Turkey - Refugee Outreach Volunteers (ROV) External Update - February 2017
The Refugee Outreach Volunteer programme, initiated in April 2016, complements and extends existing UNHCR coverage to refugees in 47 provinces through its presence and its partners (127 community centres/partner offices/outreach teams).
As more than 90 per cent of refugees in Turkey live in urban areas spread across 81 provinces, outreach to and communication with the various urban refugee communities remains a serious challenge. Many refugees face obstacles in accessing services due to the lack of information and the limited number of partner offices and community centres. In addition, some refugees cannot reach these offices and centres due to issues related to health and work commitments, as well as financial and cultural constraints.
To strengthen its outreach activities and to support refugee self-sufficiency, empowerment and social inclusion, a refugee outreach volunteer programme was initiated in cooperation with partners IMPR and ASAM in April 2016, making use of the experience and lessons learned in the region.
ROVs were selected based on their willingness to help serve their communities; enthusiasm and ability to work as a part of a team; acceptance within the refugee community; and good communication skills. ROVs work on a strictly voluntary and part-time basis.