Turkey's Changemakers: Children of imprisoned women saw light beyond rain
This week’s Changemaker of Sabanci Foundation is Goktul Bakdik who implemented the “Light Beyond the Rain” project to let the children of convicted women in prisons go to kindergarten.
The “Light beyond the Rain” project provides the children of convicted women in prisons the opportunity to enroll in and attend pre-school education programs. The purpose of the project is to enable children aged between 3-6 years to have pre-school education away from their living environment so that they are not negatively affected from the conditions of deprivation and confinement in which their mothers live. When the project started, Goktul Bakdik was working in a public kindergarten in Bolvadin district of Afyon. To explain the project to the mothers, she visited the prison in the district and convinced the mothers to send their children to the kindergarten. She made all the necessary arrangements to take the children to kindergarten and bring them back to the prison with school bus every day.
With the grant they received, Goktul Bakdik worked on scaling up the project in other cities as well. She visited the prisons and public kindergartens in 7 cities and told the authorities that children of convicted women can also attend kindergartens with other children. As a result of these endeavors, 32 children living in the prisons in Afyon and neighboring districts enrolled in kindergartens. Last year, the Ministry of Justice and Ministry of Education signed a protocol to implement the project across Turkey.