Can Eminoğlu | 26 March 2021
Opened in July 2018, The International Centre for Vocational Training (ICVT), run in collaboration with the Ankara Metropolitan Municipality, provides Turkish language and vocational training for persons in need of international protection and the host community members. The courses equip participants with the necessary skills and qualifications to enter the job market while helping establish closer bonds with the host community members. More than 450 participants have successfully completed the courses since 2018. Courses are now organized in line with COVID-19 preventive measures.
“Today I received my certificate marking the successful end of my training at the centre,” says 53-year-old Basima. “It feels great having been a part of this centre.” Basima is one of the trainees of the ICVT. She successfully completed both language learning and cooking training.
Basima fled Iraq in 2014 and currently lives with her mother in Ankara. In the first years, after her family’s arrival, she did not have the means to learn Turkish. Basima heard of the centre through one of her friends, registered, and attended Turkish language courses at the introductory level. “Thanks to the support of my instructor and friends, I am now able to communicate easily in Turkish,” she tells us. The end of the language classes was not an end for her though. These newly acquired skills motivated her to join vocational training courses also available at the centre. “I have always had an interest in cooking. So, when my instructor informed me that I could join vocational trainings, I was among the first students who registered.”
The cooking course was pure joy for Basima. She got to know the global culinary culture, learnt and applied different cooking techniques under the supervision of the centre’s cooking trainer. When the classes were suspended following the COVID-19 outbreak, she continued practising her cooking skills at home. “My sister and mother really like the new recipes I learnt throughout the courses. Their favourite was kebab. They asked me to cook it multiple times during the quarantine!” She plans, one day, to work as a professional chef. Basima’s instructor, Tarık enjoys teaching practical cooking methods to his students, thinks they are ambitious and feels proud when he sees the progress they made. “Some of them did not even know how to crack an egg when they first started. In the course of the training, they learnt different dishes of world cuisine varying from Turkey to Italy, through France and England. Kebabs, raviolis, chateaubriand, and fish and chips have been cooked with great effort in this kitchen.” When participants spent time at home due to COVID-19 restrictions, Tarık received countless pictures each day from his current and previous students demonstrating their culinary skills. “I am glad that they enjoy cooking and they are sharing their happiness with me. It is the source of motivation for the instructors.”
23-year old Luay is another participant who completed language and vocational training courses at the ICVT in Ankara. Originally from Aleppo, Syria, he came to Turkey in 2015 and currently lives in Ankara with his family. Luay attended Turkish language and graphic design courses for six months. As much as he aimed to speak Turkish better, he also wanted to receive professional training for his career objectives. “I have always had an interest in graphic design. When I heard I could register for both language and graphic design courses for free, I made my application and attended classes with a lot of motivation.” Luay learnt about the major designing techniques by putting theory into practice with the help of his trainer. Now, he is looking forward to developing his skills further in graphic design and to finding a job that can provide him with the career he dreams of. Luay’s trainer, Dilara, says: “Some of our previous students are now employed and happy in their jobs. We are in touch with them, and their success make us proud.”
Photo: UNHCR/ Can Eminoğlu – Luay with his trainer Dilara
Thanks to the support of France, Norway, and the Republic of Korea, Basima and Luay, among many others, have had the opportunity to develop their skills in pursuit of a professional career. Our donors’ continued support will help others feel the same level of hope and provide them with the possibility of securing a livelihood for themselves and their families. Everyone can make a difference, and every action counts.