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Press Centre (11/2013)

EU Ambassadors observe UNICEF's work in Islahiye Camp


Ayberk Yurtsever / Islahiye, Gaziantep / November 2013 Ambassadors of European Union member states visited the Islahiye camp in order to observe at first hand the work that UNICEF is doing for the camp residents with EU financial support. The ambassadors visited the UNICEF Child Friendly Space and a prefabricated school constructed by UNICEF. In the Child Friendly Space, Syrian students presented the visitors with colorful envelopes containing messages of peace. The young Syrians also put on a performance of drama and dance that the ambassadors watched with admiration.

EU Ambassadors gave a pose to photographers while they were carrying peace pictures which were painted by Syrian children in Islahiye Camp.EU Ambassadors gave a pose to photographers while they were carrying peace pictures which were painted by Syrian children in Islahiye Camp.In the UNICEF school, the ambassadors chatted with young children. As they departed, the children presented them with some of their paintings, again incorporating messages of peace.

The delegation included the ambassadors of Austria, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Croatia, Ireland, Estonia, Lithuania, Hungary, Finland, Greece, the Netherlands and Poland, and the counselors of the Swedish and Slovenian embassies. UNICEF Turkey Representative Dr. Ayman Abulaban accompanied the diplomats throughout their visit.

The vice president of the European Union Turkey Delegation, Bela Szombati, who headed the delegation, admitted to mixed feelings after the visit. “It is pretty difficult to express in words the misery and pain that we have witnessed,” she said, “On the other hand, we have also observed the activities and campaigns which Turkey, other states and international organizations are carrying out for the refugees. Despite the conditions, it is nice to see that at least these people have a relatively smooth life here.”

During his presentation to the ambassadors, Gaziantep Deputy Governor Nursel Çakiroglu thanked UNICEF for the Child Friendly Space and the school constructed in the Islahiye camp.

UNICEF Turkey Country Office, Yukarı Dikmen Mah. Alexsander Dubçek Cd. 7/106, 06450 Çankaya/Ankara. Telephone: +90 312 454 1000 Fax: +90 312 496 1461 E-mail: ankara@unicef.org