Ravda Nur’s success story and the RavdaNur Foundation

Women & girls

Ravda Nur’s success story and the RavdaNur Foundation

Advocating for women’s rights, equal access to education and combating early marriage.

Contact details

Submitted by: Ece Akçay – Deputy Director of Project on Promoting Integration of Syrian Kids into the Turkish Education System (PIKTES), Ministry of National Education

Email: [email protected]

Social: https://tr-tr.facebook.com/ravdanurcuma/

Introduction to the project






Ravda Nur has been working on increasing opportunities for refugee education ever since she had to take refuge in Turkey.

Ravda was not born a refugee. She was born the fifth child of nine children in a beautiful Syrian countryside with her house, village, animals and school. Education was always important for their family. Her father always referred to education as “the golden bracelet that nobody can remove”.

When she had to move to Turkey, the first thing she did was to learn English and finish school while many of her peers were getting married. She witnessed many refugees, especially girls, with no chance of getting an education or develop skills to be self-reliant. Many were being married off as second or third wives or becoming indentured servants. She always thought, “a refugee without education will not know their rights or find opportunities to make a decent living. This will cause abuse and injustice.”.

Only through access to education can a refugee become a productive member of their host society and participate in democracy. Through education, a refugee can understand and collaborate with their community and take part in social cohesion. One can then live in dignity and be self-reliant.

However, across the world, more than half of school-aged refugees do not have access to a proper education. The roadblocks are numerous, the main one being economical. A 12-year-old will feed the family if she works rather than going to school. At 13 she will take care of younger siblings while parents work, and at 14 she is too old to keep safe and is married off.

RavdaNur Foundation being aware of these issues connects with these girls and tries to identify what needs to be done to keep them in school. Its aim is to remove roadblocks refugees could face in order for them to get the education they desperately need. Members look for support and funding in private people, organizations, and even small countries.

The Foundation reaches out widely in order to have the best resources to better address the above mentioned problems and provide opportunities for refugees. This also includes vulnerable host community populations in order to prevent resentment and increase cohesion and collaboration. The target group is young females who have little to no support. The foundation seeks collaboration with local governments, educational institutions and other non-profit organizations.

The foundation’s vision can be summed up as : “We would like a web of goodwill and not competition”.

Knowing first-hand the roadblocks, the success story of Ravda Nur and Ravdanur Foundation, if given the opportunity, will be a part of the solution as its goal is to provide comprehensive, flexible and inclusive solutions to the education of refugees.

Project aims

Advocating for women’s rights, equal access to education and combating early marriage.

Resources used

Logistic support was provided by the Metropolitan Municipality of Gaziantep to reach out-of-school children.


  • The Ministry of National Education of the Turkish Republic
  • The European Union
  • Embassy of Luxembourg
  • Governorship of Gaziantep
  • Metropolitan Municipality of Gaziantep
  • The Malala Foundation

How challenges were overcome

As it was a newly established foundation, challenges were faced in acquiring funding to finance project activities.

The foundation encountered resistance amongst families during the awareness raising activities. Some families, particularly fathers, did not want to take part in interviews or in any way share their experiences. Additionally, it was a big challenge to persuade parents to send their daughters to school.

Ravda Nur’s efforts brought about opportunities for her foundation to gain an international reputation, which resulted in funding opportunities. In this sense, the foundation received financial support from both the EU and the Embassy of Luxembourg as well as technical assistance by the Malala Foundation.

Families were assured that they would not face any troubles just because they share their thoughts; however they would have more chances to educate their children. No pressure was put on them, and many parents were open to talk after they felt more comfortable.

Results of the Good Practice 

  • As a person who has benefited from quality and comprehensive education opportunities provided by Turkey for Syrians under temporary protection, Ravda Nur has posed as a role model for all Syrian children.
  • RavdaNur Foundation identified out-of-school Syrian children in Gaziantep and ensured the schooling of 350 children per year (this activity is conducted in the scope of a project implemented in collaboration with The Research Centre on Asylum and Migration).
  • The Foundation provides volunteer support to the “Kız Başına” project on strengthening the status of girls and women and is implemented by Middle East Technical University Students.
  • The Foundation provides contributions to gender equality activities as well as opportunities of employment and long-lasting learning for women.

The foundation will launch a new project on the schooling of girls in Turkey which will be the first project to be implemented by the foundation. The project will receive  a funding of €100,000 from the Government of Luxembourg. The foundation will be supported also by the EU in further projects.