Projects in Turkey

2019 – 2020

Enhancing Protection of Under-Served Communities in (1) Çorum & (2) Samsun – Two projects.
The protracted nature of the Syrian crisis coupled with the huge influx of Syrian refugees into Turkey have led to mounting demographic and economic pressure across the country. The aim of the project is to “Facilitate vulnerable individuals’ – host, refugee and asylum seekers – “Access to Services & Rights” in Çorum & Samsun ” through a community-based approach conducive of reducing vulnerabilities. This project is initiated within the scope of the “Local Initiative Fund in Turkey” “LIFT” Project which is co-financed by the European Union through its Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations (ECHO) and the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)and co-implemented by Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) and RET in Turkey.

RET will use a community-based and center-based approaches, catering to different age brackets providing various services: Awareness Raising, Legal Counseling, Individual Counseling, Individual Protection Assistance- Early Identification and Safe Referral, Psychosocial Support (PSS) and Capacity Building Activity- Mainstreaming GBV in International Protection Forums.Targeting the community at large will be achieved through outreach activities that serve two main objectives: (a) information dissemination and awareness raising regarding educational and protection opportunities available, including those provided by RET’s centers; and (b) identifying beneficiaries with protection concerns and/or educational needs that require further follow up and support.

A community center will be set up around Kunduzhan region, which is largely populated by Iraqi refugees to provide geographical proximity and facilitate access and also foster multicultural co-existence while delivering individual assistance and community-based protection activities. The designation of Kunduzhan district, where refugee communities reside will also help to provide culturally appropriate space and facilitate the participation of especially women and adolescent girls whose mobility is traditionally highly restricted. RET has conducted a preliminary needs-assessment with the refugee community and public authorities including Provincial Directorate of Migration Management, to identify the gaps in the provisioning of and access to protection services. With the establishment of community-center, RET aims at creating a safe space for the most vulnerable, where psychologists, social workers and a lawyer are accessible equipped with additional skills of early identification of psychosocial stress and trauma including SGBV.

RET has an established space in Çorum & Samsun, in which women-empowerment project is carried out through wood-print activities that contribute to women’s incomes. The center-based approach will allow beneficiaries:

(i)        Regain some sense of normalcy given the trauma and psychosocial stress most have been exposed to or experienced as a result of forced displacement;
(ii)       Feel emotionally and socially empowered through custom-tailored interventions;
(iii)      Expand the female beneficiaries’ access to public domain, by expanding their social network(s) beyond the prevailing societal limitations and restrictions imposed on them;
(iv)      Overcome the information gap as related to protection services;

The two project (Corum & Samsun) are being implemented respectively between January 2020 and December 2020, and March 2020 and  December 2020  are co-financed by the European Union through its Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations (ECHO) and the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)and co-implemented by Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ)

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Psychosocial Support – LIFT – MyLife Center Corum – RET 2020

PEP – Promotion of Economic Prospects for refugees and the host community in Turkey
The need for professional, effective and coherent social cohesion measures remains high in Turkey. In fact, one can witness a rather growing need for social cohesion activities due to rising tensions between the Turkish population and the SuTP´s amidst a struggling economy and furthermore, increasingly critically local politics. However, many local and international organization, active in Turkey in the field of improving the socio-economic relief of SuTP, lack knowledge and expertise, as well as well trained staff in the sphere of social cohesion. Thus, the positive effects of the socio-economic activities of many locally active organizations, such as Turkish NGO´s, Turkish-Syrian NGO´s, international NGO´s, chambers of commerce and industry and other actors such as municipalities, sometimes do not reach their full aim, of improving the living conditions of SuTP and members of the host communities holistically, e.g. economically and with regards to social integration. There is a high demand of those organizations for additional measures to be taken, in order to improve their expertise in the field of social cohesion. The pilot 6-month program “Promotion of Economic Prospects for Refugees and Host Communities in Turkey” (PEP), is implemented by Gesellschaft für Internatonale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH and financed by Bundesministerium für Internationale Zusamenarbeit und Entwicklung (BMZ) through the German governments Special Initiative ‘tackling the root causes of displacement, stabilizing host regions and supporting refugees’.

The aim of the PEP Program is to strengthen the employment prospects of Syrian refugees and members of the host community in the provinces and municipalities hosting high numbers of refugees. The project aims at enabling the target groups and their families, especially vulnerable households, to generate income in the short to medium term, while at the same time stabilizing the host communities and promoting peaceful coexistence between Syrian refugees and the local population. The project aims at providing skills development and access to decent work for the target groups and at strengthening the supply side of the private sector.

To reach this goal, RET will offer PEP´s implementing partners additional training activities for their project staff as well as additional social cohesion activities for the beneficiaries of their specific project (SuTP and Turkish members of the host community). Current partners are listed in the table below, but they might increase and change during the course of the implementation of the project. The beneficiaries are the organizations executing the grant programs, based on applications accepted by GIZ.

RET believes that promoting/mainstreaming social cohesion, and safeguarding social inclusion, between refugee and host community members requires adopting a comprehensive gender-balanced approach that addresses the “Bridges and Barriers to Inclusion & Participation”: the primary drivers of tension, the structural vulnerabilities and the power dynamics on different fronts (social, economic and cultural) and their manifestations at: (i) Microsystems Level (e.g., families, friends); (ii) Organizations Level (e.g., schools, workplaces); (iii) Localities Level (e.g., neighborhoods, towns, hard-to-reach rural areas); and (iv) Macrosystems Level (e.g., cultures, governments, social mediums, belief systems).

RET’s Social Cohesion Strategy is aligned with Council of Europe Action Plan for Social Cohesion; and aims primarily at helping vulnerable beneficiaries (a) Regain a sense of normalcy; (b) Feel emotionally and socioeconomically empowered and socially accepted through custom-tailored interventions; (c) Improve their overall well-being (being a multidimensional concept); (d) expanding social network(s) and participation in public sphere, beyond the prevailing societal limitations and restrictions imposed; and finally (e) celebrating and embracing cultural diversity.

The pilot 6-month project, implemented between January 2020 and June 2020 is co-implemented with Gesellschaft für Internatonale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH and funded by Bundesministerium für Internationale Zusamenarbeit und Entwicklung (BMZ)

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PEP, Kick-off meeting with Implementing Partners, Turkey – RET 2020

 Refugee and Local Women’ Socio-Economic Empowerment

The project addressed the needs of refugee and vulnerable local women living in semi-urban and peripheral areas, in particular Şanlıurfa, Mardin and Çorum, by strengthening their self-reliance and assisting their families with sustainable income. Lacking proper training limits women’s chances to enter labor market; in response the Socio-Economic empowerment project increased the professional profiles of the women by providing them with skills trainings.

Workshops in handmade soap production; trainings on making Waldorf Dolls, natural dyeing and wood printing workshops were offered to local and refugee women, supporting them in setting up small businesses to sell their handmade products and generate income. In addition to the vocational trainings, advanced technical trainings for women interested in setting up small local businesses were offered, providing them with knowledge on product design, marketing and entrepreneurship skills. The project decreased the vulnerability of refugee women through support mechanisms that would not only increase their employability and economic productivity, but also provide them with a more protective social environment.

This project implemented between November 2017 and April 2019. was funded by the Government of the Grand-Duché de Luxembourg and implemented by RET in Turkey.

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Local Women’s Socio-Economic Empowerment in Mardin, Kilis and Çorum
The project aimed to strengthen vulnerable local women’s and their family’s resilience and wellbeing through providing self-reliance training to build their employability profile and improve their income generation prospects, in tandem with raising their awareness regarding gender-based violence & sexual and reproductive health issues in Mardin, Çorum and Kilis.

Lacking proper training and qualifications limits the women’s chances to enter the labor market; in response the Socio-Economic Empowerment project increased the professional profiles of the women by providing them with skills trainings. Workshops in handmade soap production; trainings on Waldorf Dolls making and natural dyeing and wood printing workshops were offered to local women, supporting them in setting up small businesses to sell their handmade products and generate income. In addition to the vocational trainings, additional advanced technical trainings for women interested in setting up small local businesses were offered, providing the women with knowledge on sustainable marketing networks and branding process and entrepreneurship. The project decreased vulnerability of women through support mechanisms that would not only increase their employability and economic productivity, but also provide them with a more protective social environment.

This project, implemented between July 2018 and December 2020, was funded by the Government of the Grand-Duché de Luxembourg and implemented by RET in Turkey.

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