“It was an excellent experience. I loved this [soup kitchen] project and I hope I will be crowned with a certificate that I can use in the future. For me, it is the merging of cultures and traditions between the hosting and refugee societies.”
The Community Support Project implemented by Seyhan Municipality in Türkiye’s Adana province has been very successful in promoting social cohesion, particularly among Turkish women who participated in the project.
The majority of the women who participated in activities aimed at promoting social cohesion between refugees and members of the host community previously approached each other with high levels of suspicion and prejudice. As they live in different districts of the city, Syrian refugees and host community members had limited opportunities to interact and develop neighbourly relations.
Almost all Turkish women reported that they continued communicating with Syrian women even after the project activities had ended, and that they had formed new friendships with members of the Syrian community. The experience of Seyhan Municipality with social cohesion projects played a crucial role in achieving this positive change. An overwhelming majority of the women confirmed that participating in municipal activities provided a common space for Turkish and Syrian women to coexist, share their stories and problems as women, and develop strategies to cope with their challenges.