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More than 13 thousand women benefited from the Women’s Counselling Centre in 4 years

MaviKalem’s Women’s Counselling Centre in Esenyurt district of Istanbul, which started its operations in 2019, continues its activities at full speed this year. This centre works to support all Turkish, migrant and refugee women to access basic rights and services. In the last 4 years, 19 thousand 611 people have benefited from the centre, which provides services in Turkish, Arabic and Farsi. Of these, 13,406 were women, 6,167 were men and 21 were LGBTI individuals.

The services provided at the Women’s Counselling Centre include general counselling services on education, health, basic needs and legal issues, referral support to the necessary institutions, accompaniment and interpretation support, and individual psychological counselling support. In addition to all these, group psychosocial support activities accompanied by a psychologist are implemented to make women feel better psychologically.

At the same time, various activities are organised where women can have a pleasant time and socialise. These activities include handicrafts and painting workshops, historical site visits, catered chats, plant planting and cultivation workshops. To support the Turkish language learning of refugee women, beginner level (a1-A2) Turkish courses are provided in cooperation with the public education centre.

Some of the kind words we have heard from the women who have benefited from the centre over the past year are as follows:

“I get bored when I go home. Everything is the same, the same things we do at home. Our routine has changed here. We spent a full time and had fun”,

“I’m so relaxed. All my nerves and stress are gone”,

“I feel light in body and soul”,

“It was a very nice event. We got out of the routine in our lives a little bit. I produced something other than cooking for the first time in my life”,

“It was a very useful, fun and exciting activity. It was as if we were forming five fingers of one hand with each other”,

“I came here to get away from home, to be honest. I’m very happy”.

As of the first month of 2024, children also started to benefit from the Women’s Counselling Centre. Children could benefit from the centre before, but this was limited to the children’s playground. Over the years, we have found that about 30 percent of the women who contacted the centre did not contact the centre for themselves, but for their children’s problems. As a result, we started to provide individual psychological counselling support and organise psychosocial support activities for children as of January.

In the first month of 2024, 293 people benefited from these services offered at the Women’s Counselling Centre. 140 people were referred to relevant institutions and organisations according to their needs in areas such as basic needs, education and health. 26 women and 3 children were identified as being exposed to different types of violence and referred to the necessary institutions. 11 women and 9 children received individual psychological counselling support. 46 women benefited from group psychosocial support activities. 69 women participated in information sharing and socialisation activities.

The Women’s Counselling Centre also conducts awareness-raising activities for men to empower women. It also provides on-the-job support to local non-governmental organisations. Women’s Counselling Centre Bulletin published in September.

For all these activities, you can also check the Women’s Counselling Centre Bulletin  published in September.





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