*Employment number of children aged between 6 and 17 years is nearly 900 thousand according to the results of 2012 Child Labour Force Survey, Turkish Statistical Institute. Roughly 8 million children work unregistered on streets, offices and household chores. Rights of access to a decent standard of living and education are taken away from working children, abused and drop out with dull prospects...
We have been implementing our unique social responsibility project "Back to School", in collaboration with Istanbul Province National Education Directorate and Boğaziçi University, with the aim of redirecting secondary school children to school from the streets and workplaces since March 2010.
Back to School has reached over 6.200 working children and their parents at 45 schools and 13 counties in İstanbul, in over 8 years. We intended children to form friendly relations with their schools, by the aid of in-school or out-school academic and social activities with their teachers.
Since 2012, we have been organizing drama workshops where our students get together with drama experts two times a month. In cooperation with İstanbul Drama Sanat Academy, we aim to help the children enhance their self-improvement and self-expression and help them form stronger bonds with their schools.
Since the first day of our Project, we have been implying the importance of "family" when it comes to stopping and preventing child labor. Therefore, in 2014-15 educational year, we introduced "Family Communications" seminars where we met with parents who force/encourage their children to work. Every year, we aim to continue to organize these seminars under the guidance of a professional counselor. These workshops are intended to create an awareness about children’s right to a proper education by having one on one chats with families.
Garanti Pension employees have been supporting "Back to School" since the beginning of the project by participating in school activities such as painting, vocational education and English lessons during weekends as volunteers. Our volunteers organised these activities in the last educational year by sponsoring some activities individually such as aquarium visits, Bosphorus tour, museum visits etc. Our volunteers have been pursuing "role modelling" for working children for over 8 years.
Since the beginning of the Project, we redirected 914 working children, back to school completely mainly with the help of over 800 Garanti Pension volunteers’ and teachers’ undeniable supports.