'There is hope in the kitchen' to find jobs for Syrians, Turks

Syrian refugees taking shelter in Turkey and Turkish citizens with low incomes will be able to find employment with the project "There is hope in the kitchen," a program initiated in the provinces of Ankara, Istanbul, İzmir, Mardin, Mersin and Şanlıurfa. The project aims to educate people in culinary arts and find them jobs in various establishments around Turkey.

Initiated by the Ministry of Family, Labor and Social Services, Ministry of Culture and Tourism, Ministry of National Education, the World Food Program (WFP), the Şükraan Foundation and Gastromotiva, the project also plans to increase interest in local cuisines and make Turkish cuisine more sustainable.

The project took its inspiration from the Gastromotiva Movement initiated by Brazilian chef David Hertz to find jobs for people who lack social and economic opportunities around the world. With the "There is hope in the kitchen" project, low income Turkish citizens and Syrian refugees will be able to find better jobs in restaurants and hotels.

It aims to reach out to 600 men and women over two years. The participants in the project will receive professional certificates in three months. In order to help them gain experience, the project will also enable attendees to work for three months at selected locations. After the training is over, the project will continue to help participants financially for the next six months to ensure they are back on their feet.

Commenting on the project, Ceyda Bölünmez Çankırı of the Justice and Development Party (AK Party) said: "With the project, we want to create a synthesis between Turkish and Syrian cuisines and turn this synthesis into an economical advantage. We will also encourage the zero waste movement."

Nils Grede of the WFP said Turkey is the country that hosts the most refugees in the world, adding this project should be a model for other countries. "There are 650,000 Syrian refugee children studying in Turkey while 20,000 refugees are studying at university. This is an incredible number. This project will enable adults to find jobs and have a profession, enabling them to stand on their own feet," said Grede.

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