Higher Education and Career Mentoring for Syrian Youth (HEM4SY)
Syrian refugees in Turkey
Over the past 5 years, the number of Syrian refugees increased to more than 3.4 million in Turkey. According to the latest statistics, Kilis is ranked at the top in terms of percentage of the refugee population; the number of refugees in Kilis is around 125.000 constituting 49% of the population. Following Kilis, Hatay ranks at second with 24%, Şanlıurfa third with 21% and Gaziantep at fourth with 16% of refugee population. The overall number of Syrian refugees in these four provinces is 1.258.000 which essentially tells us that 1 in every 3 Syrian refugees in Turkey lives in these provinces (Data: Turkish
Ministry of Interior, DG of Migration Management, 2017 statistics).
These refugees who fled from their countries and war with the hope to find safe ground and better living and working conditions started a new life with new challenges. Although there are government run camps in these provinces, people living outside these camps face accommodation, hygiene, food and clothing problems, making low the quality of their life. Among the people fleeing from Syria, there
are many young adults who are at post-secondary age as well as higher education students. These individuals had to leave their schools and education and struggle to find jobs which are most of the time with very low pay. Thus, it is the aim of our Project to identify such interested young adults and provide mentoring for them to continue their higher education, inform them about the opportunities in the region and coach them in starting their careers.
Higher Education and Career Mentoring for Syrian Youth (HEM4SY) Project
The project will work on empowering Syrian youth in post-secondary age and higher education (aged 18-24) as well as vulnerable youth from host communities in 4 provinces in Turkey (Şanlıurfa, Hatay, Kilis and Gaziantep) with the main goal of building their own career path through fulfilling their educational needs, designing and provision of required innovative educational support and mentoring activities at the established University education and career mentoring centre which will be as a pilot to be replicated in other communities such as universities and municipalities in order to get the project outputs to public. The project, following a needs assessment survey with 200 individuals, will provide training to 100 male and female youth enabling them to continue higher education and will provide 960 male and female youth with education and/or career mentoring to enhance their employability for improving their lives and careers.
Mentoring centre will be established at Hasan Kalyoncu University and mobile counselling will be provided in Şanlıurfa, Hatay and Kilis. The provided learning will be a blended one, not only traditional lectures, but also through webinars, interactive web portal, social media and training activities, i.e. flexible learning. The project will increase their awareness and guide them to the direction they should address in seeking higher education opportunities or career path. These youth could be either not enrolled in higher education or already enrolled ones but in need of help to continue their study and be capable of building a successful career.
Training and mentoring will be supported by an online interactive web portal that serves as a resource centre as well as a question answer platform for the target group. Also, an Alumni club will be formed in the portal containing a database with details of students and graduates who have participated in the project activities. This will help in matching them with respective career opportunities, members will have access to information on education and career opportunities in the region. The project will also carry out a networking seminar/job fair as a meeting platform of employers and job seekers and maintaining long-term relationships between members. All activities will be supported by 10 distinguished youth leaders that will be selected in the project as well as local stakeholders in the 4 provinces. The project will help preventing negative consequences on female youth such as early marriage and child bearing as well as violence, young women will be empowered to continue their higher education and increase their employability through acquiring the right skills and linking to right resources.
Hasan Kalyoncu University and Helpzone Association developed this project idea based on their local experience in the region and problems of the target group, thus, planning to smoothly manage the project through bringing in their EU project management expertise and experience. It is worth mentioning that Hasan Kalyoncu University has a similar experience in empowering vulnerable male and female youth through other programs, in addition, the staff of Helpzone has a wide experience in implementing EU projects in Turkey and abroad, with capability of conducting innovative interventions for capacity building, mobile counselling, education and career mentoring of youth and empowering youth leaders to champion advocacy campaigns and awareness raising addressing the public for widely spreading the word in their communities and improving their lives and future. We will be sharing information and outputs as well as results of the project through social media and Facebook, newsletter and updates to be shared with regional stakeholders, other projects implementers and HOPES-MADAD for sharing them on their website, this way they will be multiplied and widespread.
We strongly believe in this project and are confident that it will provide such an innovative and practical solution that will greatly contribute to the overall objectives of the HOPES programme.
“This web site has been produced with the assistance of the European Union and HOPES consortium of partners. The contents of this web site are the sole responsibility of Hasan Kalyoncu University and Helpzone and can in no way be taken to reflect the views of the European Union, the EU’s Regional Trust Fund in response to the Syrian Crisis, the ‘Madad Fund’ nor the HOPES consortium”