Skip to main content

Volunteering at Scouts is changing to help us reach more young people

Volunteering is changing to help us reach more young people

Volunteering is changing at Scouts. Read more

Discover what this means
News | 07 February 2023

Earthquakes in Türkiye and Syria – How Scouts can help


Many of us will be shocked by the scenes of devastation across southern Türkiye (Turkey) and northern Syria, following two powerful earthquakes this week.

We extend our solidarity and support to the people of Türkiye and northern Syria, including all Scouts and their families affected by these tragic events.

Split photo, with a person holding a large Turkish flag on the left, and the back of a young person on the right, wearing a Scouts Syria necker.

How the disaster happened

The first earthquake, measuring 7.8 magnitude struck southern Türkiye (Turkey) near the city of Gaziantep on Monday at 4:17am local time.

It was followed at 1:24pm local time by a second earthquake, nearly as large (magnitude 7.7) that struck the Elbistan district, 80 miles north of Gaziantep.

According to BBC figures on Thursday 9 February, more than 15,000 people have been reported dead in total, and more than 20,000 wounded. Nearly 6,000 buildings have collapsed leaving many families homeless.

Over 24,000 emergency workers are supporting the search and rescue, and the UK is one of many countries sending international aid to the region.

Messages of support from our Chief Scout

Our Chief Scout, Bear Grylls has written to the Chief Scout of Türkiye and the Chief Scout of Syria to express his solidarity and condolence on behalf of UK Scouts at this incredibly challenging time.

How you can help

Support and resources for leaders

Volunteers in Scouts can access a range of resources to help young people understand and respond to international crises and seismic hazards and events like those that have hit Türkiye and Syria.

  • Helping young people understand extreme weather, seismic hazards and events – When Disaster Strikes and Disaster Stations
  • International crises – This provides an introduction for young people to understand how they can help leave the world in a better place than they found it
  • Support for leaders – These are resources to help volunteers talk with young people about international crises
  • Activities for understanding crises – These are practical programme ideas created with our Million Hands Partners to support young people, helping them learn by doing

To watch in full screen, double click the video

How these activities support our programme

Raising awareness of international crises like those in Türkiye and Syria, and taking action, is an important part of our programme. Taking part in this can help young people gain our Community Impact Staged Activity Badge. Activities can also contribute to elements of other badges such as Scouts Global Issues Activity Badge.

When reflecting with Scouts, it’s important to emphasise that qualities like resilience and compassion are just as important as practical skills in helping those affected by extreme weather and seismic hazards. They’re also important in our everyday lives when we’re having a hard time with difficult situations.

As global citizens, we can all do something to help others cope when extreme weather and seismic hazards occur. Even something small can make a big difference.

Share this story