CCTE Helps Muhammed to Continue His Daughter's Education

CCTE Helps Muhammed to Continue His Daughter's Education

UNICEF
ŞEY Desteği Muhammet’in Kızının Eğitimini Sürdürmesine Yardımcı Oldu
UNICEF
02 November 2020

Turkey is home to over 4 million refugees, migrants and asylum seekers, the largest number in the world. Nearly 3.6 million are Syrian, including over 1.6 million children. More than 680,000 refugee children have enrolled in school but some of them are still missing out on their education because of financial and non-financial barriers.

“When the resources are limited, everything becomes more delicate and more sensitive” says Muhammed, the father of Ayaat (10) who came with his daughter to meet with us at the Turkish Red Crescent Community Center. “If you have enough budget to cover your basic needs, you always need to set your priorities and I believe the education of my daughter is a priority. The challenge is when the financial constraints starts affecting your basic needs, then you feel obliged to sacrifice some of these priorities” Muhammed adds. When Muhammed and his family came to Konya in 2017, they faced some economic challenges and Ayaat missed part of the school year until her father learned about the Conditional Cash Transfer for Education (CCTE) programme. “Once I learned about this programme, I was very happy to know that our financial limitations would not be an obstacle for my girl to continue her education. We prepared all the needed papers and eventually we were enrolled in the programme and Ayaat started going to school.”

ŞEY Desteği Muhammet’in Kızının Eğitimini Sürdürmesine Yardımcı Oldu
UNICEF

The CCTE programme aims to encourage school enrolment and improve school attendance of Syrian and other refugee children. It also includes a child protection component that ensures that the most vulnerable refugee children are identified and supported in accessing services, as required. The CCTE is a national social assistance programme which has been implemented by the Ministry Family, Labour and Social Services since 2003. In early 2017 it was extended to Syrian and other refugee families and is being implemented through a close partnership between the Ministry of Family, Labour and Social Services, the Ministry of National Education, the Turkish Red Crescent and UNICEF. The extension of the programme has been made possible by the generous financial support of the European Union (EU) and is also supported by the Governments of Norway and the United States of America.

Later during the school year, Ayaat was not feeling well and she was absent from school for more than five days. The CCTE protection team conducted a household visit to check the reasons behind Ayaat’s absenteeism. “The case worker came to check why Ayaat was absent from school, so I informed them that she was not feeling very well and had been at home for the past few days. The team explained to me that I needed to get a health report and submit it to Ayaat’s school” Muhammed explains. “They also explained to me that the financial assistance provided as part of this programme is conditional on Ayaat’s regular attendance. Thanks to this visit, we submitted the medical report to the school and we now continue to receive the assistance” he concluded. While the cash transfers support families to finance their children’s education, the child protection visits ensure that families have access to the right information and are supported in accessing services.

ŞEY Desteği Muhammet’in Kızının Eğitimini Sürdürmesine Yardımcı Oldu
UNICEF

Ayaat wants to become a teacher. “I always think teachers have the best job in the world. They help children know and understand many things about life” she explains. “I am very happy at school; I made many new friends and my teachers always helped me, especially at the beginning when my Turkish was not very good. When I grow up I want to become a language teacher, you see when children know how to talk the language properly they can communicate with their friends, express their ideas and dreams to build a better future for themselves” she concludes. 

When we asked her what she did during the closure of schools due to COVID-19 pandemic, she replied “At the beginning I did not understand what was going on, my father explained to me what was happening and I tried to stay in touch with my friends and teachers through phone. I did not miss one lesson on TV and my family helped me to continue learning, but really I missed my school so much.”

ŞEY Desteği Muhammet’in Kızının Eğitimini Sürdürmesine Yardımcı Oldu
UNICEF

Muhammed added “I believe in education and I will do my best to ensure that my daughter realize her dream to become a teacher. As our ancestors once said; 'Education is like a light bulb and those who miss it live in darkness' and I would never want my daughter to live in darkness.”