Community Centres for refugees
The project in brief
Turkish Red Crescent
Within the framework of Syria Humanitarian Aid Operations, community centres contribute to psychosocial well-being and provide protection, referrals and other relevant services for Syrians under temporary protection, as well as other displaced people living in urban areas.
The first community centre was established in Sanlıurfa in January 2015. Currently 16 community centres, managed by the Turkish Red Crescent are operating in Istanbul (Sultanbeyli, Bağcılar), Konya, Ankara, Kilis, Bursa, İzmir, Adana, Mersin, Gaziantep, Hatay, Kayseri, Kahramanmaraş, Mardin and Kocaeli, catering both to local residents and displaced persons.
Providing protection, psychosocial and vocational support, and promoting social cohesion.
Main activities of the Good Practice
Services and activities in community centres are provided under four programs:
- Protection: Addressing the needs of individuals and groups risk of exploitation, including through awareness-raising activities. Responding to specific needs through Emergency Social Safety Net (ESSN), Special Needs Fund (SNF), Individual Protection Assistance (IPA) and in collaboration with UNICEF on Conditional Cash Transfer for Education (CCTE).
- Psychosocial Support and Health: Actions related to psychosocial support and health aim to strengthen physical and social functionality, resilience and coping mechanisms of affected communities through supportive communication, individual and/or group counselling and information dissemination.
- Livelihood Support: The community centres organize various courses and activities that help beneficiaries improve their life skills. The certifications received upon successful completion of vocational courses are approved by the General Directorate of Life Long Learning of the Ministry of National Education. Further services are provided to facilitate the employment of beneficiaries, such as entrepreneurship support or job matching.
- Social Cohesion: It aims to include individuals into social, private and public structures and enable them to reach health, education and public services. It also supports employment, which gives the beneficiaries a chance to be part of society.
- International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC)
- German Red Cross
- Norwegian Red Cross
- Danish Red Cross
- Qatar Charity
- United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF)
- United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR)
- World Food Programme (WFP)
- World Bank (WB)
Challenges and how they were overcome
- Even though the community centres aim to carry out activities that appeal to everyone in an inclusive way, so far only Syrians can benefit from these services and community centres. Activities should be adapted to include more local people.
- Community participation is essential for sustainability.
- Ensuring the involvement of the local population is critical.
Results of the Good Practice
- 16 community centres have reached out to 863,705 people in their field of activity.
- The protection activities have reached 161,722 people.
- Psychosocial and health services have reached 284,824 people.
- Vocational courses have reached 28,823 people.
- 3,718 people have been provided with job placements and job referrals.
- 260,612 people have benefited from the social and cultural activities.
- Child, Youth and Volunteering activities have reached 124,006 children and teens.
Kamil Erdem Güler, Community Based Migration Programs Coordinator, Turkish Red Crescent