Sarah Ferguson has sent her “condolences” to the loved ones of those who have died following the earthquakes in Turkey and Syria.
At the time of writing, the total death toll has passed 4,300 and is expected to rise considerably after two deadly earthquakes and a number of aftershocks in Turkey on Monday (06.02.23).
The Duchess of York – who was married to Prince Andrew – has sent a message of support to those who have lost family members and said that her charity Sarah’s Trust is “ready to help” where it can.
She wrote on her Instagram Story: “All my thoughts are with the people of Turkiye and Syria as they deal with the aftermath of the terrible earthquake.
“My condolences go to the families of those who died. We are all praying for trapped survivors to be found. My charity @sarahs_trust_ stands ready to help in whatever way it can.”
Last year, Sarah spent time with Ukrainian refugees in Poland amid Russia’s ongoing invasion of the neighbouring country.
The 63-year-old philanthropist travelled to the villages of Rudy and Kuznia Raciborska where she heard heartbreaking stories from Ukrainian families who made the perilous journey to escape the conflict in their home country.
Through her charity, Sarah’s Trust, she helped to distribute aid to people crossing the border.
Sharing pictures with the families, Sarah posted to Instagram at the time: “I returned today to Rudy and Kuznia Raciborska, villages I’ve known and loved since I founded my charity in 1992. It’s important to remember the people and the places who have been such a big part of my life. I also wanted to honour the smaller towns and villages who haven’t hesitated in opening their doors to the Ukrainian people. We will be sending more aid from the UK to Rudy next week.”
Sarah heard the story of a lady called Oksana, who was six months pregnant, and walked for days with her seven-year-old son Goran to the border, and another young family, who were in tears telling her how much it meant that Polish people welcomed them with open arms.
Sarah continued: “I spent time with Ukrainian families given refuge at the Old Abbey. Fr Jan Rosiek runs the Foundation ‘Stare Opactwo Rudach’. They have fled from different parts of Ukraine, walking for days with their children.
I spoke with Oksana who is 6 months pregnant who made the journey to Rudy with her 7 year old son Goran. And also Olga, and her children Jan (4) and Paulina (5). Crying, they tell me how grateful they are for the kindness of the Polish people, and they say they will try their hardest to do their best whilst here. But they see their stay as temporary as, more than anything, they long to return home to their country, to their husbands who are fighting for the survival of Ukraine. We talked about always believing in hope, the smile of a child.”