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Call to Action: LCS Students Speak Out on Earthquake Tragedy in Turkey

On February 6, 2023, a 7.8-magnitude earthquake, with its epicentre in Kahramanmaras, Turkey, became one of the deadliest natural disasters of the century. During all community Chapel this week, four LCS students from Turkey spoke out about the tragedy and issued an appeal for help.

“I am from Turkey and am currently a student in Lakefield. As you may have heard from the news, Turkey was struck by massive earthquakes with magnitudes of 7.8  and 7.6 within the same day. It caused destruction in ten major cities and 42 thousand buildings became unusable. The humanitarian catastrophe caused more than 33,000 deaths and 100,000 people were injured. As I write this message, the numbers keep increasing as more and more dead bodies are being found. In this disastrous catastrophe, almost 18 million people have lost their homes. To give you context, that is just under half of the population of Canada. Still to this day, many people remain under the wreckage and waiting for rescue. Survivors are struggling to cope with shelter, cold weather, famine, and security issues. The area is chaotic, impoverished, and in immediate need.” - Berk ’23

Berk ’23 spoke with some of his peers who also travelled from Turkey to attend LCS to get an understanding of their thoughts and feelings surrounding the devastating earthquake.

Alper ’23 shared, “It is saddening that so many people have lost their loved ones and homes due to the tragic earthquake. It is scary that more and more people, including little kids, are being found under the ruins every day. I believe that it is right to come together to help and support those in need in these hard times because even those who have been rescued continue to suffer from the cold weather and insufficient nutrition.” 

Efe ’23 said, “I feel devastated; I keep hearing the chaos happening out there through friends and family. The worst part is I can’t even do anything about it since I’m all the way over here, thousands of miles away from home. When I’m out there, I still put on a smile and joke around with my friends, but this situation covers most of what I think about whenever I am alone in my room. And these are just the effects of this disaster on someone who is considered one of the very few lucky ones compared to those who’ve had losses that cannot be replaced; it’s heartbreaking.”

Doga ’24 said, “The moment I heard about what happened in Turkey, I was devastated. Even though I don’t live there currently, I was still very affected thinking about my friends and my family who live there. Being so far away from my home country has made it harder to deal with. I can’t imagine what the people who are in Turkey right now must be experiencing. I grew up in Adana which is one of the places that was affected a lot, it was very sad to see so many of the beautiful landmarks destroyed along with thousands of homes. It has been helpful to have my friends and teachers checking in on me, along with talking about the news in school; this has kept me feeling hopeful about Turkey’s recovery. I believe that in times like this, it is important to support each other, and stay hopeful for the best while working for ways to help.” 

Berk ’23 and his peers urge those who are able to help, to support the humanitarian efforts being made to help those in need. 

Berk ’23 urges: “In the face of disasters like this, it takes the global community to come together and support those who are in need. Now, we are asking for your help to raise money in support of the rescue and recovery efforts.”

Here’s how you can help: Make a donation (via credit card, cryptocurrency, or bank transfer) to Ahbap, a non-profit organization collecting funds to aid in providing shelter, food, and medical supplies to those in need.

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Lakefield College School is a private, coeducational boarding and day school for students in grades 9 through 12, located in Lakefield, Ontario, Canada.

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