Being a child is the same all around the world. Their dreams about the future precede all difficulties and troubles. 13-year-old Kevkab did not give up on her dreams as a child who lived through the conflict in Syria and built a new life in Türkiye with her mother.
Thanks to funding from the European Union and the support of the Turkish authorities, GOAL Türkiye is providing the necessary support for Kevkab to work towards realising her dreams. After several years of absence, she returned to school, and rolled up her sleeves become a lawyer.
Kevkab was just a baby when her parents got divorced. Her mother, Nadya, moved back into her parents’ house with Kevkab. Nadya, who worked as an agricultural worker in Hasaka, Syria, was trying to raise her daughter despite many difficulties. Fearing for her safety and due to lacking job opportunities, she came to a crossroads in her life in 2018. She decided to flee to Türkiye with her sister and brother, taking Kevkab with her.
“There is no life left to live in Syria, no job and no food. I had many difficulties. The reason I came here was to work, get my own life back and to take care of my daughter,” Nadya says.
They started to live in a tent-like structure with her brother in Mersin province. But life continued to bring more difficulties. When she arrived, she worked in the fields but never managed to earn enough money to provide for her family. “I can’t fulfill my daughter’s wishes. When she wants clothes or when I can’t cook a meal she wants, I get very upset,” Nadya says.
Life changing support
When Nadya heard about GOAL’s work in Türkiye, she reached out for support. GOAL’s team helped her access the Emergency Social Safety Net (ESSN). This programme, funded by EU Humanitarian Aid, helps refugees meet their daily needs through cash assistance. She also received a market voucher card from GOAL to help her put food on the table for the family. Working with local institutions, GOAL teams also helped Kevkab access educational opportunities in her new home.
“If I hadn’t had the support, I don’t know what I would have done. I was psychologically exhausted. This support has been very helpful to me,” Nadya says.
Dreams for the future
Kevkab is going into 6th grade with great joy. She loves learning new things. She’s delighted that she’s now able to communicate in Turkish and enjoys English lessons the most. She’s looking forward to the future with optimism.
“After meeting with GOAL, I realised my dream of going to school. I want to be a lawyer. To protect the rights of the people. When I grow up, I want to have a big house and a car. I want a beautiful, peaceful life.”
Nadya is also happy to see her daughter receive an education. “I want her to build her own future with success,”she beams.
“Right of every child”
GOAL Türkiye Protection Worker, Burcu Micoogulları, is very happy to be able to support Kevkab.
“Child labor and child marriage are among the most common problems encountered in seasonal agricultural fields. However, access to education is the right of every child. Kevkab’s love for school encouraged us.”
“It is very valuable for me that Kevkab attends school with great longing and ambition, and that she doesn’t get discouraged by the hardships of the process and continues to attend school regularly. It’s also great to see her mother being Kevkab’s biggest supporter.”
“I don’t want anything for myself,” says Nadya. “I want her to stand on her own two feet.”
The LINK project
Since 2018, the LINK project has provided protection assistance and conducted awareness-raising activities for vulnerable refugees in Türkiye. LINK is a European Union-funded project implemented by GOAL Türkiye which supports refugees like Kevkab in accessing essential rights and services such as education.