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Entrepreneurship and product/service development trainings for refugee adolescents and youth (15-25 age)

To improve self esteem and develop skills of refugee youth with providing with trainings with a wide range of contents of entrepreneurship

Photo of Büşra Kara
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What problem does the idea help to solve and how does your solution work? (2,000 characters maximum)

Among the 70.8 million displaced people in the world, nearly 6% of them are living in Turkey. Although unregistered displaced people are not known precisely, almost 50 % of the registered Syrian refugees is comprised of under 18 years old, the most vulnerable group in conflicts. Since all displaced people are seeking opportunities many face negative circumstances like participating unskilled labor force forced/early marriage, living below the poverty line and deterioration of physiological health because of social cohesion problems. Syrian youth refugees face difficulties in terms of enrollment formal and informal education opportunities, language barriers, early/forced marriages and social problems. Along with the institutions of Government, Turkish Red Crescent (TRC) and international partners are implementing activities to meet basic needs but further and more need-oriented projects are needed to be developed to integrated Syrian youth to skilled labor force in Turkey. TRC with its Child & Youth Centers and Community Centers in all over the Turkey is implementing different programs for adults, adolescents and children and aims to implement “Entrepreneurship & Product Development training” for 15-25 age group to enhance their skills and improve their self-esteem. Since informal education opportunities (vocational education etc.) is insufficient for Arabic speaking Syrian youth and adolescent, TRC will be providing a more broad-content skill development course for them in Arabic. This course content will include first steps of entrepreneurship such as; need assessment, business plan, marketing strategy, communication strategy, products/service design, labor market laws, e-commerce etc. The main aim of this project to encourage Syrian adolescents who are forced or risk of to work or make an early marriage and develop their entrepreneurships skills to be able to create new opportunities for themselves.

Geography of focus (500 characters)

Turkey-TRC founded Community Centers and Child&Youth Centers in different cities of Turkey where refugees are highly populated. Project will be in this 18 Centers which are located in 15 different cities (Şanlıurfa, İstanbul Sultanbeyli, İstanbul Bağcılar, Konya, Ankara, Kilis, Bursa, İzmir, Adana, Kocaeli, Mersin, K.maraş, Gaziantep, Hatay, Mardin and Kayseri) in Tukey.

Building Bridges: What bridge does your idea build between people on the move and neighbors towards a shared future of stability and promise? (500 characters)

Although Syrian and Turkish people has a mutual history and similarities of their cultures,relations between two communities started a new path and needed to be strengthened to improve social harmonization as”refugee”and“host community”.Most active inclusion of two communities is seen economic relations and that leads to help people understand each other better. As Syrian youth participate Turkish economy as entrepreneurs who create solutions for the benefit of communities will enhance naturally

What human need is your idea solving for? (1,000 characters)

Child labor in different sectors has been a long-standing, pervasive problem in Turkey – predating the arrival of Syrian refugees. According to the State Institute of Statistics’ (TUIK) most recent survey which dates back to 2012, there are approximately one million children working in dangerous or unhealthy conditions in Turkey, of which 400,000 are employed in seasonal agricultural work. Since many of the Syrian adults and children participated informal labor market in Turkey, aforementioned numbers are increased rapidly. Due to the economic reasons Syrian adolescents are forced to work and their chance to enroll informal education institutions (apprenticeship courses etc.) are very low due to the language barriers. TRC have been providing psychological support services for children and vocational education courses for adults in Arabic so far. With this project, TRC will be providing Arabic skill development courses in flexible hours (not w. hours) if needed and in Arabic for youth.

What will be different within the community of focus as a result of implementing your idea? (1,000 characters)

Young refugees will receive training as a first step for entrepreneurship. At the end of this process, they will have the necessary qualifications to apply for the support of entrepreneurship funds and government incentives of SMEs in Turkey. They will have the necessary skills for access to the labor market, most importantly, they will learn the steps of developing products/services for the needs of the society in which they are located and how to start marketing them. The outcomes of the project will be determined by the number of young people who have completed the course. The data of these young people who took steps in entrepreneurship will show the outputs of the project.

What is the inspiration behind your idea? (1,000 characters)

Refugees suffer from overbearing challenges on a daily basis, including language barriers, lack of resources, unfamiliar legal systems, and limited access to capital. This Project will support young refugees how to dealing with these challenges. Even if they do not continue their education, Syrian youth between the ages of 14 and 18 have resilience to the difficulties they face on a daily basis. They want to improve themselves. One of the most important examples of this is that they eagerly participated in the activities of physiological support program activities in TRC’s centers and Volunteer Program. Nearly 4000 adolescents have successfully participated TRC’s Volunteer Program (for 14-18 years) since 2103 and take part in TRC’s centers as a leader/volunteer at peer-to-peer activities. Many of these refuge volunteers were out of school and working. TRC would like to direct their energy, motivation in a good way by providing opportunities for them.

Describe the dynamics of the community in which the idea is to be implemented. (1,000 characters)

According to Turkish Government statistics, there are more than 3.5 million registered Syrian refugees in Turkey (3,639,705), out of whom 1,658,482 are children. In addition, there are approximately 365,000 non-Syrian refugees and refugees, most of which are from Afghanistan, Iraq and Iran, almost 120,000 of them are children. One of the most important concerns for refugees is child labor. Most parents are forced to send their kids to work due to the poverty. With ineffective control on employment and labor market, employers prefer to recruit children who are paid low wages, thereby enabling them to make higher profits. Syrian young refugees face problems in the labor markets such as low wages, long working hours, employment without social insurance, late payment or non-payment of the wages, discrimination at the workplace, etc. Moreover, some young girls get married before completing their education due to insufficient economic conditions.

How does your idea leverage and empower community strengths and assets to help create an environment for success? (1,000 characters)

Turkish Red Crescent have been implementing several projects for refugees in Turkey since its foundation in 1886. After the Syrian conflict, several programs are started with the contribution of UN braches, IFRC braches and other international stakeholders to intervene one of the most catastrophic humanitarian disaster so far. Different programs are being implemented to provide emergency reliefs as well as the economic and psychosocial support so far. Two of them: • Kızılaykart Programme: Humanitarian cash assistance aiming to meet the basic needs of foreigners living in Turkey under Temporary Protection and International Protection. (1- debit card with a fixed amount of money every month 2- providing families cash transfers to increase enrollment of refugee children to schools) • Psychosocial Support Program are performed in Child & Youth Friendly Spaces with the aim of supporting children’s resilience and coping mechanisms

What other partners or stakeholders will work alongside you in implementing the idea, if any? (1,000 characters)

It is planned to get support from legal firms and consulting firms during the project which specialized regarding laws regarding Turkish labor market, e-commerce, opening a company, products design etc. So far vocational trainings have been carried out by TRC in cooperation with organizations such as UN and IFRC.

What part of the displacement journey is your solution addressing

  • Arriving and settling at a destination community

Tell us how you'd describe the type of innovation you are proposing

  • Channel: A new way to deliver existing products or services to customers or end users

Idea Proposal Stage

  • Blueprint: We are exploring the idea and gathering the inspiration and information we need to test it with real users.

Group or Organization Name

Turkish Red Crescent

Tell us more about your group or organization [or lived experience as a displaced person?] (1000 characters)

Turkish Red Crescent (TRC), is the largest humanitarian agency in Turkey and providing humanitarian support within Turkey and abroad for more than 150 years. Through its nationwide access with the network of 400 branches and experience of working very closely with the refugees, TRC is continue to identify needs of refuges and answer their needs in the country. Within the framework of Syria Crisis Response, Turkish Red Crescent Community Centers (CC), Child and Youth Centres (CYC)and Child Friendly Spaces in Temporary Accommodation Centers are established back in January 2013 so as to provide psychosocial support, as well as services of orientation, protection and education for Syrians living under TP status as well as for other vulnerable groups. Within these centers millions of Syrian children were participated pss programs and thousands of adults benefitted livelihoods programs.

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Type of submitter

  • We are a registered Non-Profit Organization

Organization Headquarters: Country


Organization Headquarters: City / State



Join the conversation:

Photo of Uchenna Okafor

Hello Büşra Kara, a design for skills acquisition and entrepreneurship is same as implementing part of sustainable development goal. So, big ups to you! However, is there any plan to accommodate disabled refugees in this design? You see, disabled persons are least considered for any skill acquisition and entrepreneurial training, regardless of their obvious poverty, destitution, unemployment, lowest of self esteem and almost no human dignity.

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