Not all refugee camps operate at the same level when we are talking about quality of life. Yes, it’s true that most camps are riddled with the same problems you would expect to see anyplace there was a lack of infrastructure. There are the obvious problems of general cleanliness, lack of plumbing, crime, food rations, sustained positive mental health and perception, lack of entertainment or the ability to maintain ones livelihood. The list of problems that are present at the worlds refugee camps go on and on. There seems to be no end to these issues but what if there was a better way. What if there were better camps which through design and operation did not have the same major issues.

We see this in the example refugee camp, Kilis Oncupinar accommodation facility. Many of the worlds displaced live in wretched facilities that seem to be sub standard for most people but safety is paramount in those situations so they stay. When entering Kilis you come to realize how little it resembles the refugee camp we see in our minds eye. Residents scan a security card with their finger print to gain entry then they pass through metal detectors. All items being carried in must go through an x-ray machine. These simple steps help with crime & safety issues immediately. You would be amazed at the effect this has on the day to day living in a place like this.

Once inside there are several differences compared to the refugee camp of old. Primarily, there over 2,000 identical containers spread out in neat rows and there is no garbage piling up causing unsanitary living to be a problem. There is also running water which is heated and electricity being provided for each of these containers. This accommodates for sanitary disposal of the raw sewage that causes one of the worst problems for living in most refugee camps. It is just so clean. That is the first thought of almost everyone who enter the place. In addition there are multiple parks scattered throughout the camp. These parks are equipped with playgrounds that resemble a McDonald’s play place. These streets are lined by streetlights & protected by police. You can get a real sense safety in a place like that and really isn’t that the most important thing?

Even with all of the improvements upon the refugee camp of old, life in this place is not all happy-go-lucky. Many of these containers are home to many people. It is common for one 24′ by 10′ container with 3 rooms to house over a dozen people. Sometimes it is people of your family and extended family. Sometimes the people you live with are more distant than that even totally unknown.

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