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Shahla Raza is running a community centre to help Syrian refugees

Friday, 6 January 2017

An Indian filmmaker, Shahla Raza running Yusra Community Centre in Istanbul as a means to help those displaced because of the Syrian refugee crisis.

It started off as a neighbourhood donation program in 2015, but soon expanded into a full-fledged operational community centre in early 2016.

In her most recent project to help Syrian refugees, Shahla organised a fundraiser, where volunteers prepped and served Indian food. The menu, among other things, included jalebi, samosa and papri chaat.

One of those who came to enjoy the food, Somesh Krishnamurthy, said, “You know getting to eat Indian food in Istanbul is a once in a lifetime opportunity.”

Yusra Centre also offers vocational skills to children, and has till now helped more than 70 kids. The centre offers art, language, computer, and photography lessons and also has a pre-school.

There are half a million Syrian refugee children in Turkey, who are out of school. Shahla said, “Most of them have not even been exposed to writing. They haven’t really had access to schooling or even for their parents to buy them a pencil or a book is too much expense at this point, when the families are struggling even to buy food.”

Shahla has made films on gender and development issues for over 20 years. Before Yusra, she founded and ran a learning center, Dhai Akshar, for street and slum children in Mumbai.

Source by: Internet

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