About the Project

Social Cohesion between Syrian and Host Communities Through Women’s Empowerment Project

Social Cohesion between Syrian and Host Communities Through Women’s Empowerment Project is being implemented in cooperation with the GAP Administration and the United Nations Development Program (UNDP). The overall objective of the project is to strengthen social cohesion among Syrian and host communities in Turkey through women’s empowerment.

The project is composed of activities addressing;

  • Social and economic capability building of Syrian and host community women,
  • Social cohesion and integration among two communities,
  • Design and implementation of pilot social care and social support services.

In order to increase social and economic capability building of Syrian and host community women, CATOMs (Multi-Purpose Community Centres) affiliated to GAP Administration have been supported through developing inclusive business models and trainings were provided on basic life skills, new textile production techniques, sales and marketing etc. Through an ‘inclusive business’ approach, the project has partnered with Koton Company, Turkey’s biggest textile retailer establishing links to markets for handicrafts made by the women. Over 2,600 women have now sold items in Koton’s ‘handmade collection’ line.

The benefits from this inclusive business model goes beyond immediate incomes. Women from low-income communities including Syrians are being engaged in the production value chains and become socially and economically empowered. This inclusive business model gives women confidence and new sources of strength to escape poverty using their own means. It is also a good opportunity for sustaining social cohesion between Syrian and host community women.

Other activities to reach vulnerable groups have included refurbishing local schools for children with disabilities and initiating a day-care centre for the elderly. The Elderly Day Care Centre established in Kilis is currently a second home for elder people in order to support their participation to daily life in an active and productive manner, to meet their socio-cultural needs, to direct them to volunteer work, to support intercultural integration and cohesion.

As a respond to Covid 19, a survey was conducted to measure the impacts of the pandemic on the host communities and Syrian women living in the South-eastern Anatolia Region and to develop support mechanism based on the results. “Emotional Healing Talks” were organized as a response to the survey with an aim to increase women’s awareness towards their own problems, take initiative to solve them, be empowered and achieve equality of opportunity. Webinars were organized with the participation of women at multi-community centres to discuss their problems with physiatrists, pedagogues, nutrition experts and psychologists balancing work and home life social and emotional development of children, domestic communication and self-worth etc.

During the pandemic, one of the groups that needs physical and mental support the most are the elderly and their families. Online psycho-social support webinars were organized for the elderly, their families and health and social workers. The aim of the trainings was to improve knowledge and skills of the service workers, the elderly and their families to respond to their psychological, social and cultural needs and ease the burden on women and family members taking care of the elderly people.

The project directly contributes to the United Nations 2030 Agenda and Sustainable Development Goals for a more sustainable and inclusive world.

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