By definition, humanitarian aid conducts activities to provide basic services when local capacities are overwhelmed and public institutions fail to facilitate vulnerable groups access to basic rights and services. As Support to Life, beyond addressing immediate protection needs of the refugee community living in Turkey, we also care a great deal about enabling sustainable solutions and building local capacities.

In this context, supported by our partners European Union Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid, as well as Diakonie Katastrophenhilfe, we deliver a variety of capacity building training in many different locations, to a variety of stakeholders. Lately, it has been a busy period of trainings. We targeted lawyers, teachers and service providers working at the local level.

Legal Trainings in Mardin and Diyarbakır

We reached lawyers through provincial bar associations and delivered trainings on refugee law. In the province in Mardin, for example, there are more than 88 thousand Syrian refugees and many of these people face various challenges when trying to access legal assistance. Mardin Bar Association has a limited capacity to assist these individuals in legal procedures due to financial constrains as well as local lawyers’ limited knowledge of refugee law. Since 2018 November, we worked in close coordination with Mardin Bar Association. We supported them in their advocacy work and our legal teams have delivered internal trainings. Thanks to these, the legal issued faced by refugees are no longer insurmountable in Mardin.

In order to maximize impact, we also organized a large training session lasting a full day and delivered it in the Bar association’s conference hall. We focused on the legal framework, studied specific problems faced in Mardin, as well as issues specific to child protection and SGBV risks. This training was attended by a total of 148 lawyers.

In the province of Diyarbakır, we organized a Refugee Law training targeting the Provincial Social Service Center and Provincial Directorate of Migration Management staff. 7 participants attended the training delivered by STL Legal Sector Manager Mahmut Can İsal.

Peer Bullying Training for Counselor Teachers

On 14-15 November 2019, we delivered a training focusing on ‘Peer Bullying at Schools’ for primary and mid-level school counselors in Mardin’s Kızıltepe district. The training implemented in coordination with Kızıltepe Social Service Center and Kızıltepe Provincial Directorate of Ministry of National Education was attended by 30 counselor teachers. An important component in this training was focused the session good education practices delivered by STL Mental Health and Psychosocial Support Sector Manager Özlem Çolak. The training was also a good practice for the strong cooperation between STL and local authorities.

Training focusing on ‘Working with Vulnerable Groups’

In Mersin, we formed a strong cooperation with Mezitli City Council and under the framework of the external trainings, we helped build local capacities. Members of the City Council who work with women, youth, senior citizens as well as handicapped received a training that focused on working with vulnerable groups. The training aimed to provide definitions for crisis and trauma, promote understanding of trauma impact, improve capabilities of working with trauma effected people whose coping mechanisms are impaired.

With cooperation partners in the field, and our financing partners providing support, we will keep on strengthening capacities for a future where no one is left behind, no matter what hardships they have been through.

Çiğdem Usta Güner
Corporate Communication Expert


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