The consultancy services, psychosocial support activities and information sessions of the Women’s Counseling and Solidarity Center have continued on digital platforms with the COVID-19 measures in recent months.
Since October, 2410 calls have reached the Mavi Kalem Hotline and 893 of these calls have been directed to the general counselor of the Women’s Counseling and Solidarity Center. Learning the demands and needs of the person seeking a general counselor, he directed them to psychological or health counseling or case follow-up. While digital remote counseling has its difficulties, it also proved to be useful in a different manner, leading to people that would otherwise be unable to reach our counseling services; living in farther away neighborhoods, unable to come to our center for any reason, etc. thus leading them with health counsling and psychological counselling services.
Apart from the requests for health counseling, psychological counseling and legal counseling services provided in the center, the most demanding requests are support related to education and financial support. We made various distributions due to the increasing financial needs during the pandemic period. As part of the “Healthy Baby” project, we distributed baby kits in October. These kits contain the care and hygiene materials a newborn baby needs. We also distributed stationery items to 20 families with school-age children who had difficulties in providing materials for their children’s education.
Community volunteer women have continued to support our work in the past months. They spread their informative contents, activities in the center, the Blue Pen Information Line around them, and they directed new registrations to the center. In the meetings we hold every week, they shared with us the needs they saw in the field and the feedback they received from the field. We benefited from this feedback while organizing our work.
All activities we did with women and children at the center continued through digital platforms. In the past months, we held informative sessions with women on psychology and health issues: We talked about smear testing, technology addiction, psychological violence, self-confidence, breast self-examination, gynecology, pregnancy planning. At the event we organized for the Day of Combating Violence Against Women on November 25, we opened a space for women to talk about the issue and talked about the ways they can apply when they are exposed to violence.
On October 11, International Day of the Girl Child, we talked about women’s relationships with girls and children’s rights. The women said that they were very close with their daughters and that they would do their best to keep their daughters in school. We drew a picture with the children about the importance of this day.
Apart from that, we produced useful items from waste materials with women, chatted about historical places in Istanbul, and made a new year calendar. We have improved the vocabulary knowledge of women in these areas by speaking in Turkish on subjects such as describing people, asking and describing addresses, body parts and health problems. We played games of other countries with children, drew geometric shapes, played games with numbers, and prepared a new year card.