People in Need (PIN) began supporting Syrian refugees in Turkey in February 2016 in response to the growing needs of the high volume of refugees living there as a result of the Syrian crisis.
The Syrian conflict, which has forced over 4.8 million refugees from the country and internally displaced a further 6.3 million. Syria’s neighbouring countries of Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan, Iraq and Egypt host 98% of all Syrian refugees. To date, Turkey has registered over 2.97 million Syrian refugees, meaning that it is host to more Syrian refugees than any other nation in the world.
More than a third of registered Syrian refugees in Turkey are between 5-17 years of age and should be attending school, but less than half of these children have access to education. For Syrian refugee children in Turkey, as in other host countries, a number of obstacles stand in the way of their education. Among such obstacles are the language barrier, social integration factors, lack of transportation, and economic hardship.
School fees and transportation costs mean that many families cannot afford to send their children to school, as parents have to prioritize more urgent needs such as food and electricity over education. Many families left their homes in Syria taking only what they could physically carry with them and as such many have been forced to resort to negative coping mechanisms to survive in their new circumstances. Such a situation is detrimental to the entire family, regardless of age. Children often have to work to supplement family income and child marriages have also become more common as a means to relieve financial pressures.
People in Need’s education programme in Turkey
In coordination with the Turkish local education authorities, People in Need began supporting three Temporary Education Centres in Hatay province in February 2016. So far, People in Need has supplied over 1,500 students in these three schools with learning kits, and 105 teachers with practical teaching materials. In addition to this, we have started providing psychosocial support and social integration activities for children in order to more fully support their healthy development and education.