Mannheim strengthens cooperation with Turkey-Syria border town

14 Turkish female instructors of care for the elderly and children from the Turkish town of Kilis have completed advanced training at the Mannheim Academy for Social Professions. Since 2017, Mannheim has been strongly cooperating with the Turkish border town which  is home to over 100,000 Syrian refugees.

Mayor of Mannheim Peter Kurz stated on social media: The Turkish town of Kilis had 100,000 inhabitants and has also been hosting over 100,000 Syrian refugees for years. Since 2017, we have been linked by a development partnership and the establishment of a training center. Trainers from Kilis have now completed advanced training in Mannheim.

Mannheim assists Kilis in improving the situation for refugees locally by fostering vocational training and thereby enhancing social cohesiveness in society, based on the municipal integration policy. The city of Mannheim raised over 302,000 euros for the construction of the education center. The initiative is therefore considered Mannheim’s largest development policy effort to date.

With federal funds that the city of Mannheim successfully obtained, a new training center in Kilis was able to open in September of this year, where more than 440 Syrian and Turkish women who have fled can receive basic vocational training, complete language courses but also receive psychosocial support. Turkey’s southeastern town recently made global headlines as an example of successful refugee integration.

In order to increase the quality of the on-site training, the city of Mannheim invited the teachers from the Turkish town to deepen their professional skills and to exchange ideas with their German colleagues. Mayor Kurz received the official delegation from Kilis led by the mayor Servet Ramazan and personally presented the certificates of participation to the trainers to mark the project’s successful conclusion.

Since Syria’s armed conflict prompted millions of people to escape, its northern neighbor Turkey has taken in the largest number of refugees. Kilis has been impacted more than nearly any other city by the impacts of the region’s conflicts and high immigration rates due to its proximity to Syria.

Nonetheless, the city committed itself to provide economic opportunities for the migrants so that they can remain and build new lives in Kilis. (photo: Pixabay)