A day at Multeciler Community Center

Physiotherapy and psychosocial support in Istanbul

Relief International works with Multeciler Community Center in Istanbul to provide essential medical rehabilitation and psychosocial support to refugees and migrants, thanks to the support of the US BPRM.

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Mohamad is a physiotherapist team leader at the center. The past months he has been working with Abdurahman, a young boy from Syria.

“Abdurahman hasn’t had any physiotherapy sessions ever since he came to Istanbul. He has a problem with his legs, he cannot move them. We referred him to the hospital as he was in need of surgery”

“After the surgery, we followed up and we started having sessions together. He was very inactive before, but gradually he started saying that he wants to play, he wants to be with his friends”

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“A few weeks ago he started to take some steps with the walker. I feel great. I want him to go to school, I want him to do more than that.” Mohamad says.

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Thanks to the support of the US BPRM, RI supports not only physiotherapy programs but also offers mental health and psychosocial support to refugees visiting Multeciler community center.

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“S. is a refugee from Syria. When she first came to the center she faced high anxiety and suffered from panic attacks. She had difficulties managing her life”, Bilgen Kumral, S. clinical psychologist explains.

“My personal circumstances were very bad.” S. says. “As a result, I was psychologically affected, I felt very tired and was not able to do anything – I became just a number in this life.”

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“After having weekly psychological support sessions with Bilgen, I started to feel better. I felt that I am present in this life. Now, I am a vital person, full of internal comfort that I am able to pass on to my children and to give them the beautiful sense of life and the positive energy that enables us to proceed with our lifes and step forward in our future plans. Frankly, this change is due to Bilgen’s treatment sessions.”

Ali, manager of the project, welcomes us and explains more about the services and the objectives of the center.

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“Our objectives are to improve access to comprehensive mental health support for Syrian refugees and to improve access to physiotherapy for refugees with impediments. Especially due to the language barriers, many refugees cannot explain their problems and thus, cannot access the services in other medical structures. Also, the refugees who are not yet registered have limited access to services. Here, we offer comprehensive services to all refugees completely free of charge. These services are particularly useful for the integration of the refugee population. That is why we also provide relevant trainings to schools and other institutions.”

Discover more stories and support the work of Relief International in Turkey here https://www.ri.org/reach/middle-east/turkey