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With some 60 active implementing partners, the Food Security and Livelihoods Cluster (FSLC) South Turkey Hub coordinates support for IDPs and the most vulnerable people in Northwest Syria. These operations are made possible through the Syria-Turkey cross-border programme under UN Resolution 2533, enabling NGOs to reach 3.3 million people in need.
Out of 3.3 million people in need of food and livelihoods assistance, some 1.7 million are living in official camps for internaly displaced persons (IDPs). Home-grown gardens provide key support to IDPs who have the opportunity to cultivate their own vegetables in limited areas inside the camps. These projects are aimed at building up resilience and self-reliance for IDPs.
This is the story of Um Ahmad, who lives in an IDP camp in the Dana sub-district and uses her farming skills to grow vegetables in a small garden.

To listen to previously published stories, click here.
Originally from Hama, Um Ahmad (40 years old) has lived in the IDP camp for the last 3 years, after being displaced five times since 2015. She is currently completing her university studies while taking care of her twin children who are in need of urgent surgery due to poor eye sight.

During the autumn of 2020 when the weather was suitable for planting vegetables, Um Ahmad's camp was selected to be  part of FSL partner EMISSA project "Life's Garden".

Um Ahmad is supported through an agricultural programme aimed at improving self-reliance for the most vulnerable people, implemented by EMISSA, an FSL Cluster partner on cross-border programmes in northwest Syria.

Home gardening is the main livelihood activity of IDPs in these camps and offers a way forward towards resilience. Um Ahmad says it reminds her in a small way of her village, which used to be full of green areas and where farming was part of their daily life. 
"We planted seeds and they began to grow bit by bit. With the seeds our hope grows even more within ourselves and for our children."

Um Ahmad carrying the harvest from the small garden planted with cucumber, zucchini beans, parsley, radish, spinach, rocca and chard seeds.

Millions of families like Um Ahmad need sustained support to get back on their feet through agricultural and livestock support and so that they can provide for and feed themselves again.

Click here to read our latest monthly report, "Insights on Northwest Syria" and learn more about the FSL Cluster South Turkey hub activities and our partners' work. 
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FSL Cluster ST-Hub · Bahcelievler Mah. · Kaymakam Ismail Pasa Sokak No:12 · Sahinbey 27220 · Turkey