“The education women beneficiaries receive through EU-funded projects increases their knowledge and provides better food and a higher income for everyone in Bursa”, the EU Ambassador explained.
23 June 2021, Bursa – The Head of the European Union Delegation to Turkey and Ambassador, Nikolaus Meyer-Landrut, paid a visit to Bursa province to meet with stakeholders and beneficiaries of the “Building Resilience of Syrians under Temporary Protection and Host Communities in Turkey through Supporting Socio-Economic Integration and Creating Livelihood Opportunities” project, which is funded by the European Union (EU), and to visit activities currently being implemented on site.
The visit commenced with a meeting between the EU Ambassador and Hamit Aygül, the Bursa Provincial Director of Agriculture and Forestry to discuss project activities in the Bursa province. The meeting was also attended by Libor Chlad, Head of Section of the EU Facility for Refugees in Turkey; Esra Uzun, Deputy Director of the Bursa Provincial Directorate of Agriculture and Forestry; Ayşegül Selışık, Assistant FAO Representative in Turkey; Sheikh Ahaduzzaman, FAO Programme Officer and Çağatay Cebi, FAO Project Coordinator.
The EU Ambassador to Turkey highlighted the importance of agriculture in the region and inquired about the progress of the project in Bursa, stating that, “farming families as well as women cooperatives consisting of both Syrian and Turkish women have taken a significant step in creating sustainable livelihood opportunities. The education and training they have received through EU-funded projects, and what they have created with their new skills, has resulted in better food and higher incomes for all”.
The Bursa Provincial Director of Agriculture and Forestry noted that the project has trained both Syrians under Temporary Protection (SuTPs) and host community members, helping them to acquire the skills they need to become active members of the formal workforce. Hamit Aygül also noted that the training modules had been developed in accordance with labour market needs in the province. He highlighted the particular efforts made to support women-led initiatives and cooperatives, and stressed the importance of the cooperation with FAO, emphasizing his appreciation for the organization’s continuous technical support.
The meeting was followed by a visit to an exhibition on the silkworm breeding process, a traditional practice strongly associated with Bursa province. A seasoned silkworm breeding expert, Saadettin Işık, explained the role of silkworm breeding in creating new jobs, and noted that the recent training provided by the project had helped the sector recover after a recent depression. SuTPs and Turkish beneficiaries who learn how to produce silk through these traditional methods are now ready to become part of sustainable silkworm breeding production.
The Ambassador also visited the Yiğitali Women’s Cooperative to observe activities performed by SuTPs and Turkish citizens living in Yiğitali village and to discuss the activities of the cooperative with several women beneficiaries. As one Syrian beneficiary noted in her conversation with the Ambassador, the project has taught her and the other women new skills which have enabled them to stand on their own feet, working side-by side with their Turkish counterparts.
The project funded by the EU and implemented by FAO Turkey in close collaboration with the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry and the Ministry of Labour and Social Services commits to help build the social and economic resilience of SuTPs and Turkish citizens by creating opportunities to improve their skills and job prospects. As migration remains a strategic area of collaboration between the EU and the Government of Turkey, the EU is delighted to provide financial support to Turkey towards the creation of job prospects for SuTPs and local communities with the aim of enhancing formal employment prospects, particularly in the agriculture sector.