Social cohesion and youth participation project
The project in brief
Ministry of Youth and Sports, Turkey
25 cities in Turkey
The Social Cohesion and Youth Participation Project was initiated through a work plan signed between the General Directorate of Youth Services of the Ministry of Youth and Sports and the United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) Turkey.
As a part of this project, social cohesion as well as artistic, educational, and cultural activities are conducted with Turkish and Syrian youth. Additionally, Turkish language courses are provided for Syrian youth who need them.
Main activities of the Good Practice
- 50 commercial vehicles (buses) were rented to be used in training activities.
- Social cohesion education is offered to Syrian and Turkish youth.
- Turkish lessons are provided for the Syrian youth through youth centres under the Ministry of Youth and Sports.
- A "social cohesion" themed youth camp is held in Aydin and mixed camps are organized for Turkish and Syrian youth.
- Syrian youth received psychological support.
- Books and stationery were purchased for Turkish lessons.
- Joint social and cultural programmes were carried out for Turkish and Syrian youth.
- Social cohesion camps are held with equal numbers of Turkish and Syrian youth.
- A football tournament was held.
- A photography contest was organized.
- Following the one week "photography training" provided to sixty Turkish and Syrian youth by renowned photographers, a selection of photographs chosen by renowned experts were exhibited in Paris.
- There is an ongoing effort in the pilot cities of Adana, Kahramanmaraş and Şanlıurfa to introduce the food and hospitality cultures of both countries as part of a "cultural activity".
UN International Children's Emergency Fund (UNICEF)
How challenges were overcome
During the implementation of the project, the following issues arose:
- Transfer of Syrian refugees to other places.
- Communicating with families who do not want to send their daughters, in particular, to youth centres.
- Language barriers and difficulty in achieving consistency in education.
Attempts are being made to overcome these problems by field assessments, family visits, and face-to-face interviews.
Results of the Good Practice
At the end of the project, the aim is that Turkish and Syrian youth will socialize together, overcome prejudices against each other, and develop empathy. At the same time, Turkish culture is introduced to the youth.
Murat Duran, Expert on Youth and Sports, Ministry of Youth and Sports, Turkey