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Thank you so much for your interest in hearing more stories Dima to help communicate our project idea better. I really appreciate you sharing the useful tips for storytelling to our team.

During the Phase 2 of the project, our 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

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.

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.

Thank you so much for your valuable inputs and questions Jaskeerat which we really appreciate. Indeed our project idea for Phase 3 will help scale up our impact from Phase 1 and Phase 2 while addressing peace and prosperity through direct socio-economic upliftment for the single mothers in prisons who we are working with.

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.

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!