Best Practices Awards and National Conference For Participatory Local Development
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Dunya Newspaper, Friedrich Naumann Foundation, National Innovation Initiative, TUSIAD, Sabanci University and Sabanci University-Istanbul Policy Center have established a partnership initiative to encourage and reward best practice projects in participatory local development across different regions of Turkey.


On 23-24 May, the partners organized a conference in Ankara in which best practices for participatory, innovative and sustainable initiatives were presented and discussed. 6 out of 14 projects that were taken into consideration among 131 candidates were awarded.  Sabanci Foundation awarded the best 3 practice projects that address three key target groups: Women, Youth and the Disabled, each with a prize of 10.000 TL. The 3 other projects were awarded with a trip to Europe to exchange views with the Friedrich Naumann Foundation.


Projects awarded with Sabanci Foundation Prize:

  • Multi-Purpose Community Centers (CATOM) Project - Southeastern Anatolia Project (GAP) Regional Development Administration / Van
  • CEDAM Child-Adolescent Solidarity Center Project - Solidarity Association for Young People Deprived of Their Freedom  (OZ-GE DER) / Ankara
  • Physical-impaired People’s Shoe Manufacturing and Sewing Workshop Project - Social Aid and Solidarity Foundation / Diyarbakir


Projects awarded with Friedrich Naumann Foundation Prize:

  • Ardahan Socio-Economic Development Enterprise
  • Erbaa Investment Focused Sustainable Development Project
  • Mersin Innovation Strategy



Summary of Projects Selected to Receive Sabanci Foundation Awards


Area of Award: Empowering Women

Institution and Project: Southeastern Anatolia Project Regional Development Administration (GAP)- Multi Purpose Society Centers (CATOM) Project


The aim of the Multi Purpose Society Centers (MPSC) are to: create an opportunity for women to realize and define their problems, take action to resolve these problems; increase women participation in the public sphere and increase the benefit they get from public services; increase women’s employment and entrepreneurship; contribute to the procurement of equal opportunity by empowering women; and finally, make way for gender balanced development and through this develop replicable model(s) appropriate for local conditions and based on participatory society development. The basic principle of the Multi Purpose Society Centers is not to show women what to do, but to help them realize their own potential. The centers began opening in 1995. Presently there are 29 centers in 9 cities located in Southeastern Anatolia.


Activities of MPSC’s include: socio-cultural education and health programs, vocational training courses aimed at increasing employment and entrepreneurship of women, pre-school training programs for women and young girls; cultural and social events; social support programs (recording births officially, civil marriage, monetary aid, green card, scholarships, etc.), and social responsibility programs (education campaigns, district and village programs, environmental protection, forestation, health inspections, vaccination campaigns etc.) which are supported on a voluntary basis. Parallel to the achieved progress, pre-school education programs and reading rooms for children have also been included in the MPSC program focus. Men have also been included, although partially, to the health, computer, literacy etc. programs. Within the social support programs and cultural-social activities, the aim is to reach the whole household. As a result of the MPSCs, especially in recent years, more than 200 women and young girls per year have found jobs and 10-15 women have started their own businesses.




Area of Award: Supporting Youth

Institution and Project: Association of Solidarity for Youth Deprived of Freedom (OZ-GE-DER)  - Child Adolescent Counseling and Solidarity Center (CEDAM) Project


The Association of Solidarity for Youth Deprived of Freedom (OZ-GE-DER) is a non-governmental organization established in 1999 by members who have been working since 1993 to provide all kinds of counseling, support and help to children and young people under risk, especially those who are in jail or juvenile correction centers.


The CENTERS established within the scope of the Child Adolescent Counseling and Solidarity Center (CEDAM) Project aim to temporarily rehabilitate street children and young people who are under risk and facing social dangers, who have committed crimes or have been released from prison..The centers focus on keeping children and young people under risk within the school system, and support lessons and education programs with families and teachers which are organized with voluntary help. Within this context, the centers provide psychological support and counseling services for families and trainers. The Centers also provide services as local social service units in economically disadvantaged neighborhoods. The general purpose of the project is to make sure that children who are under the risk of being steered towards a life of crime are included in the society as active and productive individuals and to prevent them from living unlawful lives.


The CEDAM project was initiated in October 2005 with the cooperation between the Association of Solidarity with Youngsters Deprived of Freedom and the Cankaya Municipality, approved within the scope of the Social Risk Improvement Project organized under the Prime Ministry Social Aid and Solidarity Incentive Fund. Although the duration of the project has expired, it continues to operate with contributions of the association and other donors.




Area of Award: Social Integration of Persons with Disabilities

Institution and Project: Diyarbakir Foundation for Social Aid and Solidarity - Shoe Manufacturing and Sewing Workshop for the Disabled Project


The priority of the Diyarbakir Foundation for Social Aid and Solidarity Shoe Manufacturing and Sewing Workshop for the Disabled Project is to make the disabled, especially in local areas, active members of the society, to help them have self-confidence and become qualified individuals who contribute to social and economic life in Turkey. The “Shoe Manufacture and Sewing Workshop for the Disabled Project” aims to provide active lives and employment for disabled citizens who live in Diyarbakir. Within the context of the project, 15 disabled people have been trained and have begun working as shoe manufacturers as well as socializing in their own venues or through cultural activities organized by the Foundation such as movies, concerts and plays.


Disabled citizens who have begun working with this project now express themselves as confident, effective and as active members of social and cultural life. The fact that market share has shifted to the Ready Made Clothes and Shoemaking sectors has provided disabled people with extra income and jobs. At the workshops that are constituted according to the possibilities, the quality of labor and numbers of the workers are increasing every day. It is predicted that the project’s activities will to continue for at least 5 years on a sustainable basis and disabled participants are going to reach the capacity to begin their own local businesses in the coming years.

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