IWD has been marked by Refugee Women in Gaziantep by a Women Only Festival and a Certificate Ceremony

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Women’s achievements and success of SADA Women-only Center (started its activities in September 2017) have been celebrated through a certificate ceremony and women only festival organised on the occasion of International Women’s Day. Over 300 refugee and host community women participated to the event.

Michele Ribotta, Deputy Regional Director a.i. of UN Women ECA Region and Fulya Vekiloğlu, Country Programme Manager in Turkey, Takumi Suemitsu, Second Secretary of Japanese Embassy to Turkey, Mustafa Yıldırım, Gaziantep Provincial Director of Family and Social Affairs, Ökkeş Demir, Gaziantep Provincial Director of Youth and Sports Programme, Manager of International Labour Organisation Turkey (ILO) Nejat Kocabay, Kadir Beyaztaş, Deputy General Coordinator of Association of Solidarity with Asylum Seekers and Immigrants (SGDD-ASAM), Önder Yalçın; Migration Affairs Branch Manager of Gaziantep Metropolitan Municipality have also attended to the programme.

Beneficiaries of SADA made short speeches stating the importance of having new livelihood skills to start a new life while receiving their certificates who were mostly from Halep, Syria. Following certificate ceremony SADA Women Choir sang songs in Turkish and Arabic languages. 

Following the certificate ceremony held in 7th of March, women only festival have been organised on 8th of March in Şato Restaurant in Gaziantep with the participation of over 300 refugee and local women. Women have presented their products which they have learnt to made within the vocational courses of SADA Center, sang songs, displayed theatre plays, read poems and short stories and celebrated women solidarity with dances.

Women and their children have flied balloons in orange and blue colours to refer “freedom” and “peace”.

SADA Beneficiaries celebrated IWD in Gaziantep. Photo: UN Women
SADA Beneficiaries celebrated IWD in Gaziantep. Photo: UN Women

SADA Women Only Center has been established in September 2017, with the financial assitance of the Japanese Government in the scope of “Gaziantep Women-Only Center: Providing Livelihood Support Project which is implemented under the leadership of UN Women in close cooepration with the Association of Solidarity with Asylum Seekers and Immigrants (SGDD-ASAM), International Labor Organization (ILO) and Gaziantep Metropolitan Municipality. This year in 2018; EU has initiated financial support to the Center activities under the EU Regional Trust Fund within the EU Facility for Refugees in Turkey (FRiT) in response to the Syrian crisis. 

SADA Women only Center aims to support the empowerment of women and their engagement in social activities and the labour force, and the acquisition of the necessary skills and knowledge to take up new jobs and establish businesses, will improve women’s economic situation and overall safety, while reducing the tendency to resort to negative copying mechanisms. Furthermore Center targets to strengthen greater engagement between refugee and host community women – both socially and politically – will help to eradicate negative stereotypes within communities, and ensure long-term social cohesion and stability. Hense; Center is supposed to be an unique model is extensive collaboration among Project partners and local stakeholders. From the beginning of Syrian Crises all relevant institutions, Turkish authorities, international UN agencies and NGOs have close cooperation to respond the needs.

As of February 2018 in 5 months time; 1147 women has been registered to the Center to benefit from the relevant services and courses. Most of the applicants were Syrian; but host community women in Gaziantep, as well as  Afgani, Irani and other nationality refugee women have also attend to the Center facilities.

In SADA Center; vocational courses are organised by ILO Office in Turkey on Turkish language, computer use, patient registration, packaging, hair-dressing and skin care. All courses are delivered in the context of adult education of the Ministry of National Education (MoNE), and those who successfully complete the courses are awarded MoNE-approved certificates.

In SADA also there is a nursery for beneficiary women’s children to ease their participation to the services.