The Trauma-Informed Schools project, based on the exclusivity agreement signed between Istanbul Provincial Directorate of National Education and Maya Vakfı, has been launched. With the agreement, Maya Vakfı will be able to implement the project at all the provisional training centers (GEM) in Istanbul, which Syrian students attend. The main objective of the project is to facilitate the integration of the students in these centers into the national education system. Trauma-Informed Schools are therefore considered a pilot project to be implemented across the national education system.

Within the scope of the project, administrators, teachers and employees of the provisional training centers are supported with a staff orientation program aimed at providing information on child protection and approaching children suffering from traumas. Teachers are also trained about basic trauma, classroom management with traumatised children and child protection policies. With teacher supervisions conducted a few times every week, teachers are assessed about how they apply the theoretical knowledge acquired during trainings in the field. All the students in the schools receive a total of 17 therapy sessions in art therapy workshops for trauma organised under Project Lift, the main psychosocial support program of the Maya Vakfı. Children are assessed after the group sessions and if necessary provided with personal therapy sessions.

Of the total of 609 students from the Fındıkzade, İskender Paşa and Oruç Gazi provisional training centers selected for the first leg of the project, 191 students of Fındıkzade GEM went through a 5-week therapy program in March and April. Teacher trainings were also held for the teachers of Fındıkzade GEM and İskender Paşa GEM in early March. The ongoing teacher supervision and staff orientation at İskender Paşa GEM will continue at Oruç Gazi GEM in the next training cycle.