Peer Bullying and Child Rights Seminars

Our partner in Istanbul, Küçükçekmece Municipality, seeks to provide services for all community members to enable a better future for all. A Needs Analysis Report published by the municipality in February 2021 identified bullying as an urgent problem at local schools. The municipality, in cooperation with the national education authorities in the district, organised a series of bullying and child rights seminars to address the issue.

77.3% of Syrians surveyed for the needs analysis conducted by Küçükçekmece Municipality reported that their children were exposed to violence and bullying at the hands of their peers. Based on this fact, the seminars are organised with the participation of psychologists focusing on bullying and child rights. They are held at schools where refugee children receive education in cooperation with district national education authorities.

Küçükçekmece Municipality is also highlighting the issue of bullying in coordination mechanisms with relevant local actors and is developing further projects to tackle the challenge.

Eat Healthy, Live Active

In cooperation with Kahramanmaraş Municipality, our local partner İSAR Association started implementing the “Steps to Sports” project. The project aims at raising awareness among school-age children about healthy eating and active living. Sports courses will continue for five months for 70 children from refugee and host communities to contribute to social cohesion and help children develop healthy habits at an early age.

At the start of the project, baselines were taken concerning, for example, strength, flexibility, and other health indicators. The measurements are repeated monthly to monitor the progress of the children. Children received advice on healthy snacks from a licensed dietitian. Furthermore, each child will be interviewed at least once during the project to give them a voice to share their experiences.

Qudra 2 Supports UMT In Strengthening Its Capacity

Twenty staff of the Union of Municipalities in Turkey (UMT) were trained on EU project management methodology and the EU’s Practical Guide to Contract Procedures (“PRAG”). The participants received computer training to improve their computing skills.

Qudra 2 supports UMT in strengthening its capacity to facilitate municipalities’ access to external funding sources. Many municipalities in Turkey have limited resources and networks to access external funding to address the consequences of calamities like the Syrian refugee crisis. A strengthened UMT will be able to support municipalities in handling grants and implementing projects that will ultimately benefit local communities.

People In Iraq Depend On Agriculture and Food Production For Their Livelihoods

Many people in Iraq depend on agriculture and food production for their livelihoods.

Qudra 2 focuses on supporting employment and income generation for the most vulnerable. Together with our local partner, Rehabilitation, Education and Community Health (REACH), eight main irrigation canals have been rehabilitated in Kirkuk, Iraq to create the basis for a more productive agricultural economy. The infrastructure improvements benefit hundreds of farms.

In addition, 62 vulnerable farmers were directly supported through agriculture grants, training and individual veterinary visits and consultations. Also, 33 people received training and in-kind grants. For some, this was seed funding to establish a start-up. In contrast, for others, it was a business development grant for their small business to increase revenue and potentially employ more people.

To show vulnerable farmers alternatives to their current practices that build on their existing resources, the Qudra 2 programme and the experts of Permaculture Resources Ireland have set up a demonstration farm in Ayadiyah, Nineveh. The farm is located on land allocated by the Directorate of Agriculture.

So far, 84 men have received training on permaculture. Trainees were encouraged to value a diversity of crops, taught how to cultivate soil and harvest more water, and how to combine animal and plant systems.

By diversifying crops away from monocultures, farmers can generate more stable incomes and promote sustainability. Building soil, and managing plant and animal systems, reduces their dependency on external inputs such as fertilisers. They will receive a grant to put their learning to practice. The trainees will be supported with monitoring visits and mentoring sessions for the next six months to ensure that the support provided has an impact.

Additional training is planned for 56 women to support them in producing food to meet their families’ basic needs.

Qudra 2 and Permaculture Resources Ireland also provided introductory training for 20 women from Qudra 2’s local partner Amalna Centre in Mosul. The garden of the community centre , which generally provides MHPSS services primarily to local women, was designed together with the women to create a safe, productive, and beautiful space. The garden also demonstrates urban agriculture methods such as growing food in small places, using water efficiently and producing on vertical surfaces – all by reusing materials available at home. A second training phase will focus specifically on creating direct income-generating options.

Harvest Time in Iraq

Qudra 2, in cooperation with the private sector, continues its efforts to get young people into jobs by supporting training courses in sectors where employers are looking for employees.

In Iraq, almost 50% of agricultural production is destroyed before reaching the final consumer. Al-Aghsan Foundation for Agriculture & Environment Development has supported the participants in its greenhouse training to find eco-friendly and economical ways to bring their crops to market.

390 young people who participated in practical training now know better how to pack, transport, and sell their products with fewer losses, helping them to grow their businesses.

Training and Work-Based Learning (WBL) for Better Employment Chances

In cooperation with our partners, 1,700 youth have been enrolled in training courses based on the work-based learning (WBL) methodology developed by Qudra 2 in consultation with Jordanian stakeholders. WBL gives youth the chance to gain real-world work experience that will equip them with the practical skills that employers look for, thereby increasing their chances of finding a job.

The training courses are provided to youth and women residing in Jordan’s most vulnerable locations, including refugee camps. The focus is on semi-skilled professions such as sewing or dough-making. Of 1,700 trainees, almost 1,000 have completed their training, and 750 are participating in training. More than 300 Jordanian and Syrian youth have found a job already.

Developing the Skills that Can Land Jobs

Mafraq Governorate hosts the highest number of Syrian refugees. In cooperation with our local partner, National Employment & Training (NET), Qudra 2 supports training courses that address the needs and gaps in the labour market.

In Mafraq Governorate, Jordan, Qudra 2’s local partner National Employment & Training (NET), provided sewing courses for 25 women. The courses are held in centres close to their homes, making it easier for women to attend and reducing the risk of drop-outs in a neighbourhood where many women are reluctant to leave their houses.

In this one-month training course, women learnt new skills in tailoring and sewing. Their new skills improve their chances in the labour market. Of the 25 participants, two women started their own home-based business, and four women are employed and earn a living by sewing.

Qudra 2 Resilience Dialogues #5: Providing Quality Mental Health and Psychosocial Support for All

According to a study by the World Health Organisation (WHO), 1 in 5 people affected by forced displacement suffer from mental illness. Many more suffer from trauma, stress, and other forms of vulnerability, which are exacerbated by the economic and COVID-19 crises that led, for example, to increased rates of domestic violence, among other challenges.

The fifth Resilience Dialogue hosted by the Qudra 2 programme tackled the topic of quality mental health and psychosocial support for all. The session brought together practitioners from local and international implementing partners and donor representatives to share good practices and experiences.

Towards a More Inclusive Basic Service Delivery

In Turkey, Community Support Projects (CSPs) support municipalities in making services better and more inclusive. One focus of CSPs has been on providing more and better psychosocial support (PSS). Through community projects, municipalities provide accessible services, raise awareness of mental health issues, and reduce the stigma surrounding mental health.

For example, Şanlıurfa Metropolitan Municipality established a help desk and a mobile health team under the Migration Department of the Municipality. The project aimed to reach out to individuals with disabilities and chronic diseases living in rural areas with limited access to health and psychosocial services. 2,000 people with disabilities have benefited from the PSS sessions. The sessions were conducted through household visits or provided in the health centre of the migration department. Usually, one session is held to identify if there is an acute problem and depending on the need, clients are referred to relevant institutions.

In Istanbul, Küçükçekmece Municipality established the Migrant and Refugee Coordination Center established to offer PSS services to refugees. Psychologists offer advice to refugees and recommend those who have more severe mental health issues to hospital psychiatric facilities. The center also attempts to help people fit into the community and build relationships, thereby increasing persons’ overall well-being. 400 people are expected to benefit from the support.

Overall, 4,185 women and children have benefited from PSS services provided under the CSPs so far. 1,016 children and youth participated in protection activities through arts and sports.

Training Journalists on Refugee Stories

The right storytelling can be a powerful tool in educating and informing the public about the state of the refugees, and foster accountability on the part of the authorities, promoting justice and equity.

In Lebanon, the second round of the “Covering Refugee Stories” workshop has been organised from May 30 to June 3 in cooperation with the Al Jazeera Media Institute.

Fourteen Syrian and Lebanese journalists, of whom 50% were women, learned the necessary tools and skills to cover refugees’ stories in a professional and humane manner. This included advice on how to plan their stories, how to conduct themselves ethically in the field and document human rights abuses.

The opportunity that CFI gave us, to get training on covering refugee issues, allowed us to see from a professional angle the coverage of all human rights issues. For me, the most beautiful part was learning how to humanize the subjects and numbers. During the training workshop, the trainer focused on the strength of the journalist and his ability to change the balance of power, and advocate for refugee issues by covering them properly, emphasizing that the press is the fourth authority in society. The trainer not only gave us information about how to cover refugee issues, but also made us benefit from his field experience, highlighting the challenges that we can face when reporting.

Joelle Abdel Aaal – freelance journalist (Lebanon)