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Educational programs as hubs for social integration and regional cooperation for refugee children
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CitationAlaboudi, M. (2019). Educational programs as hubs for social integration and regional cooperation for refugee children. The 4th Annual Conference on Refugee Law Initiative, University of London, London, UK, 3-5 June 2019.
The situation of refugees in Turkey is no different. The current number of refugees settled in Turkey, among the highest worldwide, is 3.5 million, 48% of which are school aged individuals, with no sign of returning home in the near future. With a growing awareness of the longevity of most refugees’ displacement, policymakers have begun shifting the focus of refugee education — toward the goal of integrating students into the local community of their current country, with the goal of maximizing stability and providing future opportunity, through education. However, tending to such issues is adding an unbearable burden to already struggling education institutions in Turkey, which is why some have resorted to community and regional partnerships to seek services and mutual growth. This case study looks at the role of educational programs within six schools in Istanbul, functioning as community “hubs” in forming partnerships, locally and regionally, offering services that extend beyond education to community stakeholders, contributing to a positive and sustainable social development and collective community healing. The results of this study emphasize the vital role of local and regional efforts in working towards solutions for complex, intersectional issues of quality education, family-community-school partnerships, integration, sustainable development, positive community building, and youth investment.