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Press Centre (12/2014)

Parenting training for the Syrian people in Turkey


@UNICEF/Turkey-2014/Yurtsever
ADANA, Turkey, December 2014 – A group of Syrian volunteers have received special training in Adana, southern Turkey, in a bid to tackle family and social difficulties faced by their country’s refugees. The Training of Trainers (ToT) session held in Adana on December 9-12 as part of the Parenting Training Program has been specially designed for Syrian people.

Organized within the scope of cooperation between AFAD, the Ministry of Family and Social Policies and UNICEF, the training hosted a total of 26 Syrian candidate trainers, including 18 candidates from Elbeyli Beşiriye Camp and 8 candidates from Adana Sarıçam Camp.
 
Throughout the four-day training, 16 male and 10 female participants receive training on Marriage and Family Life, Family Life Skills, School and Family, Healthy Life and Prevention of Diseases, Child and Teenager Health, Reproductive Health, Healthy Motherhood, First Aid, Localization, Child Protection and Methodology while taking part in workshops on these subjects.
 
UNICEF’s parenting standards define what parents should know and do to advance their young children’s health, development, and education.  Parenting standards  are for parenting behaviours, caregiving practices, stimulating and supportive experiences, and opportunities for learning.  For example, standards such as the frequency of shared book reading or the presence of printed materials in the home could be considered within the realm of stimulating and supportive parenting standards.  
 
Danya Hamışlı, a trainer in Kilis Elbeyli Camp, says children, and especially girls are more prone to psychological problems when trying to deal with war and life as a refugee. “They don’t get to talk about these problems with their families. As they have no one to guide them, these problems grow bigger and bigger. This is a major issue. Young people feel idle as they have nothing to in the camps.”
 
 
Addressing the problems of girls
 
Girls are especially vulnerable, she says, because they are exposed to early marriages followed by divorces come as another major issue. “One other problem is teenage pregnancy” suggests Danya. She says some girls get pregnant when they are in the ninth grade.
 
Danya believes this problem could be solved: “It would really help if some people were assigned in schools to provide psychological support for children. This is because children avoid directly going to centers where they could receive psychological support. But, if that support were to be provided here at school, it wouldn’t be a problem for them.”
 
Danya attended a training session for Syrians in Adana. This session is the first step of the training program designed for adults who had to flee their country due to the conflict in Syria and move to Turkey.

New trainings in new year...
 
Training of trainers is planned to be completed during the first quarter of 2015; the aim is to deliver the Parenting Training Program to all adults living in camps in one year through the Syrian trainers who have successfully completed the training. The next objective is to initiate parenting training for Syrian families who live outside the camps.
 
UNICEF Turkey’s Child Protection Officers said: “We aim to disseminate this work through Syrian trainers, first in camps and then outside. Before this training, we took some preparatory steps such as consultation of Syrian representatives on the adaptation of the national Turkish training package, translation into Arabic, identification of Syrian trainers etc. In the scope of the ToT, 19 modules have been adapted and translated, thousands of material ready to sensitize parents, and numbers of parents planned to be trained by each team of Syrian trainers.”

“I believe, if psychological guidance at schools was ensured, it would be a substantial achievement. We are here on a temporary basis. Our focus is on constructing a new Syria. That is why we have been requesting such a training. If we manage to convey what we’ve leant here to the parents, we can achieve one hundred per cent success, I would say. Moreover, cultural values, traditions and customs must be taken into account while planning trainings for parents.” Danya said.
 


Story and photos by Ayberk Yurtsever
 
UNICEF Turkey Country Office, Yukarı Dikmen Mah. Alexsander Dubçek Cd. 7/106, 06450 Çankaya/Ankara. Telephone: +90 312 454 1000 Fax: +90 312 496 1461 E-mail: ankara@unicef.org