Maram Fondation...

Less than a year ago, I founded the Maram Foundation in response to the humanitarian tragedy of dozens of families who fled from different Syrian regions to seek refuge under the olive trees at the border-town of Atmeh.

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 internally displaced persons (IDPs) in 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 elderly.

Our goal from the inception of the OTC project was to provide the needed aid but, more importantly, to put the residents in a position to help them reach our shared goal of managing the camp, their home, themselves.

To that end, we established an administration council comprised of camp residents and 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. I stayed in Turkey full-time for over 10 months to help facilitate and oversee the project.

Today, it is with great pleasure that I announce the Maram Foundation's overwhelming success of its first project and, officially turnover OTC’s management to the camp's administration council with full confidence. Within 10 short, yet tireless months, we formed a camp for IDPs, created a council for and by its residents and provided the expert training needed so that they may be self-reliant. I simply could not be more pleased with the outcome of our first project.

We faced lots of difficulties and challenges along the road but we did whatever possible to support our fellow Syrians. We started as one person with a limited budget based in a small house on the Syrian-Turkish border, and today we have become one of the biggest Syrian NGOs working in the region. None of our achievements would be possible without the unwavering dedication of Maram’s team, supporters, volunteers, and donors all of different nationalities. I would like to take this opportunity to thank you all sincerely for your continued support.

While we have turned over the camp’s management to the administration council, we will still keep supporting, running and managing the self-reliance projects we established in the camp, namely, the OTC’s kitchen, the women empowerment center “Yassmin Al-Sham”, Alwada School and the tent visitors program which provides social and medical support to the OTC’s residents. Maram Foundation will also maintain our projects outside the camp by continuing to provide humanitarian aid to people inside the towns and cities of Syria.


Yakzan Shishakly
Maram Foundation



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