Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Turkey: 'half the children at the country's biggest child psychiatric hospital die every year'.,12700,1579874,00.html

The Guardian, September 28, 2005, quotes a report on Turkey by Mental Disability Rights International:

The report estimates that half the children at the country's biggest child psychiatric hospital, near Ankara, die every year.

"Staff reported children dying from starvation and dehydration."

"Infants were locked alone in small rooms. Others were tied by their hands and legs to their cots."


Thousands of people are detained arbitrarily and illegally, often for life.

"Inhuman and degrading conditions of confinement are widespread throughout the Turkish mental health system.

"People with psychiatric disorders and people with intellectual disabilities are subject to treatment practices that are tantamount to torture."

"The prison-like incarceration of Turkey's most vulnerable citizens is dangerous and life-threatening.

"What's unique about Turkey is the abusive use of shock therapy and the conditions for children which result in high mortality rates."

The authors single out the abuse of ECT as especially alarming. The treatment is used routinely without anaesthetic, a practice that the authors describe as torture inducing feelings of terror.


Turkey's military, 'the power behind the throne', is closely allied to the USA and Israel.


Thursday, September 22, 2005


Gheorghe was found in a rubbish bin when he was just a few weeks old. He was placed in the Municipal Children’s Home and was diagnosed with minimal cerebral dysfunction. His development in the institution was slow; although he would try and interact with other children, his speech difficulties would often cause him to become withdrawn and angry.

The EveryChild Family Support Worker knew it was imperative to place Gheorghe in a family environment. When he was three years old, a suitable foster family was found. The first few weeks of living together were hard: Gheorghe, unused to family life, was unpredictable and aggressive towards his foster parents. But slowly, with the help of the Family Support Worker Gheorghe began to trust his new family and these incidents became less frequent.

He grew closer to the family and formed a bond with his foster mother. The loving family environment, and the work of the speech therapist, has meant Gheorghe has made huge progress. He can communicate much more clearly and as a result, is a confident and happy child who loves to draw and dance. The foster family are now considering the possibility of adopting Gheorghe.



SOS Children

Charity UK Homepage

IndonesiaSOS Children in IndonesiaSOS Desa Taruna Indonesia, PO Box 1171, Bandung 40011, Indonesiatel +62/22/201 28 81 e-mail

SOS Children began working in Indonesia in 1972 when the first village was built in Lembang, 16 km north of Bandung on West Java.

SOS Children’s Village Lembang began with thirteen family houses. It now has a kindergarten, a primary school for over 600 pupils, two vocational training centres providing courses in computer technology, carpentry and metalwork, a social centre and a medical centre.

A youth house in Bandung provides accommodation for older children on the verge of independence and finishing their education or vocational training.

The charity built a community in Jakarta in 1984 in Cibubur, on the outskirts of the capital of Jakarta. It has fifteen family houses and a youth house, as well as a kindergarten for 75 children, both from the village and the neighbourhood. The older children attend private or state elementary and secondary schools. At the centre of the village is a 'pendopo', a traditional Indonesian assembly hall, which is used for meetings, parties, dancing and even sports events.

Semarang was the site for the next charity village in 1984 in the capital of Central Java, on the north coast of the island. The village has fourteen family houses and a youth house for the older boys, as well as a kindergarten for 75 children. In one corner of the village there are a number of ponds which supply the village with fresh fish, and each SOS family has its own vegetable patch. Some of the young people are running a small chicken farm.

SOS Children Bali is situated on the main road from Java to the Balinese capital of Denpasar. It has twelve family houses. A large orchard provides the village with fresh fruit, and two small ponds supply fresh fish. Children are brought up in Balinese cultural traditions. Sport is very popular at this village and the girls' volleyball team has been very successful. The SOS kindergarten provides pre-school education for 75 children from the village and the neighbourhood, and there are three youth houses in Denpasar for adolescents taking their first steps towards independence. The charity decided to build a village on the island of Flores was taken after the devastating earthquake in December 1992.

SOS Children Flores opened in 1995 in the village of Waturia, 14 km west of the district capital of Maumere. As the island is frequently struck by earthquakes, the village buildings have special earthquake-proof roof constructions and the floors have been raised to provide protection in the event of a seaquake. There are twelve family houses and a youth house for the older boys. Vegetable gardens have been laid out for each house to provide the families with fresh vegetables and fruit trees planted. In 1997 the SOS kindergarten was opened for children from the village and the neighbourhood.

In 1999, heavy fighting in East Timor between government troops and independence fighters caused SOS Children's Villages to establish an emergency relief programme in which a group of 130 children from an orphanage in the East Timorese capital of Dili were given shelter in SOS Children's Flores community for the duration of the war.