The faith-based Amity Foundation has been joining local rescue units in earthquake-hit Türkiye.
After arriving in Istanbul at 6 a.m. on February 10, the relief team of the Amity Foundation transferred to Malatya and started to join local forces for follow-up rescue work, said Amity.
A 7.8-magnitude earthquake struck Türkiye and neighboring Syria on Monday, followed by another 7.5-magnitude quake, resulting in more than 33,000 deaths as of Friday, according to AFP.
Several foundations, including Amity, and rescue teams established the “Emergency Response Coodination Centre for Chinese NGOs ” on Thursday. The alliance plans to provide registration, filing, and logistical support to the front-line relief teams.
On Friday, they did an investigation on needs once they join local rescue work in Malatya, such as the shortage of supplies during the emergency rescue phase and the basic life supplies that will be used during the transition to the resettlement phase. The next response approach will be determined after research. They went to Adana and Hatay on Saturday.
The foundation added that it would coordinate different sides to send more Chinese people to the headquarters and to connect local resources with China.
“We hope to learn more about international experiences through this rescue work and to contribute to the progress of humanitarian causes,” it said.
Cui Yazhou, a member of Amity’s rescue team, said that there were many touching moments on the way to the disaster-hit area.
“The staff of the airport in Wuhan opened the green channel for us to dispatch the bags and check in the luggage after knowing we were going to do rescue work in Türkiye. On the board, the attendants broadcasted blessings for us, wishing us a safe trip and safe return.
“When we entered the transfer lounge at the airport in Istanbul, locals immediately stood up from the chairs, put away their luggage, and gave us those lounges upon seeing us. They applauded for us, too.”
To their surprise, friendly locals in an affected area offered them hot meals because they knew that the team was there for them.
Cui stated that while the low temperatures and occasional wind and snow would make rescue work in Malatya and surrounding districts more difficult, the friendship and warmth he encountered along the way would sustain his fellows and him.
Amity Foundation, an independent Chinese social development organization, was founded in 1985 on the initiative of Chinese Christians to promote education, social service, health, community development, and civil society building.