Having already been working alongside Syrian doctors for more than a year thanks to 15 satellite lines and 9 broadband connections in different hospitals of Syria, Télécoms Sans Frontières is increasing its support to the Syrian people by intervening directly among refugees on the borders of Turkey.
Two Internet centres for Syrian children
Turkey is currently hosting 190,000 refugees in 17 government-managed camps; in addition, more than 70,000 Syrians have taken refuge within Turkish towns. Half of the refugees are children, often aged less than 11 years.
In order to help them continue their schooling, Télécoms Sans Frontières is setting up two Internet centres within two refugee schools for around 2,000 Syrian refugee children: one in Syria, in the Al Salama camp, and the other in Turkey, in the city of Gaziantep. The Internet connection offers children the opportunity to maintain a link with their friends and families, but also to have some entertainment and to forget the trauma of war. These Internet centres also provide a variety of educational resources and benefit from the support of specialised instructors.
Outside of school hours, the Internet centres are accessible to all of the refugees. They will thus be able to re-establish ties to the rest of the world and communicate with their loved ones.
A broadband connection for managing the camp and the delivery of humanitarian assistance to Aleppo
The statistics of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) indicate that the number of Syrian refugees in neighbouring countries passed the million mark in March 2013, and the escalation of violence in Syria portends a dramatic flow of civilians to the country's borders.
So as to reinforce humanitarian aid to refugees, TSF is installing a satellite connection within the Al Salama camp, offering broadband Internet access to the refugee Registration Centre managed by the new Syrian Red Crescent, as well as to the logistics Coordination Centre.
By facilitating communication between the different teams and services, this Internet connection will enable the Red Crescent to face up to the expected deterioration of the situation and the huge influx of new refugees into the Registration Centre. It will also allow the Coordination Centre to optimize the logistics of food and basic goods supply to tens of thousands of refugees in the camp as well as to the villages in the region of Aleppo.
Each hospital consumes about 50 Gb per month, which makes a total of 450 Gb that allows the sending of medical imaging, diagnosis, drug lists...
Besides, the 15 voice satellites lines TSF distributed throughout the whole territory, has allowed 96 hours of communication for the repatriation logistics of wounded civilians to neighboring countries of Syria.
TSF was one of the first international NGOs to enter this country deeply affected by conflict. According to UN data, the civil war that has lasted for more than 11 months, has caused nearly 70 000 deaths and displaced millions of civilians who now face extremely difficult living conditions and constant insecurity. Since the beginning of the conflict, the fighting has become more and more intense.
The vital need for communication continues to grow; TSF will therefore continue to support medical organizations in Syria.