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European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations
A lifeline giving refugees in Turkey


The digital campaign ‘#powertobe’ connects inspiring refugees in Turkey with influencers across Europe. The aim is to highlight the challenges faced by people fleeing conflict and showing them as the individuals with passions and talents they are.

The campaign is run by the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, with funding from the European Union.

The campaign introduces 4 young refugees living in Turkey – a singer, a cook, a footballer and a parkour runner. They regain control of their lives through the European Union (EU)'s largest humanitarian programme.

Davud, Amal, Bilal and Hamad talk about their passions, dreams and challenges as they rebuild a new normalcy in Turkey. The exchange between them and influencers from Austria, France, Romania, Spain, and Turkey is touching, sweet, and sometimes funny.

The refugees participating in the campaign are supported by the Emergency Social Safety Net (ESSN), funded by the EU and implemented by the IFRC and the Turkish Red Crescent in partnership with the Government of Turkey.

The ESSN provides financial support to 1.8 million vulnerable refugees in Turkey – mostly from Syria - who are struggling to make ends meet.

Small monthly amounts, received via a debit card, help them pay for what they need most, such as food, rent, transport and medicines. Thanks to the ESSN, refugees regain control of their lives and, ultimately, the power to be themselves.

Amal, the cook

Amal has her own YouTube channel and regularly publishes cooking videos with delicious recipes. For the #powertobe campaign, she prepares hummus - without garlic and with lots of tahini, which is her favourite.

She talks about cooking with Idil from Turkey and Ryan from France. This mother of 3 uses the monthly ESSN allowance mainly to buy food. Cooking lets her retreat into a world of her own and opens up new possibilities after she dropped out of her studies in Syria. One day, Amal would like to open her own restaurant.

Bilal, the football player

Bilal’s great idol is Cristiano Ronaldo, and his dream is to play for Real Madrid or the Turkish football club Beşiktaş. When he arrived in Turkey from Syria, he was only 9 years old.

His family uses the ESSN allowance mainly for rent. Bilal lives in Istanbul and trains on the small football fields in his neighbourhood. Online, he exchanges clips with Hamit from Turkey. Of course, it was only about one thing: football.

Davud, the parkour runner

Davud likes all kinds of sports, especially parkour. Sometimes, he practices balance and somersaults on a mattress in his family’s living room, but he prefers to train outdoors. In the campaign video, Davud shows his favourite move, the “bargainer”.

Davud has been living with his parents and brothers in Istanbul since he fled Syria. The ESSN allowance helps him pay bus tickets and daily breakfast on the way to school. In the videos with Alex from Austria and Phosky from Spain, he talks about the best spots for practising parkour.

Hamad, the singer

Hamad likes to sing love songs in all kinds of places - at home, outdoors, or even with friends. Singing helps him overcome his problems.
He fled from Syria to Turkey as a refugee. Thanks to the ESSN, Hamad can buy the things that are most important to him. He exchanges cell phone clips with Feli from Romania and Antonio from Spain. Why is music so important to him? For Hamad, it’s clear: music is food for the soul.

For more information about the ESSN digital campaign, visit the official website.

Last updated: 18/12/2020