A green-fingered helping hand for street kids

A green-fingered helping hand for street kids
The Adana Street Kids Association’s Center for Teen Education has added courses on organic agricultural production to its program to decrease social risks and improve the lot of Adana’s poverty-stricken youth.

The head of the education center, Zuhal Bayıldıran, told reporters from the Anatolia news agency that the new program will take kids off the streets and provide them with employment. Many of the families in the region are low income and allow their kids to work out on the streets to help ends meet. While the center has provided various public services to its community, there has been an increase in the number of children on the streets in recent years, Bayıldıran said. She added that they have programs to help children attend school, graduate and continue on to college. “We’ve helped about 1,000 children attend school,” she noted.

The center has educational projects supported by the EU and UN that intend to provide services for children of poor families that have not finished school and/or work in very low paying jobs.

“As part of EU-funded programs we have a project called “From the streets to the future.” To continue this project the Adana governorship has provided the center with a 173-acre field. The field will serve as an employment opportunity as well as a sports ground for the children. We’ve also begun greenhouse and organic production courses with the help of Dr. Nurgül Türemiş from Çukurova University. In our first session we gave 35 people classes on organic production. In our second session, we will have 10 groups of 30 people. The organic vegetables and fruit that are produced will be given to the members of the association for economic support.”

To date, 150 kids have received training on cooking, decorating, car maintenance and agriculture. Of those who received training, 47 have gone on to find employment, Bayıldıran said.

Twenty-five-year-old Erman Inceler, who used to work as a field laborer, has completed the courses on organic production provided by the center and wants to help people like himself. “I was familiar with farming so after I received my certificate on organic strawberry production I began to work at the center. Now it’s my turn to teach. I am honored that I will be able to help street kids and poverty-stricken people.”

03.04.2007

Ali Güreli  Adana
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