Support Women's and Girls' Empowerment

by Support to Life (STL) Hayata Destek Dernegi
Support Women's and Girls' Empowerment
Support Women's and Girls' Empowerment
Support Women's and Girls' Empowerment
Support Women's and Girls' Empowerment

Dear Friend,

In this report we would like to share with you the feedback we received from children following our girls’ empowerment trainings:

“I was thinking a 15 or 16-year-old person could marry. But I learned that everyone is a child until the age of 18.”

“Nobody can judge or hurt us. Now I know these mean violence and abuse.”

“Nobody can give me a hug or a kiss unless I want. If I feel in danger, I can scream and ask for help.”

“Girls can also play soccer. Not just playing soccer, they can also play volleyball and basketball, they can ride bicycles and dance.”

“Transformations that girls go through during adolescence are not shameful or disgraceful. Because our bodies belong to us.”

“It makes me feel good to come together with other girls in the same age group as myself and to know everyone goes through similar processes during the Pandemic.”

As Support to Life, we believe that strong, confident girls can transform societies. They just need concrete opportunities to realize their potential and safe zones.

However, with donations we received to our project in the last 6 months, we could access only 3 girls.

We are on a long track and have a lot to do but we know we are not alone. You can support life by donating in our project or sharing with your community.

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Women are especially vulnerable to abuse and are among the most vulnerable members of society in post-disaster situations - and often, in daily life too. So what can we do about it? We remind them how strong and resilient they are. 4 million Syrian refugees living in Turkey are women and children. Girl's access to education remains a problem, young girls are susceptible to early marriages and women in general are confined to the household, unable to participate in social/professional life.


We deliver 'self-care' and 'return to school' packs, offer awareness/information sessions and with these, aim to call women to action, to invest their own futures and to develop the skills for better self-care and development. For both women and girls, we deliver self-respect and reliance sessions that boost their mental health. In addition, we provide empowering information with our 'civil rights' and 'gender equality' themed sessions.

With your donation, we offered aid packages to 9 women and girls.

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Women are especially vulnerable to abuse and are among the most vulnerable members of society in post-disaster situations - and often, in daily life too. So what can we do about it? We remind them how strong and resilient they are. 3.6 million Syrian refugees living in Turkey are women and children. Girl's access to education remains a problem, young girls are susceptible to early marriages and women in general are confined to the household, unable to participate in social/professional life.

We deliver 'self-care' and 'return to school' packs, offer awareness/information sessions and with these, aim to call women to action, to invest their own futures and to develop the skills for better self-care and development. For both women and girls, we deliver self-respect and reliance sessions that boost their mental health. In addition, we provide empowering information with our 'civil rights' and 'gender equality' themed sessions.

With your donation, we offered aid packages to 10 women and girls and helped them participate in one of our sessions.

Links:

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Selam is now 20, she was 14 when her family had to leave Syria and find refuge in Turkey. She is also the youngest member of KEKIK, STL’s Women’s cooperative that operates in Southeast Turkey -Mardin’s Yesilli district. She is a skilled cooked and an ambitious worker. I, as a member of STL’s communication team, recently had the privilance of having a conversation with her. I will try to give you a sense of who she is, as she is someone whose life you impacted with your donation.

Selam describes the times before the war;

“My family was well off frankly. I was a 6th grader, had good grades. Then the war broke out, we found ourselves cought in the middle of it all. It happens so fast. They took our houses, cars; our land, everything… We had to leave. Telling you all this, you taking these notes, it only takes a few minutes and there is no way I can communicate how it all felt, how difficult it all was.”

“Now we’ve been living in Turkey for 6 years. Of course, upon arrival, our first priority was to find shelther, and then a means of livelihood. Me and my siblings all began looking. That’s when I heard there were going to be gastronomy courses in Kabala district. I was thrilled.”

Being determined as she is, Selam learned Turkish began taking her Gastronomy classes. She made friends too. She learned the Turkish cousine and she thought her friends the Syrian one. The cash-for-education mechanism used was instrumental in mitigating her family’s financial precarity, while she was gaining new skills.

“Support to Life had a very helpful role in my life. They helped me obtain a vocation; they provided financial and moral support, enabled me to socialize. They helped us begin new lives in Turkey.

In our women’s cooperative KEKIK, Turkish and Syrian women are working and producing together side by side, earning a living and building a cohesive, multi-cultural society from bottom up while doing so.

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Manar (11) was diagnosed with Sipini Bifida at birth. Thus, she has restricted mobility. Until she came into contact with Support to Life, her father Jud (34) had to carry her to school on his back. When Manar and her family’s path has crossed with support to life, things took a turn for the better.

Jud (34) says; “We consulted with another organization to assist us with Manar’s situation. They referred us to Support to Life. Support to Life began following up with Manar’s case and by getting in touch with the right organizations, in the end, they were able to provide us with an electric wheelchair. Before, I had to carry Manar on my back, so that she could go to school. I would come back from work, take her to school and then go back to work. Now she can go to school by herself.

That wasn’t the end of it though. Jud had to build a ramp for Manar. He explains, “As I’ve been working on the construction sector, I know how to build these things. I built the ramp myself. And thankfully, the school administration and the local municipality took action to pave the road to Manar’s school. She can now navigate the road safely.”

Lastly, Manar had to learn how do drive her electric chair of course. That’s when her grandpa’s teaching skills came in. Manar’s grandpa explains, “It’s just like driving you know, I told her how she should look over her shoulder before making a turn, for safety.”

Manar is already 11, but she lost a couple of years when they moved to Turkey so she is studying 4th grade with her younger sister. This does not bother her though; she has a positive outlook. She is a fan of art classes and wants to be a fashion designer when she grows up.

STL works in a solution oriented manner. We may not have a ‘special needs fund’ allocated for each of our field locations, and we may not always be able to find a private donor. But we explore all the possibilities. In the case of Manar, we simply facilitated her access to information, carried her case on to relevant organizations, spoke with local authorities and the school management to explore all the possible solutions.

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Organization Information

Support to Life (STL) Hayata Destek Dernegi

Location: Istanbul - Turkey
Website:
Project Leader:
Fatih Kiyman
Istanbul, Turkey
$2,546 raised of $13,000 goal
 
28 donations
$10,454 to go
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