Launch of “Education Our Future,” A Photography Exhibition About Syrian Children Benefiting from a Conditional Cash Transfer Programme for Education in Turkey

Exhibit launches in Brussels, Belgium

23 July 2018
Portraits of the six Syrian children living in Turkey who benefited from the Conditional Cash Transfer Programme for Education, and who are featured in the photo exhibit “Education Our Future.”
UNICEF Turkey/Shehzad Noorani

Brussels, 23 July 2018 – A photography exhibition opened in Brussels today, showcasing the achievements of the Conditional Cash Transfer for Education (CCTE) Programme which has reached more than 356,000 Syrian and other refugee children in Turkey.

Entitled “Education Our Future,” the exhibition - displaying the stories of 6 Syrian Children benefitting from the CCTE - was inaugurated at the Sheraton Hotel, Zaventem International Airport in Brussels by Mr. Christos Stylianides, European Commissioner, Humanitarian Aid & Crisis Management; Ambassador Faruk Kaymakci, Permanent Delegate of Turkey to the EU in Brussels; Ms. Afshan Khan, UNICEF Regional Director, Europe and Central Asia; Mr. Kerem Kinik, President, Turkish Red Crescent; and Mr. Philippe Duamelle, UNICEF Representative in Turkey.

The 30-photograph exhibition reflects the importance of education in the lives of refugee children as well as the crucial role of the CCTE Programme. The exhibition reminds visitors about the resilience of refugee children who have spent many years away from their homeland, and the critical importance their education represents for the future. 

The CCTE Programme aims to encourage enrolment and improve school attendance of children. The programme also includes an important component that will ensure the identification and assessment of the most vulnerable children and their referral to complementary child protection services, as required. The CCTE programme is a national social assistance programme, implemented by the Ministry of Labour, Social Services and Family since 2003 and has been extended to Syrian and other refugee families in early 2017.  By May 2018, more than half of all refugee children enrolled in school, in Turkey had benefitted from the programme and more than 36,000 children had been reached through child protection outreach services.

The extension of the national CCTE programme to Syrians and other refugees is being implemented through a close partnership between the Ministry of Labour, Social Services and Family, the Ministry of National Education, the Turkish Red Crescent and UNICEF, and has been made possible by the financial support of the European Union, as well as from Norway and the United States.

Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Management Christos Stylianides said: "Education is the foundation of everything else. It is a fundamental right of all children, in particular in times of emergencies and crises. Almost half of the refugees hosted in Turkey, are children. I would like to thank UNICEF and the Turkish Red Crescent for our excellent cooperation.” I am proud to say that we exceeded our expectations: more than 350 thousand refugee children in Turkey benefit from our project. The EU is leading by example in the Education in Emergencies sector by aiming to bring humanitarian funding for education in emergencies to 10% in 2019."

Ambassador Faruk Kaymakci, Permanent Delegate of Turkey to the EU in Brussels, said: “Today we are hosting over 3,6 million Syrians under the temporary protection status in Turkey, half of them are children. Only 63 % of the school age Syrian children have access to education. This is a big challenge and We are relentlessly working to increase this number.” He continued,” The Conditional Cash Transfer for Education (CCTE) programme have today reached 356, 611 beneficiary Syrian children. For this success, we are grateful to the Commission and its implementing partners Kızılay and UNICEF. I consider today’s occasion as an opportunity to demonstrate our determination, as partners, to continue this programme in a larger scale for the coming years.”

The photo exhibition also includes a digital component at the Brussels Airport. The 10 digital screens placed in the departure hall featuring the portraits of children who benefit from the CCTE programme give travelers the opportunity to “e-meet” these children until 7 August 2018. 

“Every child has the right to learn, including children who have been uprooted from their homes due to conflict. Extending the Conditional Cash Transfer for Education programme in Turkey provides an excellent example of how existing systems, targeting a society’s most vulnerable, can also support children affected by humanitarian crisis,” said UNICEF’s Europe and Central Asia Regional Director and Special Coordinator for Refugee and Migrant Crisis in Europe, Ms. Afshan Khan. “The programme has reached more than 356,000 refugee children, thanks to strong partnerships with the Government of Turkey, the generous financial support of the European Union and other partners, as well as the continuous hard work of partners like the Turkish Red Crescent.”

The President of the Turkish Red Crescent, Mr. Kerem Kinik, declared: "Children have always been one of the most vulnerable groups Especially in times of crisis, they pay the highest price and bear the heaviest burden. Therefore, it has become an essential responsibility for many national & international actors to carry out activities for affected children as a priority group. It should be our priority to prevent, mitigate or end any protection risk and assist them to overcome the psychological effects of war. We should bring them hope for a better future." Mr. Kinik added; "I trust that this exhibition which takes place in Brussels airport, where thousands of people come through, will bring great opportunity to increase the awareness for the Conditional Cash Transfer for Education (CCTE) Programme implemented in Turkey and more importantly the future of refugee children which is our shared responsibility and future.”

For more information:

  • Stories of the 6 children: Link
  • CCTE Broshure: Link

About the European Commission's department for European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations (ECHO)
The European Union and its Member States are the world's leading donor of humanitarian aid. Through its civil protection and humanitarian aid operations department (ECHO), the European Commission helps over 120 million victims of conflict and disasters every year. With headquarters in Brussels and a global network of field offices, the Commission's civil protection and humanitarian aid operations department provides assistance to the most vulnerable people on the basis of humanitarian needs. For more information, please visit the European Commission's website.

For more information visit: http://ec.europa.eu/echo/index_en

About Turkish Red Crescent
Turkish Red Crescent provides aid for needy and defenseless people in disasters and usual periods as a proactive organization, developing cooperation in the society, providing safe blood and decreasing vulnerability. As an organization, which celebrates its 150th Anniversary, Turkish Red Crescent is also honored to be the European President of International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC)

For more information about Turkish Red Crescent and its work visit: www.kizilay.org.tr

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Sema Hosta
UNICEF Turkey
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Mathias Eick
European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid (ECHO)
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