YHP Turkey

About The Programme

The Young Health Programme in Turkey, ‘I am a Teenager’, aims to help adolescents become independent and more responsible for their own safety by teaching them how to avoid violence.

The Programme’s major partner is TOÇEV - Foundation for Educating Children - one of the leading NGO’s in Turkey working in child education.

Each year approximately 520,000 people die worldwide due to interpersonal violence. Between 80-98% of children and adolescents are victims of physical punishment at home. In Turkey, 40% of schools still have physical punishment and in 18% of the schools students attack teachers and personnel.

According to the phases of adolescence and violence, most of the adolescents’ aggressive behaviours are a cry for help. Adolescents are facing a period of insecurity about their issues, but they might not have develod an effective solution.

The Young Health Programme in Turkey, ‘I am a Teenager’, aims to help adolescents become independent and more responsible for their own safety by teaching them how to avoid violence. The Programme also seeks to eliminate the negative and biased perception of the word ‘ergen’ (the Turkish word for adolescent), which is even used as an insult among teenagers and enable it to gain an affirmative and constructive perception.

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 they grow up as happy individuals
  • Ensure that young people have increased emotional awareness, communication and social skills and the help to enable 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 National Education.

What activities are taking place locally?

A pilot study involving 928 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 findinds showed increased awareness about the phases of adolescence in the targeted regions Academic and scientific results will be published at the end of the project.

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 Turkish Ministry of National Education has partnered with the Programme allowing access to the schools, teachers and all other aspects of the national education system, as well as helping the Programme to gain nationwide recognition and value.

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 communites.

What has been achieved so far?

Since the beginning of the Programme, training has been provided to approximately 9,170 students, 1,650 parents and 460 teachers. Background information and materials for all target audiences have been printed and distributed as manuals. The project was developed in collaboration with Tan Cemal Genç, a famous cartoonist. Tan Cemal expressed the project “I am a Teenager” through “cartoons” which is a key way of reaching adolescents.

As of January 2015, approximately 9 million people have been reached through national media coverage about the Programme. Also as a result of the 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 organised for teenagers at a juvenile prison focused on anger management and reintegration back into society. A report based on the findings will follow 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 Awards in Healthcare 2014
  • The Most Successful Health Organisation in the category of Raising Awareness in Health

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.