Cehed and Şan Hold Tight to Their Education For A Better Future
Looking to the future with hope thanks to the “Conditional Cash Transfer for Education" (CCTE) Programme, Şan and Cehed's biggest dreams are to become a teacher and a policeman.
Ankara, Türkiye, 20 September 2022- “I want to be a teacher because I want to improve myself and help other students” says 11-year-old Şan, laughing shyly. She and her family applied to the Turkish Red Crescent Community Center with the guidance of her school. However, before that, it was a difficult process for her family because they came to Türkiye illegally from Aleppo eight years ago and they did not have their identity cards upon their arrival. Despite all difficulties, their mother enrolled all five of their children in school as soon as they arrived. The family, whose three children also benefit from the Conditional Cash Transfer for Education (CCTE) programme, states that the Turkish Red Crescent constantly informs them about the available services through home visits.
Şan's mother says she is very proud of her daughter. “Her teachers always speak very good about Şan. After the CCTE programme, we are more comfortable buying school supplies” she says.
“My favorite game to play with my best friend Zeynep is hide and seek. The first day of school was very good because I played games and made new friends.” Şan says that she improved her language by speaking Turkish with her friends. Şan, who suddenly warms up to having her photos taken, smiles and poses for photos many times.
She is just one of the thousands of children that CCTE programme has reached. The child protection component of the CCTE programme is implemented in the 15 provinces with the highest number of refugees, in addition, 2 mobile teams in Adıyaman and Black Sea region cover adjacent provinces. The aim of the programme is to reduce child protection risks, which are closely related to socio-economic disadvantage.
The eyes of Cehed, the 10-year-old son of the Ali family, are also full of hope. When we ask Cehed's mother about her dream job for her son, she says that this is Cehed's life and that he must draw his own path. Cehed said, “My favorite subject is maths, but when I grow up, I want to be a police officer to provide security”.
The Ali family came to Türkiye from Aleppo nine years ago because of the war. The family, who lived in a refugee camp in Şanlıurfa for about three years, later came to Ankara. When the Ali family visited the Turkish Red Crescent Community Center and enrolled in the CCTE programme five years ago, Cehed's grandfather says that this gave them hope because they could now afford Cehed’s school uniforms and even buy him toys. Cehed, on the other hand, loves to play with these toys, but says that his favorite thing is to play together with his friends.
The CCTE programme aims to encourage school enrolment and improve school attendance of Syrian and other refugee children. It includes a child protection component that ensures that the most vulnerable refugee children are identified and supported in accessing complementary services as required. The CCTE is a national social assistance programme which has been implemented by the Ministry of Family 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 and Social Services, the Ministry of National Education, the Turkish Red Crescent and UNICEF. Since 2017, the CCTE programme has reached 811,181 refugee children in Türkiye. 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.