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Songül Öden, United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) Humanitarian Program Spokesperson, met with Syrian women.

23 July 2018

ISTANBUL Songül Öden, United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) Humanitarian Programme Spokesperson of the, paid a visit to the UNFPA Women and Girls Safe Space, which delivers primary healthcare services to Syrian women and girls in Istanbul. During her visit, Öden joint in a colourful social activity done together with the Syrian women.


Songül Öden is listening to the officials regarding UNFPA Women and Girls Safe Spaces. 

Songül Öden, who visited the UNFPA Women and Girls Safe Space in Istanbul, said: ‘’The women I met in the centre are very strong women, who continue to hang on to life despite the hardships they have experienced. Some of the women speak Turkish very well. There are also teachers among them. As I listen to their stories, I realize how hard their experiences have been. These women endeavour, using each and every opportunity they have, to build up a better future for themselves and for their children.’’


Actress Songül Öden is attending a colorful handscraft activity at UNFPA Women and Girls Safe Space.

Spokesperson Öden also stitched a piece of embroidery of personal value on the square wrapping cloth on which Syrian women stitch their expectations for the future. The Syrian women read one by one all the messages stitched on the piece of cloth and explained the meaning to Songül Öden. Öden chatted with the Syrian women who created these beautiful handcrafts and she listened to their prospects and efforts they make to overcome the challenges they face.  


Songül Öden is adding a keepsake piece of cloth to the handcraft put together by Syrian women. 

The stories of Syrian women as captured by the actress Songül Öden

Songül Öden, United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) Humanitarian Programme Spokesperson, interviewed a Syrian woman during her visit as well. During the interview, she asked questions to capture Syrian women’s experiences overall and witness how they improve their life through the assistance of UNFPA Women and Girls Safe Space centres. These series of interviews will be published on United Nations Population Fund’s web site (http://turkey.unfpa.org/tr) and its social media accounts (UNFPA Turkey). By following these series of candid interviews with the Syrian women, you witness firsthand what they have been experiencing since the first day of the humanitarian crises.   


Songül Öden is posing with Syrian women at UNFPA Women and Girls Safe Space in Istanbul

UNFPA Women and Girls Safe Spaces

The successful actress Songül Öden, who visited the UNFPA Women and Girls Safe Space run by UNFPA’s implementing partner Association for Solidarity with Asylum Seekers and Migrants (ASAM) and funded by European Union Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations (ECHO) received information regarding the centre from the officers of Istanbul Provincial Directorate of Health, ECHO, UNFPA and ASAM.  


Songül Öden is posing with Syrian women at UNFPA Women and Girls Safe Space in Istanbul

The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) delivers primary healthcare services, social services and psychological support to refugee Syrian women and girls within its humanitarian programme. Besides the services provided in the Migrant Health Centres run by the Ministry of Health, UNFPA delivers these complimentary health services to Syrian women and girls at the UNFPA Women and Girls Safe Space. These primary health services are available in several provinces across Turkey within the scope of UNFPA Turkey Office’s humanitarian programme. Now 34 centres are delivering primary health services with the support of a number of implementing partners.

During Songül Öden’s visit, Dr. Alper Bilal, Expert in the Unit of Migration Health, a department of the Office of Public Health under the Istanbul Provincial Directorate of Health, spoke of the support of the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) to the projects of humanitarian aid executed by the Government of Turkey, also gave information about the daily operations in the centre and the primary healthcare services delivered to Syrian women and girls. 


UNFPA Turkey Reproductive Health Program Coordinator Dr. Gökhan Yıldırımkaya is explaining how the center operates.

Dr. Gökhan Yıldırımkaya, Reproductive Health Programme Coordinator in the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), spoke, on the other hand, of the services delivered by the health mediators serving in the UNFPA Women and Girls Safe Space. Dr. Yıldırımkaya noted the important role the health mediators play in the daily operation of UNFPA Women and Girls Safe Spaces. Dr. Yıldırımkaya said that health mediators assist in health literacy by personally visiting the migrants at home to provide them door-to-door services in the areas with predominantly Syrian population. Plus, Dr. Yıldırımkaya added also that health mediators inform Syrian refugee living in the vicinity regarding the services UNFPA Women and Girls Safe Space provide.   

Bruno Rotival, Representative of the European Union Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations (ECHO) responsible for the Marmara Region, who was present in the Centre during the visit of Songül Öden, briefly spoke of the financial support they provide to humanitarian aid operations of UNFPA Turkey.

Kerem Renda who serve as Supervisor for the Women’s Health Counselling Centres in the Association for Solidarity with Asylum Seekers and Migrants (ASAM) spoke about the activities of the centres intended to empower women and the positive effects of the Turkish courses in the integration of women into society.  


Songül Öden is learning how to needle from a Syrian girl. 


United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA)

The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) was established in 1969 and as the biggest aid source with international funding in the area of population operating around the world. UNFPA operates in more than 150 countries for creating policies and strategies that support sustainable development. Having started its activities on a project basis, the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) has been working on reproductive health, encouraging social gender equality, collecting, using and distributing data about development and humanitarian aid in Turkey since 1971. Within this framework, the first Country Program lasted from 1988 to 1992 and now the Sixth Country Program (2016-2020) is being executed.

The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) works to deliver a world where every pregnancy is wanted, every childbirth is safe and every young person's potential is fulfilled. To this end, UNFPA focuses especially 5 of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs); 

SDG 3: Good health and well-being, 

SDG 5: Gender Equality

SDG 10: Reduced Inequalities

SDG 16: Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions

SDG 17: Partnerships for Goals

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