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A Success Story From Palestine to Turkey

A Success Story From Palestine to Turkey

Manal was only a baby when her family moved to Turkey from Palestine. She always graduated as the top student from the schools she attended. Manal and her mother are among the beneficiaries of the Turkish Red Crescent Mersin Community Center financed and supported by the European Union. She briefly explains her success with these words: "Everyone says that I am a foreigner, then how could I be at the top of my class? And I say I know Turkish. If you have the potential and ambition, then why not? People should never limit themselves." 

One of the beneficiaries of the Turkish Red Crescent Community Centers, 22-year-old Manal's words prove that once a person strives with ambition, success will come regardless of that person's nationality or language. 

    Manal is a beneficiary of the Mersin Community Center, one of the fifteen Community Centers funded by the European Union, carrying out projects for immigrant communities so that they can lead a harmonious, happy and peaceful life. 

Graduated as the top student from the Mersin University, Department of Psychology, Manal attends kitchen workshops at the Community Center with her mother, socializes with many beneficiaries from Syria, Iraq, and Turkey, and supports her friends. 

When asked whether it is difficult for an immigrant living in Turkey to be successful in school, she says "Everyone asks me how a foreigner could be at the top of the class. And I reply I know Turkish. If you have the potential and ambition, then why not? People should never limit themselves." 

"First and foremost, families should make an effort to learn Turkish to help their children with their classes."

Manal's mother Najwa also emphasizes that one of the biggest issues is the language barrier: "Families ought to learn Turkish not only for themselves,but also for their children since it is the children who have the hardest struggle in their education. If families do not improve themselves and learn the language, their children are negatively affected. Therefore, families should make an effort to learn Turkish to help their children with their classes." 

Many people think that Community Centers are out there only for the Syrian people. However, Palestinians like ourselves, people from other nationalities and even the local people are welcomed to the Community Centers.

Najwa also stated that the kitchen workshop instructor at the Mersin Community Center encourages them to learn Turkish: "The instructor tries to teach Turkish with various activities. This makes the course even more fun, yet many people still think that this place is only for the Syrians. However, Community Centers are not only for Syrians. Local people can come here, as well as Palestinians like us and people from different nationalities."

Manal will soon return to Palestine and practice her profession as a psychologist, helping those who are in need. Her dream is to open a school for children with special needs, and support their individual and social development. 

Community Centers continue their work with the motto "One Touch Thousand Lives." 

Since 2015, the Community Centers Program has been providing services in different cities of our country. These include referral services, educational activities, livelihood development, diet and health services, social activities, defense and protection services, volunteer activities and services towards social harmony. The Program helps new generations with its child- and youth-friendly approach. 

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