As part of Qudra 2’s support to local governments in Turkey, Mersin Metropolitan Municipality established a Student Counselling Centre (MERCİ) to serve the disadvantaged youth from both the local and the refugee communities.
A significant number of young people are “not in education, employment or training (NEET)”. The most common problems observed were exam anxiety, lack of motivation, concerns for the future and family problems. The centre has provided individual and group therapy to build resilience to overcome these difficulties.
To help young people overcome their fears and make sure that they contribute to social cohesion in the city, Mersin Metropolitan Municipality reached out to 41 young people from refugee communities and 47 from local communities. Sixteen of them had previously dropped out of education but jumped at the chance of getting back to school. They received psychosocial and academic support as well as referrals to relevant institutions.
The municipality organises regular stakeholder meetings to ensure that the measures taken correspond to the youth’s needs. As a result of these efforts, students have shown significant improvement in their personal lives and academic performance. The centre has already registered 1 200 interested candidates who wish to benefit from its services.