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Secretary-General of the UN's Message on International Women’s Day
News Date: 07 March 2017 Tuesday

Commemoration of our Founder and Honorary President Prof. Ýhsan Doðramacý
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Fifth Ordinary General Assembly Meeting of International Children’s Center
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Vacancy Announcement for Project Officer
News Date: 21 December 2016 Wednesday


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A- Newborn Health & Early Childhood Development B- Child Health
C- Adolescent & Reproductive Health & Rights D- Women's Health & Rights
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D - Women's Health and Rights

European Union Grundtvig Learning Partnerships: Public Living Room–A Safe Learning Space (August 2013 – July 2015)

The project entitled “Public Living Room–A Safe Learning Space” is supported by Turkish Center for European Union Education and Youth Programs. The activities began on August 2013 and will endure for two years. It is a partnership of Mother Centers in 5 countries. The partnership wants to explore the qualities of mother centers, how it functions by debating its most essential aspect: safety. In the partnership each partner has chosen a sub-theme related to safety. Partners formulate questions to be debated by all other partners and they gather the outcomes of these debates afterwards in a theme paper

As per the partnership agreement for the first year of the project (2014 August 1-June 30), International Children’s Center (ICC) has participated in 4 meetings held in Austria Poland, Germany and Slovakia. In the local context, ICC has also organized one meeting for the partners in Ankara, Turkey on 28-30 January 2014. The last meeting of the first year of the partnership was held from 30 May to 3 June 2014 in Munich, Germany. ICC could not take part in this mobility and decided to take part in the upcoming meetings with a group of staff in order to benefit more on the topics.

For each of the mobility meeting held, ICC, with support of the Gaziantep Metropolitan Municipality, organized discussions on the topics in the mother centers of Gaziantep. The first local discussion with the mothers in mother centers of Gaziantep was directed by one of ICC’s staff in Gaziantep and other discussions were held the mother center coordinators themselves. For each of the topic, a questionnaire was sent to Gaziantep mother centers. After the questionnaires were done, the answers were received by ICC and a detailed report was prepared to be presented in the mobility meetings.

A report for each of the debates was prepared both in English and in Turkish, and outcomes of the discussions were presented in the mobility meetings. Before each mobility meeting, a newsletter was prepared by the hosting partner on the topic to be discussed. The newsletters included a brief information on the topic to be worked on, questions to facilitate debates and organizational and logistics information about the upcoming mobility. Each newsletter was translated to local language by every partner in order to help every people from different cultures in the partner countries.
 
The subjects of the first year of the project were:

  • Making the Mother Center into a Safe Public Living Room,
  • Creating safety in times of crisis/ life changing situations,
  • How mothers give each other support in early motherhood,
  • When I leave my child.
  • Safety in the family,
  • Having a supporting group/ community
As per the second year activities of the partnership, first meeting of the second year (1 August 2014 – 30 June 2015) was held in Regensburg, Germany on 24-27 October 2014. Landesverband Mütter- und Familienzentren in Bayern e.V. from Germany, coordinator of the project  hosted this meeting which was organized on “Topic:12: Tools &  methods to set up safety in our group” subject of the partnership. Participants from Germany, Slovakia, Poland, Turkey, and Austria attended in the meeting and presented their discussion reports on the subject. Apart from the findings based on the discussion reports, ICC contributed by giving information on Team Dynamics and strategies on handling difficult situations in mother centers.

ICC also proposed a mini-poster to be used by the mother centers which highlights the characteristics of a team member. The aim was to remind every mother and the coordinators of the mother centers how we should act and react in a team efficiently. This mini poster was very much appreciated by the Mother  Center coordinators and the decided to use it according the their cultural needs and/or obstacles faced in their home countries

The second meeting of the second year of the project was held in Warsaw, Poland on 20-23 November 2014. The aim of the meeting was to discuss on “Health Systems” of the partner countries. The main focus was to determine the differences of the mother and child care services provided in the countries and to learn whether mothers are aware of the services provided during maternal period. In counclsion, it was noted that mostly women are aware of the services provided and that they give importance to maternal health.

The second meeting of the second year of the project was held in Warsaw, Poland on 20-23 November 2014. The aim of the meeting was to discuss on “Health Systems” of the partner countries. The main focus was to determine the differences of the mother and child care services provided in the countries and to learn whether mothers are aware of the services provided during maternal period. In counclsion, it was noted that mostly women are aware of the services they are provided and that they give importance to maternal health.
 
Peer Learning Strategies in Mother Centers

ICC has become involved with the European Union Education and Youth Programs, Grundtvig Lifelong Learning Partnership in order to introduce the concept of Mother Centers in Turkey. ICC established the first Mother Center in the province of Gaziantep in partnership with the Gaziantep Metropolitan Municipality. Mother Centers are self-managed community meeting places, providing support to families. They are a social cohesion strategy, a setting for informal learning and empowerment and a basis to strengthen social and political participation, especially for women from marginalized groups.

In the partnership, women from established Mother Centers in five countries transferred their knowledge to women interested in starting centers in their own country. They were not passive recipients of knowledge, but actively shaped their own learning through study visits and the Grassroots Women's International Academy (GWIA). This unique, field-tested peer learning format received a UN Best Practices award. The GWIA methodology is a structured process of peer learning, where participants learn to be owners of the knowledge they generate by coping with everyday issues, and to develop strategies based on these competencies and skills with the aim of transferring their knowledge to others.

The GWIA methodology and process was extended to bilateral peer exchanges and study visits: the Mother Centers approach was adapted to different national and cultural settings and new initiatives were started in Turkey, Poland and Spain as a result of the partnership. Partners met during the peer exchanges and study visits and at the concluding conference shared experiences in initiating Mother Centers in their own neighborhoods. The most important outcome of the Grundtvig Partnership was the establishment of Hope Mother Center (Umut Anne Merkezi) in the province of Gaziantep with the support of the Gaziantep Metropolitan Municipality in 2010. Since then, two new Mother Centers are underway in Gaziantep.

"The Peer Learning Strategies in Mother Centers" Partnership Project was nominated as one of the four most successfully implemented Grundtvig Partnership Projects in Turkey and the coordinators of the project were invited to present the results in Sweden during the 8th International Grundtvig Partnership Conference.

In 2010, the project and the results of the project were presented during the Mother and Child Health Congress held in Gaziantep.

Association for the Support and Training of Women Candidates (ASTWC) Training of Trainers,
31 March 2010, Ankara

ASTWC launched the "Empowerment of Women Citizens" project which is supported by the United Nations Democracy Fund (UNDEF). In Turkey, the NGOs have played an essential role in national rule of law processes to establish democratic governance. Turkey has entered a period of reform in the last decade which has come hand in hand with the country's European Union accession and democratization process. As a result, both the NGOs themselves and their demands became more visible. Among these demands, knowledge, improvement and implementation of human rights, women's rights, rights of minorities and ethnic groups have the highest priority. Women's NGOs have successfully influenced policymakers for more women-friendly laws. They have also taken part in ensuring the implementation of these reforms by empowering women to demand and enjoy their basic and civil rights through training sessions, field studies and organizing under various platforms.

They have emerged as important agents of change to achieve gender equality in social, economic and political life in
Turkey.

The "Empowerment of Women Citizens" project aims to build on the current capacities of women's NGOs to raise awareness on women's rights by increasing the training abilities of women activists and by encouraging them to apply their new skills to training their fellows in their own provinces.

The 14 training of trainers workshops were organized in seven regions of the country, to form a pool of 350 trainers on women's rights and gender equality to train women activists.

The ICC participated in these training activities as trainer on a rights-based approach to gender discrimination, gender roles and prejudice.

 

International Children's Center, Bilkent University, Main Campus, Library Building, 06800, Bilkent, Ankara, Turkey
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