February 27, 2023

7 bright young SPARK students and entrepreneurs lost their lives during the earthquakes. We commemorate them.

With great sadness, SPARK has learned that at least seven young students and entrepreneurs that participated in our programmes have lost their lives in the earthquakes in Türkiye. 

These young, ambitious men and women were living, studying and working in the cities of Hatay, Kahramanmaraş and Şanlıurfa, which were worst-affected by the earthquakes that first struck in the early hours of 6th February.

We are incredibly saddened by this news. It is a huge tragedy that so many young, talented people have lost their lives. Our deepest sympathies are with their families and loved ones at this difficult time, as well as with all those that have suffered losses in the earthquakes.

SPARK is working to support all Syrian and Turkish students and entrepreneurs affected by the earthquakes by providing assistance and initiating efforts to restore higher education institutions to full capacity, support the existing entrepreneurial ecosystems and provide services for youth to rebuild their careers and companies.

We applaud the enormous efforts of humanitarian and relief organisations, as well as grassroots initiatives, that continue to support affected communities with immediate relief. As rescue efforts turn to reconstruction, we are working together with government, civil society organisations and local partners to coordinate support for affected Syrian refugees, IDPs and Turkish citizens in southern Türkiye and northern Syria.

Learn more about the work of our partners, the expected economic impact for the region and SPARK’s next steps for reconstruction.

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