A brief encounter, a giant partnership

01 Mar 2006

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The brief encounter of a project coordinator and a factory owner approximately three months ago changed the lives of 600 young people.

New Horizons - This encounter brought together the UNDP Turkey, the Swiss Embassy to Turkey, Southeastern Anatolia Project (GAP) Regional Development Administration, Governor’s Office of Siirt, The Youth Association for Habitat and Agenda 21 and Sancak Arat Denim Textile Company at a press conference on 8 February 2006.

Gozde Avci, Coordinator of the “Reduction of Socio-Economic Differences in Southeast Anatolia” project, which is implemented by UNDP in partnership with GAP Regional Development Administration, and Sezai Hazir, President and Projects General Coordinator of the Youth Association for Habitat and Agenda 21 came across Nihat Sahin, the representative of Sancak Arat Denim Textile Company, at Siirt Chamber of Commerce. Avci and Hazir learned that Sancak Arat Denim Textile Company was willing to set up a factory in Siirt during the encounter and engaged themselves in how to combine their project with the factory plan.

During the meetings held consequently, the parties discussed what they could do about a joint vocational and employment project. Nihat Sahin prepared a vocational training programme while Gozde Avci ensured resources to be allocated from the project she coordinated. Following the preparation of the protocols, a press conference that brought all parties together was held on 8 February 2006 where the protocol was signed and announced to the public.

The project provides vocational training and employment to 600 young men and women

Vocational training programmes will be organised in Siirt from May 2006-December 2007 in order to provide a qualified workforce of overall 600 for the factory of the Sancak Arat Denim Textile Company that will be opened in April 2006. Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation finances the project. The training programme will cover fibre cleaning, machine maintenance, quality control and ironing regarding the textile sector. Young literate people aged 16-30 will benefit from the project and the factory will start hiring workers in groups of 100 as of July 2006. Job applications will be submitted to Siirt Youth Centre. A minimum of 30% of those that will be hired within the context of the project will be women.

Governor’s Office of Siirt allocated the Evren Community Centre for the training. GAP Regional Administration will provide the required raw material such as fibre, fabric, machinery spare parts for the training and also assess job applications jointly with the company.

“More entrepreneurs should come to the region to invest”

UNDP Turkey, the Swiss Embassy to Turkey, South-eastern Anatolia Project (GAP) Regional Development Administration, Governor’s Office of Siirt, The Youth Association for Habitat and Agenda 21 and Sancak Arat Denim Textile Company launched the project which provides employment for 600 yougnsters in Siirt.

Speaking at the press conference, Muammer Ozgul, President of the GAP Regional Development Administration emphasized that the project is an asset for the region and summoned investors to the region, which is near cotton-producing areas and also the Middle-Eastern markets. Walter Gyger, the Ambassador of Switzerland to Turkey said that they were proud to partake in the project, and it gave them an opportunity to show their solidarity for the socio-economic development, wealth and peace in the Southeastern Anatolia.

Huseyin Avni Mutlu, Governor of Siirt pointed at the importance of the arrival of more entrepreneurs to the region and said that Siirt needed job opportunities to a great extent. Jakob Simonsen, UNDP Representative in Turkey stated that the project would be implemented with the joint coordination of the private sector, NGOs, municipality, GAP Administration, Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation and the UNDP, and it posed a good example for such partnerships.

Sezai Hazir, President of the Youth Association for Habitat and Agenda 21 said that 8 Youth Houses were opened in the context of the “Reduction of Socio-Economic Differences in Southeast Anatolia” project and 42 thousand young people were participating in the training programmes in diverse areas. He also underlined the fact that the project, which offers employment opportunities to 600 young men and women, was a first in the world. Ulvi Ensari and Nihat Sahin, speaking in the name of Sancak Arat Denim Textile Company, said they were delighted to be a part of such an important project, born out of a brief encounter at the Siirt Chamber of Commerce.