Adolescent engagement and social cohesion
In Turkey, UNICEF supports Syrian and Turkish adolescent and youth to broaden their opportunities for participation in social life.
UNICEF and partners understand that if adolescents, especially those in the most challenging circumstances, receive the support to be emotionally healthy, develop fundamental knowledge, skills and attitudes and be actively involved in matters that concern and interest them…
…. and if they have safe, accessible channels to interact and connect actively with peers, families, communities, and, have a conducive environment and institutions that are responsive to them and to the ideas and priorities they express…
… then, they will be more likely to build sustained social connections, and positively influence and contribute to Turkey’s stability and prosperity.
UNICEF and partners, contribute to:
- Increasing meaningful participation opportunities for Turkish and Syrian adolescents and youth (12-25 years of age) to engage in peer and social dialogue as active agents of change;
- Promoting positive social capital and social cohesion among communities hosting large numbers of refugees.
- Supporting a variety of centers and safe spaces throughout Turkey, which offer a range of positive development and engagement activities for young people as well as other services.
- Opening space and systems for adolescent and youth engagement through the provincial Child Rights Committees
- Supporting youth and adolescents in putting their ideas and solutions into action
The Social Cohesion Programme is currently being implemented in provinces and primarily targets Syrian and Turkish adolescents and youth.
UNICEF supports the government partners including the Ministry of Labour and Social Services (MoLSS), the Ministry of Youth and Sports (MoYSP) and the Southeast Anatolia Project (GAP) Administration as well as international and national NGO partners with the aim of creating a robust and extensive network for young people in host communities. This investment in expanding the reach of social cohesion initiatives enables UNICEF to support young people in need on a wider scale.
Under the Child Friendly Cities initiative, UNICEF trained Adolescent and Youth volunteers as trainers on the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC), adolescent and youth engagement, and how to build more child-friendly cities and neighbourhoods.
UNICEF and its partners have increasingly recognized that the most effective way to work for young people is to work with them leading to a shift, from the focus on “child participation” to “Adolescent and Youth Engagement.”
In multi-purpose Community Centers (CATOM) UNICEF supported Girl and Adolescent Friendly Activities continue to provide life skills development for Turkish and Syrian young people, especially girls, through activities to support their emotional and social wellbeing, learning and use of essential skills, and opportunities for active involvement in projects that match their interests. Among these initiatives is a comprehensive life skills programme for Syrian and Turkish adolescent girls living in low-income settings with a high number of refugees.