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SOLIDARITY MEETING OF WOMEN COOP IN BURSA!

Press release…

Celebrating the achievements of women working together to establish and run a cooperative business in Bursa…

22 June 2021, Bursa– Today marks the official inauguration of the Orhanili women’s cooperative in Bursa province. The event celebrates the successful collaboration of 20 Syrian and Turkish women entrepreneurs who established and currently run an agri-food cooperative business under a project, funded by the Government of Japan with support from FAO, that promotes self-reliant livelihoods through micro-entrepreneurship.

Dr. Ayşegül Selışık

The event was opened by Ayşegül Selışık, Assistant FAO Representative in Turkey. More than a hundred attendees were welcomed with a traditional breakfast prepared and served by the cooperative members. The key attendees included representatives from the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, Members of Parliament, the Deputy Mayor of Bursa Metropolitan Municpality and the Mayor of Orhaneli district , in addition to national and local media representatives.

In her opening remarks, Ayşegül Selışık highlighted the importance of such projects in building the skills of Turkish and Syrian women: “The skills gained through vocational, entrepreneurship and cooperative trainings organized by FAO, in collaboration with Bursa Provincial Directorate of Agriculture and Forestry, not only help women to produce fine traditional foods, they also help them manage their businesses efficiently”.

Hamit Aygül

Hamit Aygül, Bursa Provincial Director of Agriculture and Forestry, added that the women participating in the project also learned about food safety and standards, which allow them to deliver quality products. Süleyman Çelik, the Deputy Mayor of Bursa Metropolitan Municipality, expressed his admiration for the project, saying that the impact has exceeded his expectations.

Manal el Ahmed, a Syrian graduate from the programme stated that: “the education centre provided us with a teacher to take care of our children during the training. I am very happy with this project, but my children are even happier.” The Municipality of Orhaneli also provided the PDoAF with a good training venue free of charge.

During the ceremony, İrem Sema Gülşen, President of the Cooperative Board, compared the cooperative to an “imece”, an old Turkish myth that symbolizes cooperation and co-production. She also highlighted the transformative power of women working together through the Orhanili cooperative: “The project has increased our skills and knowledge of collective entrepreneurship as well as our awareness of working in a multicultural environment”.

With the support of the Government of Japan, FAO has started implementing the fourth phase of the project to promote self-reliant livelihoods of Syrians under Temporary Protection (SuTPs) and host communities through employment and micro-entrepreneurship opportunities. This project is executed in partnership with the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry and its provincial directorates in Ankara, Bursa, Izmir, Kilis, Manisa, Mardin and Şanliurfa.

About İsmail Uğural

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