4-year-old niece, Mays Al-Haddad.

Recounting the catastrophic event, he describes it as a nightmarish ordeal. “After 72 hours of relentless search through the rubble of the four-story building, rescuers reached the room where my mother and my brother’s family, including his wife and two children, were sheltering, only to find them deceased. On that fateful day, my brother and I embarked on our journey to work, striving to secure our livelihood. The arduous return to Armanaz consumed an entire day, the roads barricaded by the remnants of destroyed homes and congested with traffic bound for the afflicted areas. Our attempts to reach our families went unanswered, heightening our anxiety and panic, as we braced ourselves for the impending tragedy,” he said.

Mays Miraculously Survived!

“In the solemn aftermath of the earthquake, on the third day, we painstakingly freed my mother, my brother’s wife, and their daughter Maryam from the rubble’s grip. With heavy hearts, we tenderly laid Mays beside her departed sister, preparing them for their final rest. In the melancholic atmosphere enveloping us, a rescuer directed a beam of light onto Mays’ face as we braced for a shared fate. In a miraculous turn, Mays opened her eyes, eliciting a collective gasp of disbelief that gave way to tears of hope.” recounts Uqba.

Emergency services swiftly transported the child to Armanaz Surgical Hospital, operated by Hand in Hand for Aid and Development (HIHFAD) in collaboration with Malteser International and supported by the German Federal Foreign Office. Undergoing extensive tests and monitoring, Mays was diagnosed with herpes syndrome resulting from a rubble-induced foot injury, necessitating surgery at Aqrabat Hospital in northwestern Syria.

Over the course of seven surgeries and a challenging treatment journey, Mays’ father resumed work to cover the expenses, while her bond with her beloved cat became a source of solace amidst the trauma. Describing Mays’ psychological struggle post-disaster, her uncle emphasizes the need for both psychological support and physical therapy to aid her recovery.

Attending the Armanaz Physical Therapy Center, operated by Hand in Hand for Aid and Development and supported by Choose Love, Mays receives ongoing rehabilitation services tailored to her needs. As she progresses through four months of therapy, her determination and the expertise of the center’s physical therapists bring her closer to regaining mobility and independence. Reflecting on the importance of such facilities post-disaster, Mays’ uncle expresses gratitude for the center’s presence and the positive impact on his niece’s recovery. With hope for Mays’ full recovery and the restoration of affected lives, he emphasizes the collective need for continued treatment and support for all those impacted by the earthquake.

One year following the catastrophic earthquake, Mays and numerous other injured children continue to grapple with the lingering health and psychological repercussions of the disaster, compounded by challenges in accessing essential medical care and supplies. This tragedy underscored the critical importance of unified efforts and directed support towards medical facilities, which played a pivotal role in saving the lives of over 4.5 million individuals in northwestern Syria, including more than 2 million residing in camps, as reported by the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA). Thus, the urgent imperative for both medical and psychological aid persists to provide crucial assistance to affected individuals and alleviate their suffering.

HiHFAD Achieves the CHS Certification: A Commitment to Accountability and Transparency

As we near the conclusion of 2023, we are delighted to share the exciting news! After over a decade of dedicated efforts and unwavering commitment to our mission, we are proud to announce that Hand in Hand for Aid and Development (HiHFAD) has been certified against the Core Humanitarian Standard on Quality and Accountability by the independent auditing body HQAI for our humanitarian, development, and advocacy endeavors. This monumental milestone symbolizes our steadfast adherence and dedication to upholding accountability, transparency, and, most importantly, our mission of improving the lives of those we serve.

#MakeAidBetter #Accountability #Quality #Advocacy

Our Remarkable Journey

Explore the Impressive Milestones Below

At HiHFAD, we have always upheld the values of accountability and transparency as the cornerstones of our work. These values are not just buzzwords for us; they are deeply ingrained in every facet of our organization. We believe that accountability and transparency are non-negotiable when it comes to working toward a better world. It all started when we looked at ways to improve our Accountability to Affected Populations and accountability to Partners and Donors. We immediately thought of CHS certification and HQAI in particular for the feedback we heard from the NGO Community. The organization’s aim was to be more efficient, improve systems, policies, and mechanisms, and move to the next level when it comes to the service we provide.

While obtaining CHS certification was not an easy feat but involved a comprehensive process, the Core Humanitarian Standards Audit is conducted through independent verification and certification against the CHS by an accredited, third-party auditor – currently this service is offered by Humanitarian Quality Assurance Initiative (HQAI) and authorized by CHS Alliance. HQAI’s support was tremendous, including the grant we received, we worked closely with the HQAI Team and Auditors, who were very helpful and accessible and explained the whole process and the stages. The audit itself motivated the team, who saw it as a challenge to see the scores, and they were proud of their achievements so far; they also set themselves the task of working on any comments or areas for improvement as set by the auditors.

The depth of the audit, ranging from documents and desk review to staff, stakeholders and beneficiaries’ interviews, brought new aspects and dimensions, enabling us to see what we do from different angles and understand the commitments in depth as the latter are somehow interrelated and have some level of complexity in differentiating what exactly each commitment cover. The Verification Framework that was utilized through the audit is designed to ensure a consistent, systematic approach to assessing and verifying how the CHS is applied. It sets out indicators for the requirements (Key Actions and Organizational Responsibilities) under each CHS Commitment and Quality Criterion and contains guiding questions to inform each of those indicators. “CHS is about supporting local communities and local actors; working with local auditors made our job easier, given the level of awareness of the context and working environment.” quoted Mr. Essam Abdely -The HiHFAD Program Development & Grants Manager-.

This certification marks a significant stride in bolstering our commitment to delivering high-quality humanitarian interventions while firmly embedding Core Humanitarian Standards across our entire organization. It signifies our unwavering dedication to continually enhancing our accountability mechanisms and cultivating a culture of efficiency in humanitarian response.

We anticipate that this achievement will not only strengthen our partnerships and interventions but also reinforce our ability to provide humanitarian assistance with utmost accountability. Furthermore, it will empower us to develop a more holistic approach to elevate the organization, encompassing systems, policies, staff, and resources, thereby “will be an additional driver and motivation for us as an organization and as humanitarian workers to enhance and strengthen our humanitarian interventions and further scale up the conformity with CHS to the next level,” said Mr. Abdely.

Empowering Change: Hand in Hand for Aid and Development at the 2023 Grand Challenges Annual Meeting

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We at Hand in Hand for Aid and Development are truly honored to participate in the prestigious Grand Challenges Annual Meeting held in Dakar, Senegal, from 8-11 October 2023. This annual gathering, supported by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and its Grand Challenges Partners, has become a beacon of hope for global health and development. It’s a platform that unites visionaries, innovators, and changemakers from around the world to tackle the most pressing challenges facing humanity.

Represented by our dedicated Health and Nutrition Programme Manager, Dr. Hussam Al Khellow, Hand in Hand for Aid and Development joined this remarkable event under the overarching theme of “Science Saves Lives.” This theme resonates deeply with our mission and commitment to making a positive impact on the lives of those most in need. Participation in the Grand Challenges Annual Meeting is a testament to our strong partnership with the Grand Challenges community. 

At the meeting, Dr. Hussam Al Khellow had the opportunity to engage in dynamic discussions, attend informative scientific tracks, and participate in thought-provoking roundtable sessions. These interactions allowed us to gain valuable insights into cutting-edge scientific advancements and build connections with individuals and organizations that share HiHFAD vision of a more equitable world.

We are proud to be part of a global movement that has supported over 3700 projects in more than 115 countries. The 20th anniversary of Grand Challenges milestone reflects the collective impact of our dedicated partners and unwavering commitment to addressing global health inequities.

Looking ahead, Hand in Hand for Aid and Development is excited about the future collaborations and partnerships that will emerge from our participation in the 2023 Grand Challenges Annual Meeting. We all believe that by working together, we can accelerate innovation, save lives, and make a lasting difference in communities worldwide.

We extend our heartfelt gratitude to the Grand Challenges organizing agencies and community for this incredible opportunity and reaffirm our dedication to our shared mission of improving lives and creating a better world through science, innovation, and collaboration.

A Collaborative Field Visit: Strengthening Our Impact in Northwest Syria

We are pleased to have organized our collaborative field visit and welcomed Mr. Robert van den Berg, who serves as the Head of Emergency Response in Syria and Türkiye on behalf of our key partner, Stichting Vluchteling (SV). The senior management of HiHFAD, including Dr. Ahmet Akra, our Chief Operations Officer, and Dr. Muhammad Al-Abbas, Head of Programs and Development, along with administrative personnel and coordinators played a pivotal role in conducting this trip. During this visit, we had the opportunity to tour several facilities operated by Hand in Hand for Aid and Development (HiHFAD) and its valued partners. This allowed us to gain firsthand insights into the challenging conditions on the ground in northwest Syria, given the recent escalation and attacks specifically in the displacement camps.

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Our strategic partner SV has been given a comprehensive overview of our medical operations, healthcare information and archiving system, which begins at our primary warehouses and extends to the delivery of services at various medical and vital facilities which serve as lifelines for hundreds of thousands of civilians in the region. We have been particularly pleased to visit the Primary Healthcare Center in the town of Tuwame, which is supported recently by our partner organization SV. This visit reinforced the importance of our collaborative efforts and the shared commitment to making a positive impact on the ground and provided us with an opportunity to meet the dedicated medical staff there. Looking ahead, we aim to expand this partnership to encompass a wider range of services and additional areas, all geared towards meeting the diverse needs of the affected population in NWS.

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Urgent Call and Efforts in Northwest Syria Amidst Escalating Violence

As the latest toll from the airstrikes that targeted several areas in Idlib, and its surroundings stands at 18 killed and 92 wounded, HiHFAD express profound alarm regarding the escalating violence.

Source: Local activists on social media

Our field medical teams and emergency operations have been mobilized to provide urgent assistance to the wounded amid the relentless bombardment in Syria northwest. 

Around the clock, field teams have been working to urgently respond to the displaced people in temporary shelters. However, efforts have been made to meet their immediate needs for food and emergency supplies.

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Yet again, displaced people seek refuge in new areas and continue to live in massive fear of ongoing direct targeting. It is worth noting that the majority of the displaced are children and women.

We fervently appeal to the global community and compassionate individuals worldwide to take swift action and extend their support. The people of Syria are enduring indescribable hardship, displacement, and a pressing demand for critical aid. Your contributions will empower us to promptly deliver life-saving assistance.

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