Istanbul Interparish Migrant Program (IIMP)


In 1991, local church parishes in Istanbul, Turkey, began coordinated efforts to serve the influx of refugees to Istanbul during the First Gulf War. Hearing the continuing call to minister to the needs of economic immigrants, asylum seekers, and refugees living in Turkey, these parishes have sustained and further developed this ecumenical program over the last twenty years. The number of immigrants, asylum seekers, and refugees in Turkey is currently over 2 million.

Today the Istanbul Interparish Migrant Program (IIMP) focuses on the most marginalized groups of immigrants, namely women, children, and vulnerable men. IIMP is a Critical Presence in the lives of those they help. It works with other non-governmental organizations (NGOs) that advocate for the rights of immigrants, refugees, and asylum seekers.

Istanbul Interparish Migrant Program clients include people from over 50 countries, many of who came to Turkey in a variety of ways. Some arrive legally and then lose their legal status; others pay traffickers to bring them to the country in the European Union but end up in Turkey instead; a few were brought to Turkey against their will, smuggled in by human traffickers; still others have fled dangerous situations for themselves and their families in their home countries.  A few walked to Turkey from various nearby countries.

IIMP services include food, clothing, referral to health care, counseling, education opportunities, voluntary repatriation, and emergency shelter subsidies. Programs and services are provided primarily by volunteers. The work of the IIMP includes:

A group for mothers and their young children provides discussion groups relating to health information and parenting. They also provide programming for preschool children, a safe and nurturing environment, and a hot and nutritional meal.

Assistance to Families includes arranging for the safe delivery of babies, especially for the most vulnerable mothers, and providing whole milk, and multivitamins to mothers and children. They also distribute food coupons and provide hot meals and help with medical costs for those who need it most.

Donations of children’s clothing are sorted and distributed to those in need. In the winter, blankets and warm coats are provided as well.

Adult Education provides language lessons, literacy classes, and helps empower clients. IIMP also helps to identify local schooling for children.

iimp_soup_kitchen_turkey.jpegA Voluntary Repatriation service is provided for those who choose to return to their home country. IIMP provides guidance for the repatriation process in conjunction with another NGO.

Soup Kitchens provide warm food to those in need 2 times per week.

Support this Ministry

To make a gift for this ministry online or by check use the online donation page.

  • 100% of your gift will be directed to Istanbul Interparish Migrant Program (IIMP)
  • You will receive updates on the work in this area as they become available
  • Share in the vision of God’s abundant life for all people

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