Polish Humanitarian Action: Two-part Turkish Education Programme
Polish Humanitarian Action (PAH) is a Warsaw-based international non-governmental organization which for more than 20 years has been providing assistance to civilians suffering as a result of the armed conflicts, humanitarian emergencies and natural disasters in more than 40 countries worldwide.
PAH aims to support refugees and vulnerable community members who cannot receive aid from other I/NGOs or government bodies. By distributing cash to 200 course attendees, PAH will contribute to making sure that these 200 vulnerable refugees and local community members will have access to quality training courses and materials for the same. This assistance will reduce the number of dropouts from training courses provided by Public Education Centre (PEC). In addition, it will help them find jobs by removing the barriers such as lack of language or professional skills. The general objective is to improve their employability.
Additionally, by providing transportation services to 5-18-year-old children, 209 children will be able to receive schooling. Many of them are unable to attend schools due to the long distance from their homes to Turkish schools and Temporary Education Centres (Syrian schools). Farah, a 9-year-old refugee girl from the Latakia Governorate of Syria, has been living in Turkey with her mother and two brothers after leaving Syria where her father died. Her hobbies are watching TV and reading books, and she dreams of becoming a teacher. She was in 2nd grade before she left home four years ago, but has been unable to attend school since, because her mother does not have work and a regular source of income to afford the transportation.
In addition, as a result of out of school children, mothers cannot leave their children alone at home and go to work, or attend courses provided by other NGOs. The families of these children are already registered as vulnerable families in the governmental social assistance system and they are eligible to receive some assistance in the form of food or other non-food items. 10-year-old Abdulghani from the Halep Governorate of Syria is currently in grade three. Like Farah, his father died and he has been living in Turkey with his mother and siblings for three years. Abdulghani's favourite subject is Arabic and he loves Turkey, playing games, football and studying. His grandfather is the sole bread winner in the family.
The government’s social assistance foundation is not able to support the children in these vulnerable families to get education or cash assistance to afford the cost of transportation. For this purpose, the Ministry of National Education (MONE) asked PAH to facilitate 209 children to cover the transportation expenses and enable them to continue to attend schools. The fact that children cannot attend schools might lead them to be child labour, one of the biggest problems for children. One of PAH’s objectives is to reduce the amount of forced child labour.
PAH started implementing the project with official approval from the Hatay Governance and Department of Associations in September 2017. The names of vulnerable students were prepared and shared by the director of schools in Hatay Turkey, and PAH started to support 209 vulnerable students by providing means of transportation. Now 140 Syrian students are in primary school, and 69 Turkish students are in two high schools. The academic year in Turkey started on 18 September and will finish on 8 June 2018. Now, thanks to PAH, Farah and Abdulghani are finally able to continue their studies and one day make their dreams come true.
The second part of the project, which is cash aid, has also started. With a budget of $160,000, PAH is implementing this part in the Kirikhan and Antakya districts of Hatay Turkey, and will provide cash aid to 200 Turkish and Syrian beneficiaries who will be attending livelihood courses in Public Education Centres until the end of November 2017. For this intervention, PAH collaborated with the Department of Associations, the Provincial National Education Directorate, the Public Education Centre and the Hatay Social Assistance and Solidarity Foundation, which is a governmental foundation under provincial governance.