Building resilience via increased livelihoods opportunities and strengthened social cohesion

Building resilience via increased livelihoods opportunities and strengthened social cohesion

A woman is working on an olive tree

Building resilience by increasing livelihoods opportunities and strengthening social cohesion.

Contact details

Submitted by: Serhat Burak GÜRESİNLİ (EU Expert, Directorate General for EU and Foreign Relations)

Email: [email protected]       

Introduction to the project




April 2018 – March 2019


The project aims to develop vocational skills for both Syrians and host communities in agriculture and food sectors and to provide them with sustainable employment and income opportunities in the provinces of Kilis and Şanlıurfa.


The project was implemented by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and funded by the Government of Japan with a budget of USD 500.000, in close cooperation with the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry. 



Main activities of the Good Practice 

250 trainees participated in the vocational training and 49 trainees acquired new jobs. In Kilis, 25 trainees completed vocational trainings on beekeeping and 100 trainees completed vocational trainings on production of olives, pistachios and vegetables.

In Şanlıurfa, 75 trainees completed vocational trainings on traditional dishes and healthy diets and 50 trainees completed vocational trainings on cattle care and herd management. A job fair was organised in Şanlıurfa on 4 December 2018 in order to facilitate employment of the trainees who benefited from trainings.


  • Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry of the Republic of Turkey
  • Municipalities of Kilis and Şanlıurfa
  • Government of Japan 
  • FAO
A group of women are shown how to plat new olive trees

How challenges were overcome 

Challenges and risks are common in all projects related to vocational trainings and employment. Risk areas and mitigation measures are defined below.

It is important that the national, regional and international steps are taken in a coordinated, consistent and transparent manner with the participation of all stakeholders in this field. Through its wide experience and knowledge on agriculture and rural development, the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry gives support to the refugees under temporary protection with the partnership of related stakeholders and strengthen its cooperation with UN Agencies on this issue.  

  • Risk area: Beneficiaries’ irregular attendance to the trainings due to mobility and work load.

Mitigation measures: The participants were paid daily incentive payments during theoretical and practical job trainings. In addition to the daily incentive payments, the continuity of each trainee to the trainings were recorded in the database.

  • Risk area: Private stakeholders’ unwillingness to open their work place for on the job trainings.

Mitigation measures: Incentive payments were made to the stakeholders who hosted the job trainings in order to compensate them for their labour cost. The agricultural sector is the most flexible sector to absorb labour force of Syrians refugees under temporary protection due to the “Regulation on Work Permit of Refugees under Temporary Protection”.  Syrians under temporary protection who work in seasonal jobs (agriculture and animal husbandry) are exempt from applying for work permits.

  • Risk area: unwillingness of farms and agricultural enterprises to employ refugees because of the language barrier, flexible work habits of the Syrians under temporary protection and cultural differences

Mitigation measures: The Syrian refugees and the host community members attended vocational training programmes which increased social cohesion. FAO ensured that all trainings were delivered in Turkish and translated into Arabic by an interpreter. Both trainers and interpreters participated in the training of trainers’ workshops. The training programmes included basic Turkish language lessons to help refugee trainees improve their capacities to express themselves in Turkish and understand the technical terms and basic instructions for on the job trainings.

The support of producer unions, chambers of agriculture and other stakeholders were obtained through an agreement before launching the programmes. Trainees were informed about principles and working standards of the farms and agricultural enterprises. 

Increasing the refugees’ access to labor market through vocational and language trainings will be crucial to lessen their vulnerability. In this context, agriculture is a key sector with regard to absorption of the labor force. As we underlined at the 2018-2019 3RP Turkey Stage,

  • Syrian refugees come from a similar agricultural context, and therefore engaging them in the agricultural sector in Turkey does not require a long introductory period. 
  • the sector can provide both short-term outputs and sustainable income generating opportunities.

Similarly, engagement in the agricultural sector in Turkey will benefit Syrians upon their return to their country of origin.

Results of the Good Practice 

  • 24 trainees were employed in livestock sector.
  • 19 trainees were employed in the food and agriculture sector.
  • 6 trainees were employed in other sectors.
  • 19.6 per cent of the trainees were employed.