Political, economic and social impacts of Syrian civil war are becoming deeper not only in the Middle East, but also in various regions of the world. And the main victims of this war are the children who have to share their families’ struggle for life. Within the scope of Social Protection Project, we, as WALD, constantly perform activities and events to reduce social isolation especially among women and children, create environments in which they can freely express themselves, and ensure their socialization. 

Mentorship aims to provide students with the support that they need throughout their education-training processes accurately in all aspects to help students achieve their university goals. Primarily aiming to enhance social cohesion and ensure socialization, Mentorship Project focuses on activities organized by volunteer university or high school students intended for children who have social cohesion problem or are socially isolated. Mentorship aims to provide students with the support that they need throughout their education-training processes accurately in all aspects to help students achieve their university goals. 

As per our observations in the field and feedbacks from counselees in terms of social cohesion, it has been determined that refugee children have a social isolation problem and difficulty in teamwork and communication skills. In this regard, pilot activities “Design A Story” and “Rights (Child Rights and Animal Rights)” were conducted on April 24 and 26 with refugee and local children in collaboration with Avcılar Social Protection Desk and Avcılar Municipality. It will help children establish active communications/relationships and get socialized.  In addition to pilot activities, topics such as technology addiction, peer bullying, and gender equality were also covered during this three-week training. We plan to maintain this project throughout the whole summer by our expert psychologists, Social Service Expert of Avcılar Municipality and volunteer interns. 

In this regard, refugee and local students were provided with mentorship under the leadership of Kağıthane Social Protection Desk in 2019. Mentorship program is based on the fact that each student is special. The program is organized to inform the students about the formats of Foreign Student Exam (YÖS) and Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT) and help them get prepared for these exams accordingly. Moreover, the program also informs about graduation certificates given by overseas education institutions to Syrian senior students who are studying in high school and under temporary protection status in Turkey or provides information about the conditions for certificate of equivalence for students who receive education in Temporary Education Centers in Turkey as stipulated by the Ministry of National Education.

After sharing information about Social Protection Project, graduate students who faced similar problems as Syrian students came together with Syrian students to exchange information, skills and experiences in terms of career and business life within an interactive learning environment. The aim was to prepare students for the university life they were about to start while supporting their access to knowledge, experience and sources toward their personal and professional developments. Additionally, the project also focused on helping these students know themselves, develop self-confidence and career awareness, and become individuals who were able to manage themselves. At the end of the event, students shared their feedbacks that it greatly helped them to exchange knowledge and experience on setting future goals, wishing to meet again on a regular basis. In line with this, the Mentorship Activity that we conducted under the leadership of Avcılar Social Protection Desk was completed in 2019. Throughout the event accompanied with Raha Hamidi, a student of Department of Computer Engineering of Nişantaşı University, expert psychologists and interpreters of WALD, various activities were hosted every week such as internet addiction, storytelling and picture analyses; and some activities focused on active and efficient communication among children.