Educational Support for Yezidi Children
April - August 2015
Diyarbakır, Batman, Siirt, Şırnak, Urfa
Thousands of Yezidis who fled Sinjar and immigrated to Turkey following the ISIS attacks late 2014 are accommodated in camps that were built in several cities with the support of local governments, NGOs, GABB (the Union of South Eastern Anatolia Region Municipalities) and the local public. About 30.000 Yezidis who sought refuge in Turkey were settled in camps in Diyarbakır (Fidanlık, Bismil, Çınar), Batman, Siirt, Şırnak (Cizre, İdil, Silopi), Mardin (Midyat, Nusaybin) and Urfa (Viranşehir). The initial endeavour to provide the basic humanitarian needs of the Yezidis gained momentum with the arrival of international support.
While efforts continue to cater the most basic needs of Yezidis, dramatically limited resources are at the disposal of educational and social activities. The biggest obstacle remains the lack of educational material. This project aims to make up the shortage of educational material required for the education of the children living in the camps. In addition to this, following the recruiting of teachers who’ll hold classes, the implementers plan to establish a platform to accommodate workshops that will facilitate teachers share their experiences.
The most important activity of the project is the preparation of the textbooks that will support the children’s education. Working in collaboration with Kurdish language experts, the implementers have decided on the list of books that prove ideal for the children’s needs.
The books, which were printed by Aram Publishing in 2013 for the children in Rojava, are as follows:
1. Pirtuka Bîrkarî Refa Yekemîn (Mathematics 1)
2. Pirtuka Bîrkarî Refa Duyemîn (Mathematics 2)
3. Pirtuka Bîrkarî Refa Sêyemîn (Mathematics 3)
4. Pirtuka Bîrkarî Refa Çaremîn (Mathematics 4)
5. Pirtuka Bîrkarî Refa Pêncemîn (Mathematics 5)
6. Pirtuka Bîrkarî Refa Şeşemîn (Mathematics 6)
7. Seretayî Zimanê Kurdî 1 (Kurdish 1)
8. Seretayî Zimanê Kurdî 2 (Kurdish 2)
9. Seretayî Zimanê Kurdî 3 (Kurdish 3)
10. Seretayî Zimanê Kurdî 4 (Kurdish 4)
11. Seretayî Zimanê Kurdî 5 (Kurdish 5)
12. Seretayî Zimanê Kurdî 6 (Kurdish 6)
Prepared to address the age group 6-12, the titles’ will have a print run of 24.000 and they will be distributed to children who are about to start or have already started their education in Yezidi camps. In addition to Mathematics and Kurdish, English textbooks are also being written for the children. Furthermore, stationary material to complement the textbooks, which will be required in the course of the children’s education will be distributed to every single child.
Despite limited resources, Yezidi teachers in camps have already started classes. The classes will continue with the same teachers after the printing of the books. The camps are currently hosting 12 Yezidi teachers and a limited number of teachers from Turkey. A collaboration with Eğitim-Sen (Education and Science Workers' Union of Turkey) and GABB (The Union of South Eastern Anatolia Region Municipalities) is planned to add to the number of teachers from Turkey teaching in the camps. The entire project aims to recruit as many teachers as possible to teach in the camps.
Two workshops will be organized in order to establish a platform where teachers holding classes can share their experiences with each other. To be open to teachers from every camp, these workshops, each spanning for the duration of a day, will provide an open space for the sharing of experiences, talks and discussions concerning the operability of the components of the project as well as the requirements of the children and the means to cater to these needs.
The project, implemented by Anadolu Kültür in collaboration with Aram Publishing, is supported by Chrest Foundation and Open Society Foundation.