YHP Turkey

About The Programme

The Young Health Programme in Turkey is called ‘I am a Teenager.’  It aims to support adolescents during their transition from childhood to adulthood. It was designed to signify psychological, social, emotional and physical changes and to support adolescents regarding emotional management, expression of violence, peer victimization and motivation.  

The Programme’s major partner is TOÇEV - Foundation for Educating Children - one of the leading NGOs in Turkey working in child education. The Turkish Ministry of Education also provided support to  the ‘I am a Teenager’ project by allowing access to the schools, teachers and all other aspects of the national education system, as well as helping the project to gain nationwide recognition and value.

The project was named ‘I am a Teenager’ to emphasize the transition period from childhood to adulthood. At this time of life, if adolescents demonstrate aggressive behavior, it’s usually a cry for help. Adolescents face a period of insecurity about their issues, and they might not have developed effective solutions or ways to manage. This project isn’t just focused on adolescents, it also addresses this topic with parents and teachers. Adolescents are included in the process with a systemic approach and to reduce two main problems of adolescence, namely tendency to violence and self-despair through a training program.

What do we want to achieve through the Programme?

  • Raise awareness among young people and their families that adolescence is a period of growth and development
  • Discover healthy ways to build communication and ensure adolescents have the skills they need to grow up to become happy and healthy adults
  • Ensure that young people have increased emotional awareness, communication and social skills and support them to adopt these attributes as a lifestyle
  • Have a positive influence on both the content and methods of 'adolescent communication' by the Ministry of Education.

What activities are taking place locally?

A pilot study involving 923 adolescents and 203 parents and teachers was conducted between April-June 2013 in three schools in three different cities. The study involved pre and post test evaluation, and initial findings showed increased awareness about the phases of adolescence in the targeted regions. Academic and scientific results were published at the end of the project.  Please see the 2016 Programme Report at the bottom of this page for a full summary.

Following this pilot, the Programme workshops and seminars took place between October 2013 and May 2016 in seven schools in seven cities reaching approximately 8,250 adolescents.

The workshops and seminars focused on:

  • Enabling adolescents to gain independence and responsibility for their own safety
  • Helping them to avoid violence through improved communication skills and ways to resolve conflict without resorting to fighting
  • Getting adolescents connected to their families by talking with them and their parents about activities that strengthen family relationships and encouraging them to get involved in their communities.

Background information and materials for all target audiences were printed and distributed as manuals. The famous cartoon artist Tan Cemal Genç draw illustrations in line with the project objectives of ‘I am a Teenager’ which were regarded as an essentially useful way of reaching adolescents.

What has been achieved so far?

To date, we have reached approximately 9,170 students, 580 parents and 180 teachers through the programme.

Sixth, seventh, and eighth class students participated in this project from the selected schools. Sociodemographic knowledge, tendency to violence and hopelessness level of these students was measured by a test.  A significant decrease in the tendency to violence of the students was determined at the end of the project. While the tendency to violence pre-test points average was 42.60 before the trainings which are in the scope of project, this average decreased to 41.51 after these trainings. Besides, a positive regression was recorded on the student’s hopelessness and worries regarding the future.

In the analysis that was carried out to evaluate the effectivity of the training regarding the student's "regulating motivation loss", the average test score was 3.5 before the training and this score was decreased to 2.5 after the trainings. It is evaluated that this result is an indicator of the success of the training. In addition to this, it was discovered that there is a need for versatile programs and trainings to hinder the tendency to violence of adolescents. It was determined that the trainings that are in the scope of the project decreased the negative emotions, expectations and motivation loss of children regarding the future.

By the end of the project, approximately 9 million people were reached through national media coverage. Also as a result of this media coverage, the project ‘I am a Teenager’ was initiated in Maltepe Juvenile Prison at the request of the Prison Director and with permission from the Ministry of Justice. Between June and September 2014, workshops were organized for teenagers at a juvenile prison focusing on anger management and reintegration to society. A report based on the findings was published in a scientific journal.

AstraZeneca Turkey’s ‘I am a Teenager’ Project has been awarded:

  • The 2014 International Business Awards: Corporate Social Responsibility Programme of the Year in Europe
  • The 2014 International Business Awards: The Best New Service of the Year in the Pharmaceutical Sector
  • Social Responsibility in Healthcare Awards 2014: Special Award for Raising Awareness

Our Local Partner

The project's major partner is TOÇEV - Foundation for Educating Children.

TOÇEV is one of the leading NGO's in Turkey working in the field of child education. The foundation is mostly known for its successes in field studies and workshops.

TOÇEV, having been established in 1994, aims at supporting children who are wiling to continue their education, but unable to do so due to the inadequate conditions to get their education. TOÇEV provides lifelong education facilities to the children who have been a member of the TOÇEV family.

The foundation also aims at raising the children in a way to become individuals who have social awareness and take an active role in their social lives, and who see the future in its positive aspects.