Community centres in host communities provide support across human and physical capitals and help migrants with integration.
The Turkish Red Crescent Society hosts four community centres in Ankara, Istanbul, Konya and Sanliurfa that work to monitor, understand and address the needs of migrants living in the community. Six categories of services are provided: (a) child programmes; (b) adult services; (c) seminars; (d) other psychosocial services (including therapy); (e) referral services; and (f) case tracking and cultural harmonization.
In Ankara, a three-floor 500 metre square community centre was opened in March 2016 and operates from 9am to 6pm daily. The Ankara centre provides basic occupational courses, including in tailoring, hairdressing and basic computer skills, as well as Turkish language classes for migrants. Other services provided by the centre include psychosocial support, monitoring of difficult issues by social workers, child friendly spaces, and community integration activities.
To identify which services to provide, staff of the centre regularly conduct visits into the communities to consult migrants and learn about their major needs. A programme of cooperation with government actors, including the ministries of education, health and social services, is used to deliver services that address priority needs. Within the first month of opening, 900 individuals registered with the Centre. The Turkish Red Crescent Society has plans to expand and open 16 community centres by the end of the year; the next centre slated to open is in Kilis.
Since the centres started in 2015, over 15,000 people have been provided services.
Design. [P1] Focuses on the needs of migrants in host communities. [P3] Supports the educational and vocational aspirations of migrants.
Implementation. [P6] Builds partnerships between the National Society, government and (I)NGOs to benefit migrants.
Programme. [P9] Works in response to displacement.
- Centres are funded through the IFRC appeal fund and it is unclear how they will be funded after it is finished.
- A key first step for success involves building trust amongst the migrant population, so they patronize the centre.
- The most important thing is to listen to the refugees.
- Involve the local community in the centre to make it a space for integration and harmonization.
- It helps to work closely with government.
- Centres provide an environment where migrants can socialize freely and have their voices heard.
Smart practices report and database survey
About the report
People migrate in pursuit of a better life for themselves and their families. As described in the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies’ (IFRC) Policy on Migration, “migrants are persons who leave or flee their habitual residence to go to new places – usually abroad – to seek opportunities or safer and better prospects.