A new Children’s Life Center in Adıyaman to empower children

29 April 2024
UNICEF
UNICEF

ANKARA, 29 April 2024 – The Adıyaman “Children's Life Center was officially opened today with the participation of Ms. Leman Yenigün, the Deputy Minister of Family and Social Services, Mr. Paolo Marchi, UNICEF Representative to Türkiye and  İpek Kıraç, the Founder of Suna'nın Kızları. The opening ceremony, attended by stakeholders and children benefitting from the center, underscores the joint commitment to supporting children in disaster-affected areas. The introduction of the center highlights the importance of safe spaces for children and adolescents, providing them with security, both physically and emotionally, and facilitating access to essential services for their recovery and empowerment.

In response to the February 6 earthquakes, the Adıyaman Children's Life Center is dedicated to ensuring the well-being of all children aged 12-18. It provides support for their social interactions and creates safe environments for them to learn and grow together. Through collaborative efforts between the Ministry of Family and Social Services, UNICEF, and Suna’nın Kızları, five Children's Life Centers in Adıyaman, Hatay, Kahramanmaraş and Şanlıurfa started serving to children.

In the Children's Life Centers workshops are conducted to support the physical and emotional well-being of children, by equipping them with soft skills for creative thinking, learning and claiming their rights and developing a sense of belonging and engaging in their communities. UNICEF-developed programmess aimed at empowering and developing skills for girls to prevent child, early and forced marriage are also conducted in these centers. Outreach efforts continue in disadvantaged areas through mobile units. The partnership has reached more than 35,000 people in the past 6 months.

Children’s participation in decision-making processes

The Children's Life Centers are providing opportunities to children for their voices  and opinions to be heard. From art and movement-focused activities to cinema workshops and volleyball tournaments, the daily activities of all centers are determined by the children. Workshops and training sessions are also conducted for the families of children benefiting from the Children's Life Centers. Educational programmes are also organized for children in surrounding schools.

Speaking at the official opening of the Adıyaman - Central Container City Children's Life Center, İpek Kıraç, the Founder of Suna's Daughters, said, "In the Children's Life Center, which we have implemented in collaboration with the Ministry of Family and Social Services and UNICEF, we aim to provide children with a space where they can socialize with their friends, develop their skills, participate in decision-making processes, have areas where they can be alone when they wish, and engage in activities with their peers. It is gratifying to see what children can do in these communities where they can participate in decisions that concern them, learn from each other's differences, change their environment, and feel safe. As children's capabilities increase, our belief in a safer tomorrow also increases." Kıraç thanked Suna'nın Kızları's partners for supporting their efforts and contributing to the physical and emotional well-being of children through programs, workshops, and activities.

UNICEF Representative to Türkiye, Mr. Paolo Marchi underlined that, "UNICEF is investing in these Children's Life Centers to gives girls the space, opportunity and ability to improve not just their own psychosocial wellbeing; but also contribute to the wellbeing of their families and communities. Our hope is that the resilient and empowered girls that benefit from the Centres today, will be an inspiration for countless others girls in the future.”

Speaking at the official opening of the Child Life Center located in the Container City in Adıyaman Center, Deputy Minister of Family and Social Services Leman Yenigün said, “We continue to improve the quality of our services in order to improve the living conditions of children and ensure that they grow up in healthy environments. By creating family-oriented policies, we strengthen our protective and preventive services with supportive activities in areas such as education, health and counseling. With Child Life Centers, we aim to increase children's access to protective and preventive services and support their psychosocial development in regions affected by disasters. The proliferation of Child Life Centers is also of great importance in terms of early identification of children's needs. I would like to thank Suna’nın Kızları and UNICEF for their efforts and contributions to the establishment of this Life Center where children can socialize and develop themselves by participating in decision-making processes.”

Media contacts

Sema Hosta
Chief of Communication
UNICEF in Türkiye
Tel: + 90 312 454 10 10

About UNICEF

UNICEF works in some of the world’s toughest places, to reach the world’s most disadvantaged children. Across more than 190 countries and territories, we work for every child, everywhere, to build a better world for everyone.

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About Suna'nın Kızları

Suna'nın Kızları was established within the Suna and İnan Kıraç Foundation in 2021 to perpetuate the educational efforts, values, goals and vision of Suna Kıraç, a businesswoman who made significant contributions to the development of industry, education, culture and arts in our country. Aiming to create supportive and safe environments for children, Suna'nın Kızları works with 31 non-governmental organizations to respond to the unique needs of girls, while facilitating access to available services for all children and supporting programs that empower them.