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Main Page arrow News arrow Where there is life, there is hope

Where there is life, there is hope

05 June 2023
Witnessing the inspirational resilience of the people in Malatya as they transform containers into homes evokes a heartwarming feeling. As the apricot season draws near, numerous NGOs are initiating projects to foster stronger bonds between the residents of Malatya and their city.
Malatya, a city that endured immense devastation due to the two catastrophic earthquakes that claimed tens of thousands of lives in the region, bears the heavy burden of the disaster from the moment you arrive. Despite the bleak situation, a remarkable recovery process is currently underway. Boarding a flight from İstanbul to Malatya at 6:00 in the morning, the plane is completely full with not a single empty seat.

Witnessing such resilience in the aftermath of such a monumental disaster holds tremendous promise for the future. 

One of the major concerns following the earthquakes was the potential permanent migration of people from the region to other cities in Türkiye. 

However, upon visiting Malatya, it becomes abundantly clear that the locals have started to return to their homes and workplaces. The city is experiencing a significant surge in activity, with next year's upcoming apricot season being a major contributing factor.

Building Homes for 10 Thousand People

The memories of those immensely challenging days during and after the earthquakes may not fade quickly, but witnessing the healing of wounds brings welcome consolation. Malatya holds great significance for the Turkish business world, with numerous important private sector representatives making substantial investments in the region. One such company is Rönesans Holding.

Rönesans Holding has effectively shown its unwavering dedication to building earthquake-resistant structures, prioritizing safety. 

Remarkably, more than 200 Rönesans projects in 10 out of the 11 affected provinces remained undamaged, demonstrating what is achievable with modern construction methods.

Moreover, the employees of Rönesans Holding were consistently available to provide relief during the aftermath of the earthquakes.

On the very first night, braving temperatures as low as -10 degrees Celsius, Rönesans employees provided shelter for over 2,000 earthquake victims, including healthcare workers and their families, in Malatya's Erman Ilıcak Science High School and construction site camps in the area.

Recognizing the pressing need for housing solutions in the region, Rönesans Holding took further steps by establishing 2,000 container cities in Malatya and Adıyaman, capable of accommodating a total of 10,000 residents. Over 6,000 earthquake victims, primarily women, and children, have found shelter in these cities.

Tiny House Format

During my visit to Malatya, I had the opportunity to explore Malatya Yaşam Kent, a remarkable project developed by Rönesans Holding. Yaşam Kent was designed as a fully functional living space, complete with social facility buildings, a library, study areas, women's centers, youth centers, a counseling center, a kindergarten, sports facilities, children's playgrounds, and gazebos. What sets it apart is the unique design of the containers, resembling tiny modern houses.

Each container is thoughtfully divided into separate living areas, bedrooms, and kitchens, providing a sense of privacy and personal space. Unlike traditional container cities, Malatya Yaşam Kent goes the extra mile by equipping each house with its own bathroom and toilet facilities.

Even though Malatya Yaşam Kent may not offer full-scale houses, it represents an excellent example of dwellings prioritizing privacy and providing shelter to those in need during an exceptionally challenging time.

Flowers at the container gate

I met many people in Malatya. The most striking thing about all of them was their sense of 'hope.' The container city is adorned with flowers in front of doors and artificial grass surrounding the balcony. Everything from the curtains to the armchairs is cared for and represents hope for life, albeit in a bittersweet way. While pondering this thought, I decided to visit the kindergarten. The children were so energetic and sweet that I decided to sit beside them. Some were drawing houses, cars, and flowers with colorful crayons. All of them dreamed of becoming doctors. We hugged, dreamed together, and then said goodbye; this represents just one of the socialization areas in Malatya Yaşam Kent. There are 8 of them in total. They are used according to need. There is still much work to be done. The pain is still there. However, hope is constantly present. As I wandered through the destroyed city center, my thoughts were still occupied with images of flowers and children. I am optimistic that there will be further progress, and our next trip to Malatya will be to share positive updates.

Source : Milliyet

About Rönesans Group

Rönesans Holding, the conglomerate's top investment entity headquartered in Ankara, is the 38th largest international contracting company globally and the 9th largest in Europe. With operations spanning 30 countries across Europe, Central Asia, and Africa, including subsidiaries such as Ballast Nedam in the Netherlands and Heitkamp Industrial Solutions GmbH in Germany, Rönesans has been operating as the main contractor and investor successfully for 30 years in construction, energy, healthcare, real estate development and industrial investments. Putting resilience and growth through innovation at the core of the company, with a priority on sustainability and social development, Rönesans has developed projects supporting students with scholarships, academic platforms and initiatives; been a signatory of the UN Global Compact since 2015; and a signatory of the UN Women’s Empowerment Principles since 2016.

Under the leadership of its president, Erman Ilıcak, Rönesans, along with its partners GIC, Meridiam Infrastructure, Sojitz, Samsung C&T, TotalEnergies, and IFC of the World Bank Group (minority shareholder in the group), has invested more than EUR8 billion into pioneering projects globally.

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