UNDP Turkey’s Goodwill Ambassador Mert Fırat Meets Women And Youth In Şanlıurfa

Apr 1, 2018

Mert Fırat, the first Goodwill Ambassador of UNDP Turkey, met Syrian and local women and youth in Şanlıurfa, and introduced UNDP’s work in the region.

UNDP works in the region to alleviate the effects of the Syrian crisis and enable the Syrians residing in Turkey and host communities to better cope with the impact of the force migration. The work includes the provision of vocational skills and Turkish language courses for women as well as software development training for Syrian and local youth. UNDP Turkey’s Goodwill Ambassador Mert Fırat visited Şanlıurfa to promote such work and meet women and youth participating in the courses.

Syrian and Şanlıurfa women empowered together

Visiting the GAP Administration Mehmet Parmaksız Multi-Purpose Community Centre (CATOM) where activities are undertaken to strengthen women’s social and economic skills, Mert Fırat took a tour of felt, handicraft and sewing workshops, and participated in the Turkish language course for Syrians.

At CATOM, an average of 400 women and children participate in the activities every week. The activities undertaken by UNDP and the GAP Regional Development Administration (GAP RDA) include the delivery of training to women on such revenue generating activities as production, sales and marketing. It is also aimed to enhance their role in the society and social cohesion.

Women comprise 45% of the over 1.5 million Syrians living in the Southeast Anatolia. Currently, Syrians make up 24% of the population in Şanlıurfa. Working to alleviate the impact of the forced migration, UNDP Turkey develops projects addressing concurrently the needs of Syrians and host communities. To date, more than 70 training programs have been delivered at 14 CATOMs, with participation of 1,900 Syrian women and 2,600 women of Şanlıurfa.

UNDP Turkey strives, along with its local, national and international stakeholders, to strengthen the institutional capacities of CATOMs through providing equipment and consultancy support.

Universal language of coding brings youth together

Mert Fırat visited Harran University as well in his Şanlıurfa trip. His visit was a boost to the spirits of young people participating in the software development courses delivered at the university with UNDP support, and further promoted the courses.

“UNDP Turkey engages in work in the region that will empower individuals, communities and institutions as well as enhance the social cohesion of women and youth”. Mert Fırat, UNDP Goodwill Ambassador

UNDP delivers coding training to youth at Harran University. The key objective of such training is to enable the youth to learn a universal language, paving the way to equipping with a vocation.

The Android coding training has been ongoing for seven months in cooperation with Re:Coded, a non-profit innovation entity and Bilgi University, in the lead of UNDP Turkey. Fırat conversed with trainees and delivered motivational messages to students to develop themselves.

The Android Basics Nanodegree training designed by Google and Udacity, a distance learning portal, enables the refugee and disadvantaged youth to be equipped with future professions. A total of 28 young people including Syrians participate in the course conducted in English, develop mobile applications on the basis of actual requests from companies, and enrich their theoretical and coding knowledge with practical exercises.

Seven mobile applications were developed in the end of training which invested in the youth’s creative capacities and supported their access to decent work and revenues.

Mert Fırat’s visit to the region was organised in the context of the “Strengthening Social Stability in Southeast Anatolia” project implemented by UNDP Turkey and GAP Regional Development Administration, financed by the Government of Japan.

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