TIAFI: An organisation supporting vulnerable people in Turkey

The Pavers Foundation has donated £10,000 to TIAFI, an organisation working directly with vulnerable members of the community in Izmir, Turkey. The donation was initiated by Ian and Debbie Paver.

TIAFI was founded by Anne O’Rourke, who set up the organisation in 2016 in response to difficulties experienced by vast numbers of refugees fleeing war-torn Syria. Originally from Waterford, Ireland, Anne first went to Turkey to work in property development. Now she dedicates her time to helping vulnerable people in need.  

Anna O'Rorke, Founding Director of TIAFI.

Ian and Debbie heard about TIAFI whilst travelling to Turkey. After reading about Anne’s story, they visited the community centre where the charity is based and were moved by the incredible work that takes place there. 

“Ian and I were so moved by the good work Anne is doing along with her team. To help these amazing people who through birth circumstances only, have experienced physical, mental and visual situations that we could not even comprehend. Their only crime is being born in these war-torn countries. Whatever we can do, to bring back any degree of dignity, humanity and normality to these people and children’s lives, makes it so so worthwhile. The Pavers Foundation is making a difference.” 

Debbie Paver, Trustee of the Pavers Foundation
Anna O'Rorke, Founding Director of TIAFI.

“A sincere thanks to Ian and Debbie Paver and the Pavers Foundation, whose generous support has enabled TIAFI to provide Syrian refugee children with prosthetic limbs, walking devices, and hearing aids. It has been a pleasure to work with these wonderful people who have truly made a difference with their hands on-support and warm-hearted encouragement. Thank you, Ian and Debbie. Together we can make a difference.” 

Anne O’Rorke, Founding Director of TIAFI
Some of the people that TIAFI have supported.


TIAFI, which stands for Team International Assistance for Integration, is an organisation working to directly benefit the most vulnerable members of the community, most typically women and children Syrian refugees who have fled from war. Often the people they support have disabilities and resulting injuries from war. 

Their vital work touches the lives of those carrying trauma and the lasting effects of war, helping them ease their burdens and integrate successfully into society. TIAFI focuses on promoting social cohesion through special programming benefiting all members of the community. 

They have a team of consultant physical therapists who care for children that have suffered physical injury from war or disease. They fit children with new prosthetic legs so that they can move, walk and play. They involve parents and carers in this process, to allow them to continue this therapeutic work at home, giving children the best chance at recovery and rehabilitation. 

More than 65 children come every week and 100 more are placed on their waiting list. 

TIAFI also work to improve relationships between the Turkish and Syrians, through their inclusive food program at their community center. Syrian women cook over 120 hot meals a day for local Turkish families who are struggling financially. TIAFI is also home to a playgroup where Turkish and Syrian children come to play and learn together in a safe environment. 

TIAFI offers Turkish language practice to Syrian women and to Turkish women learning to overcome illiteracy. Women can also take part in career placement programs where they learn to produce high quality purses, backpacks, and t-shirts. Additionally, women make earrings and embroidered cloth, which they then sell on to local merchants. 

One of their most vital programs is the Information Point, which is staffed by Syrian refugees. Through this, they receive hundreds of calls and walk-ins every day, from both Syrians and the Turkish, for various reasons. Typically, queries answered are usually those asking for help with booking doctors’ appointments, securing national identity cards, enrolling children in school and finding employment.

All programmes and services at TIAFI are free of charge. 

To find out more about TIAFI please visit their website tiafi.org