cards

On an ordinary day, we make thousands of seemingly insignificant decisions. Should I buy the coffee or tea? The one-week travel card or the one-month? A cake or a balloon for a birthday celebration?

We take these ordinary decisions for granted. Yet refugee families, forced to leave their homes, belongings and lives behind, are often unable to make these decisions for themselves. The ability to choose restores freedom. It restores dignity. It restores identity.

That’s why the World Food Programme and the European Union created the Emergency Social Safety Net. The ESSN is helping nearly 1.4 million vulnerable refugees in Turkey pay for their basic needs and restore a sense of normalcy to their lives. The programme provides refugees with an ESSN debit card that is topped up with cash each month, so they can buy the things their families need most.

Let’s all of us celebrate the right to ordinary. And remind each other how incredible these ‘ordinary’ decisions actually are.
Products

Incredible Ordinary Products

MARYAM, ISTANBUL

LONG-LIFE MILK

milk

My Incredible Ordinary? Milk for me and my children

Having struggled to provide nutritious food for her children, Maryam’s joy at being able to provide for them thanks to the ESSN card is only exceeded by the smile on her children’s faces who love milk.

FATMA, GAZIANTEP

SARMA (VINES LEAVES)

milk

My Incredible Ordinary? Vine leaves, reminding us of home

Fatma’s children love vine leaves and, thanks to the ESSN card, she is able to make them as a special treat for the whole family to enjoy.

Hatice, GAZIANTEP

SINE (TRAY)

milk

My Incredible Ordinary? A tray to unite my family over food

Continuing the comforting tradition of eating meals from a communal tray has helped Hatice and her family unite – and move forward with their lives.

Houla, GAZIANTEP

CUSHIONS

milk

My Incredible Ordinary? Cushions to make our house a home

Having slept on a carpet on the floor for almost a year, being able to buy cushions to sleep on has been critical to improvements to Houla’s health – and to her children’s lives.

FATMA, SANLIURFA

LIQUORICE SHERBET

milk

My Incredible Ordinary? Liquorice sherbert for special occasions

Welcoming guests with a traditional drink has helped Fatma feel a sense of normalcy that’s been missing since she and her family fled their home in Syria.

NAZIR, ANKARA

FLATBREAD

milk

My Incredible Ordinary? Flatbread, a small taste of home

Alongside being able to pay for rent and water with the ESSN card, Nazir’s family were delighted to be able to buy flatbread – a small reminder of their lives back home.

FATMA, SANLIURFA

CHOCOLATE SPREAD

milk

My Incredible Ordinary? Chocolate spread as a treat for my children

Being able to take care of her family’s daily needs with the ESSN debit card – and spare a little for a chocolate treat for her children – has given Fatma back a sense of dignity.

ARIF, Istanbul

DOLL

milk

My Incredible Ordinary? A doll for my beloved granddaughter

After the conflict in Syria forced Arif and his family to flee, Arif felt like he had failed his family. Now, the ESSN debit card helps him cover the necessities and being able to treat his young granddaughter to a doll puts a big smile on his face.

For nearly 1.4 million vulnerable refugees living in Turkey, these ordinary choices are made possible by the Emergency Social Safety Net (ESSN) programme. And ordinary is incredible.

ESSN Partners: