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Training mothers in Turkish prisons to care for their children under 6 and create sustainable livelihoods for them after they leave prison!

Since 2013 we have been working with our partner TOÇEV to take care of children and their mothers who are serving time in 7 Turkish prisons

Photo of Bremley Lyngdoh

Written by

Name or Organization

Worldview Impact Foundation (WIF) is a non profit organisation working to empower young people globally based in London, UK working in partnership with Tüvana Okuma İstekli Çocuk Eğitim Vakfı (TOÇEV) which is a non profit foundation working with children across Turkey and based in Istanbul.

Geography

WIF is based in London but we have been working with our local partner TOÇEV in Istanbul since 2013.

What is your stage of development?

  • Advanced Innovator with 3 to 10+ years of experience in ECD

Type

  • Non-profit

Describe how your solution could be a game-changer for your selected Opportunity Area (600 characters)

We want to continue the life changing work that we have been doing over the past 3 years with our local partner in Turkey targeting mothers and their children in 7 Turkish prisons. Our new strategy is to train the single mothers who are serving time in these 7 prisons by giving them the appropriate vocational qualifications that will enable them start their own social enterprises in order to sustain and care for their children in the long term in safe and healthy family environments.

Select an Innovation Target

  • Service: A new or enhanced service that creates value for end beneficiaries.

Tell us more about your innovation (1500 characters)

In partnership with TOÇEV in Istanbul, Turkey WIF has implemented a special project to trained 608 mothers, 610 children, and 364 officials and guards. Phase 1 of the project called "I Am Free" was completed on 14 January 2016 and Phase 2 of the project called "Free Forever" was completed on 14 August 2017. Now WIF wants to implement Phase 3 of the project called "Born Free" by training the single mother with special vocational education in the prisons and creating sustainable livelihoods for them once they leave prisons reducing the risk for them of re-offending and landing back in prison and destroying the lives of their children. We will train them how to start their own cottage industry businesses which can include: bread making, weaving, organic farming, ecotourism, beekeeping, ecosystem restoration, etc. We believe that all children are Born Free and should not live in prisons so we have to give these mothers a fresh start to rebuild their lives and take care for their children.

What problem are you aiming to solve? (3 sentences)

There has been a steady rise of single mothers who are serving time with no support from their own families in many Turkish prisons over the years. In the last 3 years we have been supporting the children (age group is 0-6) who are incarcerated with their mothers in 7 Turkish prisons that we have selected to work with in the country. We have been working hard to train the over stressed prison staff and psychologists who are supposed to deal with these children and mothers.

Explain your idea (5000 characters)

The “I am free” Project was implemented for 0-6 age group children who stayed with their mothers in prisons by TOÇEV in collaboration with WIF and the Ministry of Justice General Directorate of Prisons and Detention Centers. The main objective was to enable mothers and children establish a quality relationship, and to help mothers develop better motherhood skills and use their time with their children more effectively. Within the scope of the project, seven prisons were visited regularly every month and trainings were organized for mothers who stay with their children and for officials and guards in the facilities. The “I am Free” Phase 1 Project ended with a press and closing meeting in Istanbul on January 14, 2016. TOÇEV’s Vice Chairman of the Board Betül Mermertaş was very happy for implementing the project they had been dreaming of for five years and they would continue working on the same topic through the grant received under Civil Society Dialogue’s fourth phase. The Phase 1 of project trained 608 mothers, 610 children, and 364 officials and guards in 10 months. The Branch Manager from the Ministry of Justice General Directorate of Prisons and Detention Centers, Emrullah Özger said that while public resources existed on one side of the services provided for 0-6 age group children who stay with their mothers in prisons, civil society organizations existed on the other side. Phase 2 of the project included prison visits twice a month during 12 months which was later changed because the time schedule changed due to the military coup in July 2017. The Denver Developmental Screening Test was applied on every child in the 7 prisons and necessary actions were taken for the children showing risky development elements. Over 20,180 km of driving was covered by the local team to coach and train 1020 mothers, 810 children and 500 prison guards in all the 7 Turkish prisons. The “Free Forever” Phase 2 Project ended with a press and closing meeting in Istanbul on August 14, 2017. We the momentum we have built and the success we have created in the 7 Turkish prisons over the past 3 years, we now have a new strategy for Phase 3 of the Project called "Born Free". We want to engage with the mothers creating sustainable livelihoods for them by training them on a range of entrepreneurial skills before they leave prison to make sure they can support themselves with meaningful work opportunities. This way these single mothers can provide the special care for their children and never return back to prison.

Who benefits? (1500 characters)

The beneficiaries are the single mothers and their children who are serving time in 7 Turkish prisons. The mothers will benefit from the special range of entrepreneurial skills that they will gain during the trainings, giving them a chance to start an independent new life with enough resources to take care of their own children. The children will also benefit from the special care and trainings that will be given to them, making them stronger and more resilient to become healthy and productive young citizens of Turkey.

What kind of impact will your idea have? (1500 characters)

When we started the project approximately 60 mothers, 60 prison staff and 60 children are targeted at the beginning. By the end of the project, our local partner had gone beyond our expectations by training and coaching 1020 mothers, 810 children, 500 prison staff in total. In the Phase 3 of the project we want to make sure that when these mothers leave these 7 prisons with their children, they will live and work in safe and healthy environments free from violence and crime. The idea will lead to long-lasting outcomes where we will have safer communities in Turkey where violence and crime will be drastically reduced over time. The idea will help catalyze positive changes in the lives of the mothers and their children and lead to wider systemic positive change across Turkey.

How does or how could your idea impact low-income children? (1500 characters)

We have been working with 0-6 children over the past 3 years that come from low-income families across Turkey. Once the Phase 3 project idea is implemented, it will change their lives as we will create the sustainable livelihoods for their mothers.

Scale: Describe how your idea could reach a significant number of end-users. (1500 characters)

Once Phase 3 of the project idea is fully operational we can scale up our impact from the 1020 mothers and 810 children trained during Phase 2 of the project. Within 1 year we can reach a significant number of end-users and double the impact of the Born Free project idea on the no of mothers and children coached and trained in all the 7 Turkish prisons where we have been working over the past 3 years.

Feasibility: Where are you with understanding the feasibility of your idea? Describe what you’ve done so far and your plans. (3000 characters)

In order to make the project feasible we have been supporting the psychologists and staff working in the 7 Turkish prisons. Our aim was to organize trainings and support activities for the psychologists who are working with the mothers in these prisons. With this intervention, the psychologists working in prisons in each target city’s prison were invited to İstanbul for support activities. This was executed as a 5 day intensive training where both theoretical and applied sessions was given by the expert trainers of TOÇEV’s network. A total of 15 staff were chosen for this activity and most of them were psychologists and prison guards. This training has also been repeated through the end of Phase 2 of the project to evaluate the outcomes and covering the missing parts that have been observed in prisons. For the trainers, the Monitoring and Evaluation Committee made a selection with the following criteria. Experience in working with disadvantaged groups: • Experience in training • Willingness to collaborate with NGOs at their work place The following are the topics of the trainings performed by the psychologists and the TOÇEV team. Topics of the trainings are as follows: • Learning facilitation • Group dynamics • Coaching skills • Anger management training • Nonviolent communication training • Personal development training The outcome was 2 special trainings lasting for 5 days each impacting 15 prison staff, including psychologists, guardians and others.

Tell us more about you (3000 characters)

In the Phase 2 of the project, the Turkish project team started to conduct training and individual support activities for children and mothers in prison and prison officers. Raising children in an environment that always tends towards negativity is challenging especially for mother herself who is depressed and maybe in angry situations. Within Phase 2 of the project, a special training program was implemented by psychologists, sociologists and child development experts from universities within the network of TOÇEV. All trainings were conducted in 7 selected prisons from different cities as advised by Ministry of Justice-General Directorate of Prisons and Detention Houses. These prisons are as follows: • Bursa Yenişehir Kadın Kapalı Ceza İnfaz Kurumu • Burhaniye T Tipi Kapalı ve Açık Ceza İnfaz Kurumu • Balıkesir L Tipi Kapalı Ceza İnfaz Kurumu • Denizli D Tipi Kapalı Ceza İnfaz Kurumu • Denizli Bozkurt Kadın Ceza İnfaz Kurumu • Antalya L Tipi Kapalı Ceza İnfaz Kurumu • İstanbul Bakırköy Kadın Kapalı Ceza İnfaz Kurumu In Phase 2 of the project we implemented a special programme designed by TOÇEV. The Denver Developmental Scanning test was applied to all children (age 0 to 6) in 7 target prisons to measured personal and social skills of children, language and fine motor and gross motor skills. During these visits, children were observed and mothers were informed about the test and what to do with the test results. These mothers were supported with their behaviours and child raising skills. They received appropriate trainings from TOÇEV team and psychologists. The topics of the trainings are as follows: • Anger management • Self value • Influence of language on perception and behaviour • Visualising a positive future for their children • Personal development and awareness The idea for Phase 3 - Born Free project comes from the Founder of WIF who has implemented projects in many countries creating sustainable livelihoods for at risk communities.

Do you have the people and partners you need to do what you’ve described? (600 characters)

Yes we have the qualified people and local partners we need to implement Phase 3 of the project that we have described in all the 7 target prisons in Turkey. WIF has been working in partnership with TOCEV in Turkey since 2013 and our collaboration has made an impact in the lives of many mothers, children and prison staff so we want to continue on this journey together for implementing Born Free.

As you consider your next steps, what kinds of help could you use? Is there a type of expertise that would be most helpful? (1800 characters)

We need more strategic partners to work in collaboration with us to help scale up our project and make a deeper impact in the lives of the children and mothers from the 7 target prisons in Turkey that we have been working with over the past 3 years.

Would you like mentoring support?

  • Yes

If so, what type of mentoring support do you think you need? (1200 characters)

We need mentoring support for our local teams in Turkey who are operating under extreme stress and very difficult conditions.

Are you willing to share your email contact information submitted on OpenIDEO with Gary Community Investments?

  • Yes, share my contact information

[Optional] Biography: Upload your biography. Please include links to relevant information (portfolio, LinkedIn profile, organization website, etc).

WIF http://worldviewimpact.org/projects/ TOCEV https://tocev.org.tr/what_is_our_projects.aspx Civil Society Dialogue http://civilsocietydialogue.org/making-toys-out-of-dish-sponge/

Updates: How has your idea changed or evolved throughout the Prize? What updates have you made to this submission? (1500 characters)

We have refined our idea through excellent mentorship feedback provided by Jessie Buerlein who is a Federal Innovation Colleague from HHS/HRSA/Maternal and Child Health Bureau. The inputs from Jessie a Public Health Analyst in the Maternal and Child Health Bureau, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, where she works on emerging early childhood issues and innovative initiatives to promote the health of vulnerable children and families in the US has been most valuable to us in terms of replicating our model of engagement with mothers in Turkey in the US context upon completing Phase 3 of our project which we called Born Free. We believe that the impact we have made in Turkey can now be also used in different states in the US to address similar issues of single mothers serving time in US prisons. Only eight out of the 100 female prisons in the United States has a facility to allow mothers to keep newborn babies. Our model can help young mothers like Jennifer Dumas who was three weeks pregnant when she was arrested for attempted burglary with her boyfriend. She gave birth in prison just days after accepting a plea agreement for her part in the attempted $32,000 heist. She is staying with her daughter Codylynn inside the nursery in Bedford Hills Correctional Facility in New York. About 112,000 women are in state and federal prisons, mostly for drug or property crimes. And an estimated 1 in 25 are pregnant when they enter, according to the nonprofit Sentencing Project.

Name or Organization

Worldview Impact Foundation (WIF) is a non profit organisation working to empower young people globally based in London, UK working in partnership with Tüvana Okuma İstekli Çocuk Eğitim Vakfı (TOÇEV) which is a non profit foundation working with children across Turkey and based in Istanbul.

Geography

WIF is based in London, UK but we have been working with our local partner TOÇEV in Istanbul, Turkey since 2013. The implementation of our idea will occur in the 7 Turkish prisons that we have been working with over the past 3 years. However our solution can also be replicated in the US prisons with a bit of modification to fit into the early childhood context of different states where there are no national statistics on the no of babies born to inmates with only eight nurseries in 100 prisons.

What is your stage of development?

  • Advanced Innovator with 3 to 10+ years of experience in ECD

Type

  • Non - Profit

What is the stage of your proposal?

  • Full-scale roll-out: I have completed a pilot and analyzed the impact of that pilot on the users I am trying to reach with my idea. I am ready to expand the pilot significantly.

Describe your submission in one clear sentence

Training mothers in Turkish women's prisons to care for their children under 6 by creating sustainable livelihoods for them after they have served their sentence and replicating our innovative solution to train mothers in US women's prisons.

Describe how your solution could be a game-changer for your selected Opportunity Area (600 characters)

We want to continue the life changing work that we have been doing over the past 3 years with our local partner in Turkey targeting mothers and their children in 7 Turkish prisons. Our new strategy is to train the single mothers who are serving time in these 7 prisons by giving them the appropriate vocational qualifications that will enable them start their own enterprises in order to sustain and care for their children in the long term in safer family environments and replicate our model in the US where there are no national laws that allow for incarcerated mothers to stay with their babies.

Select an Innovation Target

  • Service: A new or enhanced service that creates value for end beneficiaries.

Tell us more about your innovation (1500 characters)

In partnership with TOÇEV in Istanbul, Turkey WIF has implemented a special project to trained 608 mothers, 610 children, and 364 officials and guards. Phase 1 of the project called "I Am Free" was completed on 14 January 2016 and Phase 2 of the project called "Free Forever" was completed on 14 August 2017. Now WIF wants to implement Phase 3 of the project called "Born Free" by training the single mother with special vocational education in the prisons and creating sustainable livelihoods for them once they leave prisons reducing the risk for them of re-offending and landing back in prison and destroying the lives of their children. We will train them how to start their own cottage industry businesses which can include: bread making, weaving, organic farming, ecotourism, beekeeping, ecosystem restoration, etc. We believe that all children are Born Free and should not live in prisons so we have to give these mothers a fresh start to rebuild their lives and take care for their children. We want to then replicated our model of engagement to train mothers serving time in US prisons where there is a great need. We know that of the more than 100 women's prisons in the US, there are only eight nurseries. While nearly 100 countries, including South Sudan and France, have national laws that allow for incarcerated mothers to stay with their babies, the US is not among them. We hope that our intervention will help shape new laws and policies to address these sensitive issues in the US.

What problem are you aiming to solve? (3 sentences)

There has been a steady rise of single mothers who are serving time with no support from their own families in many Turkish prisons and the US has the same problem too. In the last 3 years we have been supporting the children (age group is 0-6) who are incarcerated with their mothers in 7 Turkish prisons that we have selected to work with in the country. We have been working hard to train the over stressed prison staff and psychologists who are supposed to deal with these children and mothers.

Explain your idea (5000 characters)

The “I am free” Project was implemented for 0-6 age group children who stayed with their mothers in prisons by TOÇEV in collaboration with WIF and the Ministry of Justice General Directorate of Prisons and Detention Centers. The main objective was to enable mothers and children establish a quality relationship, and to help mothers develop better motherhood skills and use their time with their children more effectively. Within the scope of the project, seven prisons were visited regularly every month and trainings were organized for mothers who stay with their children and for officials and guards in the facilities. The “I am Free” Phase 1 Project ended with a press and closing meeting in Istanbul on January 14, 2016. TOÇEV’s Vice Chairman of the Board Betül Mermertaş was very happy for implementing the project they had been dreaming of for five years and they would continue working on the same topic through the grant received under Civil Society Dialogue’s fourth phase. The Phase 1 of project trained 608 mothers, 610 children, and 364 officials and guards in 10 months. The Branch Manager from the Ministry of Justice General Directorate of Prisons and Detention Centers, Emrullah Özger said that while public resources existed on one side of the services provided for 0-6 age group children who stay with their mothers in prisons, civil society organizations existed on the other side. Phase 2 of the project included prison visits twice a month during 12 months which was later changed because the time schedule changed due to the military coup in July 2017. The Denver Developmental Screening Test was applied on every child in the 7 prisons and necessary actions were taken for the children showing risky development elements. Over 20,180 km of driving was covered by the local team to coach and train 1020 mothers, 810 children and 500 prison guards in all the 7 Turkish prisons. The “Free Forever” Phase 2 Project ended with a press and closing meeting in Istanbul on August 14, 2017. We the momentum we have built and the success we have created in the 7 Turkish prisons over the past 3 years, we now have a new strategy for Phase 3 of the Project called "Born Free". We want to engage with the mothers creating sustainable livelihoods for them by training them on a range of entrepreneurial skills before they leave prison to make sure they can support themselves with meaningful work opportunities. This way these single mothers can provide the special care for their children and never return back to prison. We believe that our idea can be scaled up and replicated in US women's prisons where more than 112,000 women are serving time in both state and federal prisons, mostly for drug or property crimes. Campaigners claim allowing a mother to remain with their baby behind bars may reduce the chance of reoffending when they are released. But others argue prison is not an appropriate place to rear a child. We believe that the focus should be on what's best for the baby and so we need to train the mothers with special skills to sustain and care for their babies while serving time in prison and beyond when they leave and reenter the world of work.

Who benefits? (1500 characters)

The beneficiaries are the single mothers and their children who are serving time in 7 Turkish prisons. The mothers will benefit from the special range of entrepreneurial skills that they will gain during the trainings, giving them a chance to start an independent new life with enough resources to take care of their own children. The children will also benefit from the special care and trainings that will be given to them, making them stronger and more resilient to become healthy and productive young citizens of Turkey.

What kind of impact will your idea have? (1500 characters)

When we started the project approximately 60 mothers, 60 prison staff and 60 children are targeted at the beginning. By the end of the project, our local partner had gone beyond our expectations by training and coaching 1020 mothers, 810 children, 500 prison staff in total. In the Phase 3 of the project we want to make sure that when these mothers leave these 7 prisons with their children, they will live and work in safe and healthy environments free from violence and crime. The idea will lead to long-lasting outcomes where we will have safer communities in Turkey where violence and crime will be drastically reduced over time. The idea will help catalyze positive changes in the lives of the mothers and their children and lead to wider systemic positive change across Turkey. Once successful scaled up in Turkey we can then replicate our idea to train mothers serving time in US women's prison where is a great need for similar interventions.

How does or how could your idea impact low-income children? (1500 characters)

We have been working with 0-6 children over the past 3 years that come from high risk and low-income families across Turkey. Once the Phase 3 project idea is implemented, it will a game-changer for their lives as we will create the sustainable livelihoods that their mothers really need to be independent in keeping their families safe and financially secure.

Innovation: What makes your concept innovative? (1500 characters)

We believe that our concept is innovative as this model of engagement with mothers has never been implemented in Turkish prisons before. We believe that giving women control over income that ends inequality everywhere. Hence we want to train these mothers with special skills while there are serving time in these 7 Turkish prisons and monitor their learning experiences. Evidence shows that it is not merely a woman’s increased income, but rather her control over that income that helps her achieve economic empowerment. When a woman holds the strings to the family purse, that family is more likely to thrive. Brazil’s Bolsa Familia Program, which provides cash transfers directly to the female head of households, accounted for up to 25% of Brazil’s reduction in inequality and 16% of its drop in extreme poverty. In many countries around that world women shoulder a greater burden of unpaid work, and have fewer paid work opportunities. Women don’t work less than men; in fact, they often work more. The issue is that their work is unpaid and often unregistered – rearing children and caring for the elderly rarely produces a paycheck. In some regions like South Asia, the Middle East and North Africa, women shoulder up to 90% of unpaid care work. It’s time to balance the scales and our disruptive model will be a game-changes in making a difference in the lives of these mothers.

Scale: Describe how your idea could reach a significant number of end-users. (1500 characters)

Once Phase 3 of the project idea is fully operational we can scale up our impact from the 1020 mothers and 810 children trained during Phase 2 of the project. Within 1 year we can reach a significant number of end-users and double the impact of the Born Free project idea on the no of mothers and children coached and trained in all the 7 Turkish prisons where we have been working over the past 3 years. Based on the important mentoring advise we received from Jessie Buerlein at the Maternal and Child Health Bureau we have the potential to scale our idea to reach a significant number of end-users in the United States once it is fully operation in Turkey. The White Paper: Opioid Use, Misuse, and Overdose in Women prepared for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office on Women’s Health provides an excellent overview of the opioid epidemic and how it impacts women, and women as caregivers, specifically. It mentions the importance of family-centered treatment models, including co-location, as key to effective treatment and recovery for women. Our mentor believes that targeting our intervention to women in residential substance use disorder (SUD) treatment programs, or just providing it as part of a recovery program, would be an amazing application of our work in the United States. This resource touched on some of the components we had discussed for scaling up in the US context: https://www.samhsa.gov/treatment/substance-use-disorders

Feasibility: Where are you with understanding the feasibility of your idea? Describe what you’ve done so far and your plans. (3000 characters)

In order to make the project feasible we have been supporting the psychologists and staff working in the 7 Turkish prisons. Our aim was to organize trainings and support activities for the psychologists who are working with the mothers in these prisons. With this intervention, the psychologists working in prisons in each target city’s prison were invited to İstanbul for support activities. This was executed as a 5 day intensive training where both theoretical and applied sessions was given by the expert trainers of TOÇEV’s network. A total of 15 staff were chosen for this activity and most of them were psychologists and prison guards. This training has also been repeated through the end of Phase 2 of the project to evaluate the outcomes and covering the missing parts that have been observed in prisons. For the trainers, the Monitoring and Evaluation Committee made a selection with the following criteria. Experience in working with disadvantaged groups: • Experience in training • Willingness to collaborate with NGOs at their work place The following are the topics of the trainings performed by the psychologists and the TOÇEV team. Topics of the trainings are as follows: • Learning facilitation • Group dynamics • Coaching skills • Anger management training • Nonviolent communication training • Personal development training The outcome was 2 special trainings lasting for 5 days each impacting 15 prison staff, including psychologists, guardians and others.

Business Viability: How viable is your business model? (1500 characters)

We believe the our business model of investing in mothers will succeed on the market and bring back great social returns on investments over a long period of time. Following the Grameen Bank model of engagement we know that when you teach a women the whole villages benefits as mothers always consider taking care of the well being of their children first before themselves. “Women are better suited for baby-making than money-making.” It sounds ridiculous today, but myths like this – based on no scientific evidence – drove the decisions of our forefathers (and foremothers) for generations. Even today, around the world girls and women battle commonly held views and beliefs that limit their opportunities and potential. Myths, like the seven listed below, rob women of their power to advance themselves, their families, their communities, and ultimately, their nations. The truth is, women around the world are resourceful economic agents, overcoming persistent, gender-based barriers every day. Women have demonstrated they can build informal and formal businesses out of very little capital, create networks to maximize limited resources, all while shouldering the traditional responsibilities placed upon them, duties like child- and home-care. Women succeed in spite of laws, policies and institutions that hold them back, but it is a constant struggle. It is time to create supportive environments for women to thrive economically, and bust these myths once and for all.

HCD: How have you used human centered design to build or refine your concept? (1500 characters)

We have incorporated a human centered perspective in our design by using the valuable feedback that we got from all our local partners in Turkey, our friends and supporters from around the world who have taken time to share their inputs on this open ideo platform. We had a team meeting and realised the importance of monitoring our impact and measuring our success over the lifetime of the project, and therefore approached and Route2 Sustainability in the UK as our partner to develop the cost and benefit impact assessment model for us once we secure additional funding to scale up our project idea. We have also refined our idea through excellent mentorship feedback provided by Jessie Buerlein who is a Federal Innovation Colleague from HHS/HRSA/Maternal and Child Health Bureau. The inputs from Jessie a Public Health Analyst in the Maternal and Child Health Bureau, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, where she works on emerging early childhood issues and innovative initiatives to promote the health of vulnerable children and families in the United States has been most valuable to us in terms of replicating our model of engagement with mothers in Turkey as we scale with the help of our partners in the United States after completing Phase 3 of our project which we called "Born Free".

Tell us more about you (3000 characters)

In the Phase 2 of the project, the Turkish project team started to conduct training and individual support activities for children and mothers in prison and prison officers. Raising children in an environment that always tends towards negativity is challenging especially for mother herself who is depressed and maybe in angry situations. Within Phase 2 of the project, a special training program was implemented by psychologists, sociologists and child development experts from universities within the network of TOÇEV. All trainings were conducted in 7 selected prisons from different cities as advised by Ministry of Justice-General Directorate of Prisons and Detention Houses. These prisons are as follows: • Bursa Yenişehir Kadın Kapalı Ceza İnfaz Kurumu • Burhaniye T Tipi Kapalı ve Açık Ceza İnfaz Kurumu • Balıkesir L Tipi Kapalı Ceza İnfaz Kurumu • Denizli D Tipi Kapalı Ceza İnfaz Kurumu • Denizli Bozkurt Kadın Ceza İnfaz Kurumu • Antalya L Tipi Kapalı Ceza İnfaz Kurumu • İstanbul Bakırköy Kadın Kapalı Ceza İnfaz Kurumu In Phase 2 of the project we implemented a special programme designed by TOÇEV. The Denver Developmental Scanning test was applied to all children (age 0 to 6) in 7 target prisons to measured personal and social skills of children, language and fine motor and gross motor skills. During these visits, children were observed and mothers were informed about the test and what to do with the test results. These mothers were supported with their behaviours and child raising skills. They received appropriate trainings from TOÇEV team and psychologists. The topics of the trainings are as follows: • Anger management • Self value • Influence of language on perception and behaviour • Visualising a positive future for their children • Personal development and awareness The idea for Phase 3 - Born Free project comes from the Founder of WIF who has implemented projects in many countries creating sustainable livelihoods for at risk communities.

Do you have the people and partners you need to do what you’ve described? (500 characters)

Yes we have the qualified people and local partners we need to implement Phase 3 of the project that we have described in all the 7 target prisons in Turkey. WIF has been working in partnership with TOCEV in Turkey since 2013 and our collaboration has made an impact in the lives of many mothers children and prison staff so we want to continue on this journey together for implementing Born Free. We welcome partners from the US to join us in our journey in Turkey and help build a bridge to the US.

As you consider your next steps, what kinds of help could you use? Is there a type of expertise that would be most helpful? (1800 characters)

We need more strategic partners from the United States to work in collaboration with us to help scale up our project and make a deeper impact in the lives of the children and mothers from the 7 target prisons in Turkey that we have been working with over the past 3 years. We want to replicated our model of engagement to train mothers serving time in US women's prisons once we have achieved significant scale in Turkey.

Would you like mentoring support? [Relevant only for Early Submission Deadline]

  • Yes

If so, what type of mentoring support do you think you need? (1200 characters) [Relevant only for Early Submission Deadline]

We need mentoring support for our local teams in Turkey to help facilitate exchange of learning experiences between Turkey and the United States.

Mentorship: How was your idea supported? [Relevant only for our early submission participants] (1500 characters)

We have refined our idea through excellent mentorship feedback provided by Jessie Buerlein who is a Federal Innovation Colleague from HHS/HRSA/Maternal and Child Health Bureau. The inputs from Jessie a Public Health Analyst in the Maternal and Child Health Bureau, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, where she works on emerging early childhood issues and innovative initiatives to promote the health of our nations vulnerable children and families has been most valuable to us in terms of replicating our model of engagement with mothers in Turkey in the US context upon completing Phase 3 of our project which we called Born Free. We believe that the impact we have made in Turkey can now be also used in different states in the US to address similar issues of single mothers serving time in US prisons. Only eight out of the 100 female prisons in the United States has a facility to allow mothers to keep newborn babies. Our model can help young mothers like Jennifer Dumas who was three weeks pregnant when she was arrested for attempted burglary with her boyfriend. She gave birth in prison just days after accepting a plea agreement for her part in the attempted $32,000 heist. She is staying with her daughter Codylynn inside the nursery in Bedford Hills Correctional Facility in New York.

Are you willing to share your email contact information submitted on OpenIDEO with Gary Community Investments?

  • Yes, share my contact information

[Optional] Biography: Upload your biography. Please include links to relevant information (portfolio, LinkedIn profile, organization website, etc).

WIF http://worldviewimpact.org/projects/ TOCEV https://tocev.org.tr/what_is_our_projects.aspx Civil Society Dialogue http://civilsocietydialogue.org/making-toys-out-of-dish-sponge/

24 comments

Join the conversation:

Comment
Photo of John
Team

Hi Brem, we’ve had a chance now to review your project. Looks like a really important project for mothers, children, and prison staff in Turkey (and beyond).

A few thoughts:

1) It would make a difference, we suppose, what city the women will go to after they leave prison, as beekeeping and other village-based skills may not serve them well in Istanbul/Ankara.

2) Also, would it be advantageous to be more specific in the types of supports you’ve provided, especially to children? It seems many supports to children have been indirect (through helping mothers), though the Denver assessment, and care/trainings have also supported them, it seems, though this is left rather abstract (and a bit unclear) in the proposal.

3) And if it were me, I’d be more personal—about you and your organisation—on the question “Tell us more about you (3000 characters)” (rather than discussing the project…). But that’s just how I would have interpreted the question.

Hope this is helpful, and hope your work continues successfully.

John F

Photo of Nuray Tanış
Team

I am proud to be a part of TOÇEV’s team, who implemented this project. I hope we can make it bigger and sustainable with Bremley’s helps. I hope to combine all experiences
created within the project to merge with enormous social entrepreneurship know how in UK.

Photo of Can Yazici
Team

I’m inspired to see the development of this project as I have been supporting TOÇEV in Turkey from the very start of this partnership with Worldview Impact Foundation (WIF) in the UK. I have travelled to the UK frequently to assist WIF in developing the next phase of the project. In the third phase of the project we will focus on the training mothers in prisons to create sustainable livelihoods for them when they leave the prisons. I look forward to helping to scale up this project in Turkey before replicating the model with the help of local partners working on addressing similar issues in the United States.

Photo of Lorena Álvarez
Team

This is a WOW initiative, congratulations. 1020 mothers, 850 children and 500 prison staff correctly attended and trained are massive results. As a psychologist that works on the field, sometimes the staff is not enough on these institutions and we can not spend enough time training people for the future, and of course children are the ones that suffer most this situation. I would like to see the results after time, how these mothers took the second chance that a non-profit offered them and converted it in safe and healthy family environments. This project makes sense to our every day work. Sincerely, congratulations for this initiative! keep doing!

Photo of Tuba Nar
Team

Hi Bremley,
This is an amazing project, Congratulations.
I believe you'll make a great change for these women's and their children's life .. best wishes
Tuba

Photo of Paolo Spagnoli
Team

Congratulation Bremley for your beautiful project helping the most vulnerable person on earth 'children' in a world where most of us are more interested in himself / herself then helping others less fortunate in life. Your work is not only honourable but of great value for everybody being blessed to be able to do it for all of us who for one reason or another are not able to do it. My best wishes of full success and god bless you. Paolo

Photo of Jessica Healy
Team

What a fantastic project - inspirational vision, with professional execution. I am impressed with the way that this project has developed through the different stages, with increasing impact at every phase. As someone with a background in social science research and paediatric nursing, I fully support the work that Bremley and his team are implementing with this project. The physical and psychological health inequalities are well documented amongst those who are less privileged, so it is crucial that the most vulnerable in society are supported to reach their potential.

I am confident that this project will have a lasting impact for generations to come - not only helping the mothers to break away from destructive circumstances, but also empowering them to love and support their children, with skills that can elevate them from poverty.

I am also impressed by the interdisciplinary, holistic approach to this project - drawing on the skills and resources from multiple experts; psychologists, sociologists, child development experts, social entrepreneurs and more. Moreover, this has a grass-roots approach, utilizing a local team who understand the cultural context of these mothers and their children, enabling this work to be truly understood and applied by all involved.

Well done Bremley, once again you have executed a powerful project that will have a long lasting impact for generations to come! I wish you all the best in seeing this through to the next phase.

Jess

Photo of Wayne Lampert
Team

Hi Bremley,
I have finally been able to sit down and read the attachment about your Turkish prison project. While at times redundant it clearly presents what it is you are trying to accomplish. I realize the format didn’t specifically ask if there was any follow-up with those who have gone through the guidance being imparted, however, it would be interesting to know about the prognosis and could act as an impetuous to your obtaining funding for the future.
As always you never cease to amaze me with the breath of your outreach to the less fortunate.
I admire your stamina.
Wayne

Photo of Kiernan Hinks
Team

Bremley the Global rock star ⭐️!! I'm very pleased to see such a concept that would and will really work! When a woman, who originally is meant to nuture and care for the planet and Children, commits a crime is it only from built up desperation, trauma, and stress that comes from an unsustainable community. Non currency based- sustainable communities around the world are zero crime, zero stress and have zero need for prisons. In this communities case, you must go within the problem in order to heal the next generation. Teaching these women who would otherwise go back into desperation mode once released, are learning in order to teach others and gives them purpose. Starting from the problem, and moving into Family Justice solutions to last for eternity. Giving back to the planet to help children explodes any hurt or trauma from ones ❤️ heart and they never turn back to evil. Staying one with Christ Consciousness of giving back will allow them to receive blessings. Please allow Brem and the team all the tools necessary to ackomplish this mission. He's not someone that jokes around and truly knows how to make a difference. ⭐️

Photo of Kathryn Karpinski
Team

Thank you, Bremley, for your inspiring work all around the globe. This mission will improve the lives of thousands. Giving these women agency through education and application of new skills will reduce recidivism and extreme poverty amongst the beneficiaries. From a childhood developmental perspective, please consider some if the following during planning and implementation:

*Most women learn about healthy childhood development from their family and social network. They are cut off from that information while in prison.
*Teach the women about developmental stages of childhood and give activities to foster normal developmental growth.
*Donations of toys and learning material are critical. Having access to a space for the children to socialize and play will be highly beneficial to social and cognitive development. Coordinating donations and making sure they get to where they were intended.

The benefit is these children will better integrate into school and society if their developmental needs are met.

Photo of Farid Uddin Ahmed
Team

Hi Bremley, Thanks for sharing your work. I have gone through the link. This is very interesting. In a country like ours, human right is seriously suppressed even outside jail. Turkey - having some similarities with us has allowed you to work for people in Jail. This is really great. The jail authority in Bangladesh may not be so open. I went to Los Angeles few years back. My brother in-law works for mentoring people in jail. He told me that there are plenty of scope to help the prisoners so that they can come back to their normal life. He told me that he found some foreigners too who needed help. You have targeted mother and the children. For me addressing the problem of children is more important as for no fault of them, they are in jail and having a life which is not normal. Your approach to help developing capacity of the women or mother to earn livelihood from different income generating activities is highly appreciating. When she will be out of jail, she goes back with skill. I consider this as right approach.

Photo of Sai Nellore
Team

Dear Bremley, I am very happy to hear your engagement in this endeavour. This project would offer much needed succour to the single mothers and children who are in need of support. The project can evolve and provide the necessary support ecosystem for the single mothers to create a sustainable livelihood that would benefit not the only the individual but also the community to which they belong. The integration of capacity development and market opportunities to the beneficiaries would really create a momentum for self sustaining the same. Once again, I appreciate your commendable efforts in addressing this challenges. Look forward to opportunities to work on similar projects together.

Photo of Bayubasire Joel Djanda
Team

Dear Bremley, I am really delighted to hear about this crucial and incredible social initiative. Congratulations for the work you have done so far. This project is the one needed for such a group of beneficiaries. This would produce more impact than expected if you could also enhance self-awareness and self-esteem skills within the training activities. Self-awareness and self-esteem skills would be more helpful for these already marginalized women to explore and discover more of who and what they are as well as to explore issues of conscience and how self-esteem develops. Most importantly, a vocational training project would provide an honorable source of income, jobs creation and facilitate skill development for these single mothers and their children. The same project could also be replicated in African countries, especially in DRC, Burundi and Uganda where thousands of single mothers (or sex workers) could benefit from it and thus make a great difference in our world. As you already know, I and Refugee Friends Care Organization Uganda (www.refugee-friends-care.org) are interested, willing and ready to help achieve your hard but crucial mission! Congratulations!!!

Photo of Joanne Schanté
Team

Dear Bremley, I'm delighted to hear for the first time about this project of yours! Some comments and ideas :
-one of your strengths is community empowerment and decentralized development, which you are doing do well in NE India for farmers in particular. You can show us how you will leverage this invaluable experience and apply the lessons learnt to this domain, for greater impact.
- As you know I'm a peer to meet learning lover, and you could imagine having the women pair up in buddies to help each other, for example pairing up one who made it through with one who's still in jail, also an opportunity to pair up their kids as well!
- How do you plan to find this huge program in the long term, given the number of beneficiaries who need it? It immediately rings to me the concept of social impact bonds that Sir Ronald Cohen launched 10years ago in the UK to reduce retaliation rates if prisoners by providing them the right support to recreate their lives meaningfully.
- can you precise more in the description what are the training techniques, lessons learnt so far and what makes the methodology unique? It would help to see how this is a true innovation, while there's absolutely no doubt on the positive impact it will provide
Good luck and keep it up tiger! :-)
Joanne, OpenTeam co-founder (OpenTeam.co)
PS hello OpenIdeo team! what you do is amazing! What about we explore collaboration areas in the work we're doing on scaling climate solutions through our wide scale replication program? Feel free to give me a ring ;-) Joanne@openteam.co

Photo of Elena Fernández-Miranda Cagigal
Team

Dear Bremley

This project could suppose a incredible improve for the live of these mothers and their children, and moreover their communities. The education is the key to change their lives. The work of the local team that support these mothers will be crucial and support the local team in Turkey will be essential. Congratulations for this project.

Photo of Sophie Anastasiou
Team

In your cause to support single mothers, released from prison to build social enterprises to ensure that they can support their children. This would make a huge social impact on these families and have positive future outcomes on the children. Considering the following, I aim to contribute, in suggesting other methods that can be used, in making this mission that you have set Brem, to help these families to ‘stay free’. Ensuring positive future outcomes for their children too, so as they too will be able to create sustainable futures.

Firstly, what comes to mind is, part of what causes an individual to take an unlawful route, and to be lured by criminality, is the individual unintentionally dehumanizing others and not realizing others needs and feelings. This could be due to their primary relationship with their mother and/or father which if it was an insecure relationship, this will affect how they relate to others. This needs to be identified to ensure the awareness of the effect this might have on how they choose to parent their own children and also how it might affect their relationships with others and how it has affected limited success in areas they may have otherwise been successful, such as gaining an education. Research shows that becoming deregulated in your emotions, affects memory and how successful you will be in learning & in your career, being aware of this in the anger management training is important. Once this happens an individual can become secure by changing their behavior towards others and through this awareness, the mother’s can feel empowered, gaining a positive sense of self.

Re-engaging these mothers to taking into consideration their peers and their children’s feelings will make them more sensitive and considerate to others needs and will lead to their own needs being met. There is research to show that helping others contributes to an individual’s happiness, therefore installing this in them, to whenever possible help their peers and their children to achieve a certain outcome, will improve their mood. Ensuring positive relationships are then being built with their children and peers. This will also build support networks, which will make it less likely that these single mothers will re-offend.

As well as this ensuring there is a child-centered approach where the child’s opinions and feelings are taken into consideration, in the support they are giving, to empower the children.

Re-enforcing honesty, integrity and respect by modelling this to the mothers, by treating them in this way to rebuild the image that they have of their treatment by others. This will change how they respond to their children and to their peers and will ensure that they become supportive to others and are more open to receiving support.

Another important aspect that would have a huge social impact on these mothers would be to support them to identify who they are as individuals, reinforcing their identity which will support their social and emotional development as being previously labelled as a criminal can leave them feeling devalued. which will contribute to ensuring that they are mentally healthy. Ways that this can be done is through photography. This can be used to record their journey as you would use learning journeys for children. This will focus on both the children’s and the mother’s achievements and their positivity. This will function to integrate them into society, giving them a sense of belonging which is important, showing them where they fit in and the key role that they play.

Something else that isn’t specified is, how the children are supported in terms of their social and emotional development and how they can be made aware of their experiences, how it might affect them and understanding the feelings and actions of their mothers. Given their experiences and individual needs which may not have been identified before and may not have been met. This could be done through role play, ensuring that positive relationships are built through understanding what their mothers have experienced, and they were brought up, making the children resilient to any hardship in the future and rising beyond this. Installing a sense of honest, integrity and respect by treating the children in this way, even when they show challenging behavior will install a sense of trust and ensure that they act in a caring way towards others.

Respite care, that will allow the mothers to have adult conversations, reflecting on their achievements and what they would like to improve on will also build confidence and ensure they build a sustainable future by building support networks. This also encourages quality time with their children as when you are around your child or children for long periods without any respite, this can lead to the mother becoming insensitive to the child’s needs and feeling overwhelmed.

Hope this has offered some more insight into what could potentially be developed.

Photo of Irina Fedorenko
Team

This is an amazing, important and timely project. Having worked with WIF before, I can wholeheartedly recommend this organization and the project managers and highly reliable and mission-driven people. I hope that this project will be implemented and that the system could be applied to other countries and contexts.

Photo of Endre Hunnyadi
Team

Dear Bremley Lyngdoh,
Congratulations for this sustainable idea. At a first sight I tend to believe that this model for creating sustainable livelihoods for mothers and children might be a solution not just for Turkey but also for Eastern European Countries. My only suggestion for this project would be to include at a minor level the artistic side of life, letting mothers and children enjoying and finding redemption in the many forms of art.

Photo of Iliriana Kacaniku
Team

Hey Bremley Lyngdoh 
Few days ago we shared with you the invitation to the two webinars in which you will have a chance to hear more about the Prize and ask any questions about the process. Knowing that the sponsor seeks solutions from all over the world that can be implemented in the United States, I think this is a great opportunity to hear any questions you may have on how to develop
your idea along this goal. And many other aspects of the Prize and human-centered design.

We’ll be hosting calls on
Tuesday, December 5, 4:30 - 5:30 PM PST (https://ideo.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_ZxbEbA4rRPid02QEos1VtQ) and

Wednesday, December 6, 08:00 - 9:00 AM PST (https://ideo.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_8ZHf8DakS4WWqAXsN_jhQQ).

In case you cant make it, feel free to email us any question you may have at ecprize@ideo.com!, and we’ll do our best to answer it during the webinar.

Looking forward to seeing you next week,
Iliriana

Photo of Bremley Lyngdoh
Team

Hi Iliriana Kacaniku I look forward to speaking with you via zoom at 4:30 pm PST on 5th Dec which is 13.30 hours behind IST and apologies for the delay in responding as I was in the mangroves forest of Myanmar implanting the bridge builder Challenge with the BioCarbon Engineering team. I am in India now visiting our agroforestry project here in the north east state of Meghalaya!

Photo of Ashley Tillman
Team

Hi Bremley Lyngdoh great to have you in the Early Childhood Prize Community!

Can you share a little bit around how you could see this program scaling long term to other communities around the world?

Photo of Bremley Lyngdoh
Team

Hi Ashley Tillman thank you for you valuable question about the scope of replicating our project in Turkey to other communities around the world. I really appreciate it.

We had designed study visits from Turkey to the UK for both Phase 1 and Phase 2 of our project. We had 5 representatives from Turkish who made a study visit to the UK for 6 days twice during the project period. These study visits were planned for exchange of experiences and benchmarking between the cases in Turkey and UK and also to get the benefit from the activities of our partner organization at a global scale.

These study visits were made both to increase cooperation spirit between NGOs and also to develop intercultural dialogue with our partner in Turkey. Our project team colleagues worked on different activities during the project study visits. Since we met with our partner from Turkey and implemented the project together, we know more of each other’s activities. During the implementation period, we’ve seen that there are more activities that we can cooperate and we need more time to work together.

In 1st study visit, TOÇEV participated with 4 representatives. The Ministry of Justice-Directorate of Prisons and Detention Houses assigned a judge for participating in the visit. In 2nd study visit, the Ministry of Justice assigned judge and a psychologist for participation at the visit with 4 people from TOCEV as part of the delegation that came to the UK for attending various meetings with UK prison institutions and NGOs organised by Worldview Impact Foundation.

Based on our learning experiences during these study visits, we want to replicate the model in the UK in other countries beyond Turkey. For example our partner Numbers For Good is supporting charities in criminal justice in the UK to reduce reoffending and raise investment for their programmes. They have partnered with Crest Advisory to support police and crime commissioners create social impact bonds. We want to replicate these social impact bonds to function in other countries as a means to finance the scaling up of innovative projects like ours making a bigger impact at the country level.

Photo of Layne Hubbard
Team

Dear Bremley,

Check out this "Localization Toolkit" from the OpenIDEO team. They "built the following toolkit to support those innovators who may not currently be doing work in the US, but will be articulating how their concept might translate within their proposal".

Toolkit: https://d3gxp3iknbs7bs.cloudfront.net/attachments/cf799b7d-a091-4fa8-bb9e-d7eeaf2c9efb.pdf

Hope it helps!
Layne

Photo of Layne Hubbard
Team

Dear Bremley,

Thank you for your dedication—I love the mission of your work and I see the tremendous value of the project's impact.

I live in Boulder, Colorado, and have recently learned of an entrepreneurial initiative called Dance To Be Free. This initiative creates dance programs in women's prisons to help women recover from trauma. I see a lot of parallels with your mutual focus on freedom, and I think you could each learn something from each other's approaches!

Website: http://dancetobefree.org/
News Article: http://www.dailycamera.com/lifestyles/ci_29173204/alchemy-movement-brings-dance-2b-free-colorado-women-prisoners
Youtube video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eb3SBW702lM

Best of luck in your mission,
Layne