Responding to crisis
Founded in Cesme, Turkey in 2014 Imece was created with the intention of supporting the local community but was forced to shift focus at the onset of the so called “European Refugee Crisis”. Though Çeşme and Chios have always been important points for population movement, the security situation of the Middle East in 2015 created a massive influx of people trying to cross into Europe. Most of the help we provided was emergency distribution of the goods needed to ensure these families’ survival (food, water, medical aid, etc).
The European Agreement
Prior to the EU-Turkey Agreement of March 2016, many people were crossing illegally into Chios, where they could easily arrange legal and secure transport onto European soil. Since the Agreement, refugees now need to complete all their administrative authorisations within the Greek islands, which can take up to two years to complete. During this time, many are staying in camps with very poor conditions. Because of this, many refugees have opted to stay in Turkey.
3.8 million people in desparate need
Currently, an estimated 4 million refugees reside in Turkey however only around 5% are living in official camps that are supported by the government and multinational humanitarian aid organisations. The remaining 3.8 million refugees in Turkey live in thousands of unofficial settlements dotted across the country with little to no official support. Finding legal employment is also near impossible. It is these unofficial settlements, where the living conditions are the most severe, that we focus our efforts.
Paving the way towards sustainable autonomy
While we still collect and distribute donations of emergency items and we realise these distributions are necessary and indispensable, they do not promote autonomy. Because of this, we have developed the Imece Village Project which includes our Education Programs, Imece Kafe and, Imece Solar Program which led to the design of the “EFE” (Energy For Everyone).