Greetings from BTF...We are continuing to invest in the development and education of refugee children in Turkey. It is the mission we took on board in the aftermath of the tragic death of the 3 year old Syrian boy Aylan Kurdi whose image made global headlines after he drowned in Turkey. Since that time, we have developed and delivered 5 projects with our local partners focused on improving education & social integration opportunities for refugee children, and their families. Thanks to our volunteers, and our global donors who have risen strongly for our causes.
Lack of education is still the number 1 & urgent priority for refugee children in Turkey. There are approximately 3 million refugees living in Turkey, and majority of the school age children have been out of school for more than 4 yrs. During May & June we worked to expand our reach, and took on a new project with special focus for the preschool children ages between 3-6 who are deprived from a nurturing and fun learning environment. We are excited to share with you that we will be impacting the lives of the little children, and coloring their imagination and fulfill learning desire with a set of activity books that will help them prepare for elementary school.
Our new education project will reach Syrian refugee pre-school children living outside of the refugee camps in Urfa, Turkey. Urfa is the #1 and most populated city hosting close to half a million (500,000) refugees in Turkey. About 20% of these refugees live in the refugee camps in Urfa, and the rest of the population is distributed throughout the city. (Source: Turkish Interior Ministry,The Disaster and Emergency Management Authority - AFAD). “Getting ready for School” is a pre-school education kit composed of 4 activity based learning books, 1 puzzle, and 1 book– all age appropriate education materials preparing little minds to the elementary school. The original book set is in Turkish, and is translated in Arabic language as we speak. These sets will be delivered to eligible families in a few months. We are planning to deliver this set to 3,000 children initially.
The preschool education kit aims to develop 4 basic skills for the pre-school children. Visual skills, Hearing skills, Problem Solving and Motor Skills. The kit is set-up such that children will be able to complete individual activity sections anywhere at their pace, acquire keys at the end of sections, and solve the kit puzzle at the end, and the book will serve as a reward to finish the learning journey. What we like about this set is that it is a milestone driven, activity based learning, and will encourage child-parent interaction during the learning process.
In the past month, we have solidified our execution plan, arranged all publication process working with vendors, and we will leverage a local non-profit partner in Urfa to deliver these education kits to identified and eligible children/families.
Pre-school Education Kit Content (Scroll down to see the kit Picture below):
- Gördüklerim/I am seeing: Aimed at improving observational and perception skills
- Duyduklarm/I am hearing: Aimed at improving hearing, listening skills
- Yaptklarm/I am drawing and writing: Aimed at improving hand- fine motor skills, and muscle development
- Çözdüklerim/I am solving: Aimed at improving problem solving, solution finding skills.
- Story Book.
In the next report, we look forward to giving you an update about the delivery of these kits to children, and share back their happiness. As always, we are grateful for the support you have given us throughout the year to support our programs. We thank our partner Global Giving for additional funds & providing us the global support base.
Together, we are delivering hope and happiness for the refugees.
*We have plans to take this project to many more children in the future, and based on the impact and interest it generates in Urfa refugee community, we may expand our program to other cities where refugee children & families are highly concentrated (mainly Istanbul) in the Winter period.
Bridge to Turkiye Fund Family & Volunteers.
BTF Pre-school edu-kit (Turkish version) picture