Mandy Yamanis, GOAL Global Safeguarding Advisor, spent a week in Türkiye this September, to visit GOAL’s humanitarian programmes and to discuss implementing GOAL’s safeguarding strategy in depth.
Mandy visited three field offices in Hatay, Adana and Gaziantep provinces. These provinces are hosting the highest number of Syrian refugees in Türkiye – more than one million. During her comprehensive visit, Mandy met with GOAL staff and Syrian refugees engaging with GOAL Türkiye’s humanitarian programmes. Her main aim was to discuss GOAL’s safeguarding policies and to conduct workshops, capacity building trainings and facilitate support activities for field offices to understand how to incorporate safeguarding in their day-to-day work.
Around the world, GOAL is committed to enabling an environment that promotes a strong safeguarding ethos and culture by ensuring that safeguarding is at the heart of all operations. GOAL has zero tolerance towards incidents of violence and abuse committed by GOAL employees or partners against children and adults.
‘Safe’ Workshops for GOALies
During her visit, Mandy met with GOAL departments such as MEAL, Logistics, Procurement, and Human Resources to improve ‘safe’ engagement. She also arranged workshops in the three regions, with more than 115 GOAL staff. Mandy also highlighted the importance of reporting safeguarding concerns and of ‘safe’ implementation of humanitarian programmes.
Project Risk Assessments
In Adana, Mandy visited the construction of a greenhouse for the GREEN project, funded by USAID and carried out in cooperation with Adana Metropolitan Municipality. Lorraine Marriott, Regional Director for Middle East of GOAL, joined the visit. As part of GOAL’s safe, accountable, and inclusive programming approach, she discussed the risks and possible solutions with field colleagues. A project level risk assessment was also conducted with the team to identify possible safeguarding, gender, and inclusion risks as well as to discuss and agree on measures to prevent these risks.
‘Safe’ Discussions with Beneficiaries
She also held a discussion with Syrian refugees who are engaging with GOAL humanitarian programmes in Türkiye. In an open and candid conversation, refugee women talked about their experiences regarding the risks they faced and suggested possible solutions.
Empowerment of GOALies
Mandy then travelled to Gaziantep, where she conducted a full-day ‘Training the Trainers’ workshop, to empower managers, deputy managers and team leaders of the GOAL humanitarian projects in Türkiye. She raised awareness about reporting procedures, and what to do in the case of disclosure of a safeguarding concern.
Our safeguarding work in Türkiye
Safeguarding is not just a policy; it is a part of GOAL’s culture. GOAL’s strategy highlights the importance of safeguarding and appropriate measures to be taken to integrate safeguarding throughout its programme areas.
A wide variety of activities and trainings are organised in GOAL’s Türkiye offices, to ensure that the safeguarding policy is properly applied to humanitarian programmes and with GOAL staff and partners. GOAL Türkiye has a full time Safeguarding Officer who developed a safeguarding survey assessment in the beginning of 2022. The annual Safeguarding Action Plan was built in light of the survey results. Field Level Safeguarding Focal Points were assigned in each location across the country and comprehensive safeguarding trainings and regular inductions were conducted. A total of 189 staff received the full day safeguarding training and reporting procedures. Training and visibility materials have been prepared to further promote safeguarding policy.
During her visit to Türkiye, Mandy met with many GOAL staff and refugees engaging with humanitarian programmes of GOAL Türkiye to highlight the safeguarding strategy. The main message she gave was that “safeguarding matters. As humanitarian workers, we need to protect the very people that we serve.”