ODA Project

ODA Project

Reference Number:  , Press Release Issue Date: Oct 03, 2023
The Embassy of Malta in Ankara is in the course of implementing the first phase of a Development Assistance Project funded through the Ministry for Foreign and European Affairs and Trade of Malta’s Official Development Assistance (ODA) funds.  Entitled “Empowerment and Self-Sufficiency: Empowering refugee women in Sultanbeyli,” the project focuses on the empowerment of Syrian refugee women in becoming self-sufficient by helping them boost their culinary production and entrepreneurial targets. The beneficiaries of the project are a refugee association, Mülteciler Derneği, situated in the Sultanbeyli municipality of Istanbul, and Hemdem, a female cooperative within the said association. The women of the said cooperative come together to prepare homemade culinary products which they subsequently sell in order to earn a living; the cooperative is often the sole occasion for the women to come together in a social setting.

In the first phase of the project, the Embassy of Malta procured a generator to ensure the Refugee Association’s operational continuity, especially since the Association also has a rehabilitation clinic, a psychological support centre, a nursery, and a kitchen from which Hemdem operates. The Embassy also procured an industrial oven to help the female cooperative increase their culinary productivity and efficiency.

Acknowledging the female cooperative members’ eagerness to learn and to expand their skills, the first phase of the project also consisted of a training module to empower the female refugees even further by increasing their potential employability skills and empower them to stand on their feet.  In this regard, the Embassy of Malta in Ankara reached agreement with ITS Training School (Malta) to deliver a hands-on and in-person training course to the Syrian refugees forming part of the Hemdem cooperative.  As a result of of such agreement, between the 15th and 17th September, two renowned Maltese Chefs, Ramona Farrugia Preca and Roberta Preca, on behalf of ITS Training School, travelled to Istanbul. The training module, sponsored by the Embassy of Malta in Ankara in conjunction with the Institute of Tourism Studies (ITS) Training School, comprised both sweet and savoury recipes, and was aimed at upskilling and diversifying the cooperative’s culinary production.

The Embassy intends to continue building upon this first phase by extending the project through a second phase of assistance in the course of next year. The second phase will seek to help Hemdem to embrace digitalisation as well as introduce and embark on a marketing plan in order to maximize their outreach and in the process empower the Hemdem refugees to earn their own living.