Morecambe mum's plea to help refugees

A mum who spent time with refugees in Turkey says more needs to be done to help those who have nothing left.

Tuesday, 19th July 2016, 11:00 am
Updated Tuesday, 19th July 2016, 4:19 pm
Sylwia Borowska with the package of children's clothes she donated to refugees.

Morecambe landlady Sylwia Borowska witnessed the traumatic effects refugees are still facing after fleeing Syria.

The 43-year-old stayed with refugee families in a partly built block of flats in Esenyurt, Istanbul.

Sylwia said: “We need to talk about this more. People have forgotten refugees still need help.

Sylwia Borowska with one of the children she has helped in Istanbul, Turkey.

“When I first heard about the conflict in Syria I thought it was a hoax, it is unreal, it is 2016 this can’t be happening.”

The Syrian civil war has been ongoing for several years and has forced hundreds of thousands to flee their country in search of safety.

Sylwia said: “The refugees are so positive, they have a completely different outlook on life to us.

“I was thinking I would see broken people but I didn’t.

Sylwia Borowska with one of the children she has helped in Istanbul, Turkey.

“You want to be like them but are you prepared to get traumatised like them?”

Before her flight to Istanbul Sylwia, with the help of the community, collected 30 kilograms of children’s clothes to give to refugee families.

In the Esenyurt neighbourhood she met one refugee who was seven months pregnant when she fled Syria.

“She doesn’t talk about it,” said Sylwia.

“When her son is watching cartoons he gets upset when he sees an explosion on the TV and we think it’s because of all the trauma his mum went through.

“The refugees all want to go back home but there is no home to go to.”

There were many people in Istanbul who could not be helped. The Morecambe mum watched children, covered in dirt, roaming Istanbul’s metro station.

She said: “The girl she had a baby grow cut off at the bottom that she was wearing, she was going round pulling people by the sleeve selling handkerchiefs.

“You could see she was such a clever little girl, she was confident. I gave her some money.

“I couldn’t stop crying, what a life.

“When I left I said to my friend, if that happened in England there would be police straight away, people would ask, where is your mum?”

Sylwia is planning to go to Lebanon on August 23 with a group of volunteers from the Rahma Relief Foundation.

She needs donations to help buy nappies, food and toiletries for refugees in Lebanon and Istanbul. All funds go directly to refugees as Sylwia is funding for the trip herself.

If you would like to donate email [email protected] or visit