Olive Tree Camp

Olive Tree Camp

It all started when we stumbled upon hundreds of refugee families living under the olive tree groves in Idleb, Syria, near the Turkish border. When asked why they were there, these internally displaced persons (IDPs) responded that they were escaping the horrors of the war. Their homes were destroyed, and now they were being blocked entry into Turkey.

As more and more people fled to the region, we reached out to a variety of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) to help service this desperate and ever-growing need. Through our tireless efforts, we became a partner in the creation and management of a camp that quickly became the largest temporary home for IDPs inside of Syria, known today as the Olive Tree Camp (OTC).

What started as an initiative to help a few hundred people has grown into a project that now shelters over 25,000 people, mostly women, children, and the elderly.

While one of our goals from the OTC project’s inception was to provide the needed aid, we felt it was more important to put the residents in a position to help us reach our shared goal of managing the camp, their home, and their livelihoods.

To that end, we established an administrative council comprised of camp residents, brought in experts from around the globe, and spent countless hours teaching the council and its staff the management skills necessary to govern the OTC.

In July 2013, we turned over the OTC’s management to the camp’s administrative council with full confidence. We faced lots of difficulties and challenges along the road, but did whatever was possible and necessary to support the people there.


Project Description

It all started when we stumbled upon hundreds of refugee families living under the olive tree groves in Idleb, Syria, near the Turkish border. When asked why they were there, these internally displaced persons (IDPs) responded that they were escaping the horrors of the war. Their homes were destroyed, and now they were being blocked entry into Turkey.

Project Details

Date: 15/5/2015

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