We Reached Out To 7,000 Refugees

The first stage of our Outreach Project that we started, in Ümraniye and Avcılar districts of İstanbul, with the support of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and in cooperation with International Medical Corps (IMC) in 2016 was finalized at the end of June. In the scope of Project, we reached out to over 7 thousand refugees via home visits and case management studies in 9 months. We carried out the studies to inform about the rights under the Temporary Protection Regulations, facilitate access to services and identify the needs related to these services.

The study data showed that the registration process under temporary protection which is the first condition for Syrians’ access to services was completed by 80% -a high ratio- of the people reached out and that around 10% of these people were at the pre-registration process and only 10% had no register. While low number of unregistered refugees was a positive development, we saw that the presence of dual registration system including pre-registration and final registration and the practices varying by districts and also the language barrier prompted the refugees to give up the registration process. As YUVA, we supported the people defined to have registration difficulty, by launching or ensuring the completion of the pre-registration process of 90% of such people through information or guidance during the Project.

Even if the Syrians under temporary protection are able to benefit from the training services free of charge, the schooling ratio of children hasn’t reached to the desired level yet. The study performed shows that 14% of the children who have been reached out don’t go to school and 55% of them are child workers. We notified the Ministry of Family and Social Policies of these cases and followed them during the term of project.

Regarding the access to health services, we saw that the unregistered refugees mainly experienced problems while the registered ones had such orientation problems as language barrier, bureaucratic procedures and failure to know how to get an appointment. Through information support, these problems were mostly settled. We witnessed that the people couldn’t identify their problems related to mental health and the individuals themselves or their family didn’t give priority to such problems and hence they weren’t in search of support in this respect or they postponed it. We found out that the presence of very limited services related to mental health and lack of trust in these services made the access to them difficulty. We saw that the ratio of benefiting from these services got higher, when the people were directed to the institutions which render services in that field.

Due to limited economic resources, scarcity of employment opportunities and the difficulties in provision of quite basic needs, the access to social benefits is one of the common issues encountered while working with the Syrian refugees. The topics related to social benefits constitute 12% of the guidance activities and 7% of the case management activities performed under the Project. Under the category of social benefits, we studied on food and housing benefit and basic vital needs as well as the access to economic support resources that would prevent child labour and support families to be self-sufficient. One of two cases followed had the access to reach the social benefits. Also, for the employment of the adult members of families, we directed them to the employment activities of İş-Kur (Turkish Employment Agency), other organizations and YUVA.

At the second stage of the Project, we aim to reach out to 450 homes with the support of UNHCR till the end of 2017. By clicking the link below, you can watch the video that we prepared to introduce our Outreach Project.