Gaziantep Integrated Inclusion Initiative

Project Description

Project Title
Gaziantep Integrated Inclusion Initiative
Project Description
The Gaziantep Integrated Inclusion Initiative is a project that aims to increase the inclusion of children with autism, learning differences and trauma-related behavioral challenges in their classrooms, homes and community in Gaziantep, Turkey. Furthermore, this project contributes to peace in the Gaziantep community and in Turkey by promoting the integration of Turkish and Syrian students in schools and by bringing Turkish and Syrian teachers together around a common goal of inclusive education.

The Gaziantep community home to over 300,000 Syrian refugees, the majority of whom are school-aged in addition to its Turkish community. Within the community, there are over 1,000 diagnosed autism cases, and approximately 56,000 children with learning differences and trauma-related behavioral challenges. However, due to a lack of trained teachers and due to the stigma of developmental disabilities and mental health issues within the community, the majority of these children do not have access to an education that meets their learning needs. Most children with autism in the community are denied access to education altogether, while many of the trauma-affected children and children with learning differences are present in classrooms where their needs are ignored and where, other students and teachers report, they often disrupt classroom activities.

The yearlong Gaziantep Integrated Inclusion Initiative will address this multi-faceted problem using a holistic approach that addresses the needs of teachers, parents, and children in the community so that all children in Gaziantep, irrespective of nationality and learning needs, can access an effective and appropriate education, participate in their communities, and lead full lives. We will do this through the following partnerships and activities:

Activities:
1) Teacher training in evidence-based practices for inclusive education and trauma-informed teaching for 40 teachers from 20 Gaziantep public schools. The teachers will be selected by the Ministry of Education and will go on to train other teachers in their schools and within the municipality in learned practices.
2) Parent training in evidence-based practices for home-based life skills and educational support for 30 Turkish and Syrian families. Families will be selected in partnership with the Gaziantep Autism Family Foundation and will go on to train other families in the community in learned practices.
3) Family Support and Self-Development groups for parents and siblings that provide psychosocial support, catalyze community networks of support for families and that utilize a strengths-based peer support approach to the development of effective self-care and caregiving practices through an interactive curriculum.
4) Community education and advocacy that utilizes key partnerships to decrease community stigma and to institutionalize evidence-based practices for inclusive education and trauma-informed teaching in Gaziantep schools.

Partnerships to date: The Gaziantep Municipality, The Turkish Provincial Ministry of Education, Gaziantep Autism Family Foundation

Project Description Excerpt
This program increases the inclusion of children with autism, learning differences and trauma-related behavioral challenges in the classrooms, homes and community in Gaziantep, Turkey.
Project Contact Name
Melissa Diamond
Project Contact Email
melissa@aglobalvoiceforautism.org
Preferred Language
English
Project URL (website)
http://www.aglobalvoiceforautism.org
Project Categories
Education
Project Location
Address
Municipality of Gaziantep
Gaziantep Buyuksehir
Gaziantep, Gaziantep 27010
Turkey
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Project Information
Project Time Frame
1 year
Rotary District
Seeking Host District
Club Name
Seeking Host Club
Project Resources
Funding
To date we have secured $30,288 from the Open Society Foundation toward our overall program implementation budget as well as $45,000 in in-kind donations from the Gaziantep Municipality and $3,600 in in-kind donations from the Gaziantep Autism Family Foundation. We have also tentatively secured Euros 90,000 from OPET (the Turkish petroleum company) that is earmarked for teacher training stipends that are mandatory to provide to all participating Gaziantep public school teachers.

To reach our ideal program budget (which will allow us to employ a yearlong team at the project site, we are looking to raise another $420,000. Realizing that this is a large amount, we have designed alternative budgets with lower thresholds that will enable us to launch the program in early 2018.

Volunteers
We are seeking 2 volunteers per quarter to join our team on the ground in Gaziantep (for 4 months at a time) (behavior and special education professionals) as well as volunteers to carry out behind the scenes tasks to assist with program operation. We would be interested in finding Turkish-English and Arabic-English translation volunteers as well.
Is there a Global Grant for this project?
No
Cosponsors
The Open Society Foundation
The Gaziantep Municipality
Gaziantep Otizm Vakfi (The Gaziantep Autism Family Foundation)
Images – Photos
Images