Refugee Centre in Ankara

  • Turkey


Jesuit Refugee Service


  • Have a space to welcome and support urban refugees


  • Address the lack of a location where urban refugees can safety access a range of services
  • Improve urban refugees’ language abilities, specifically in English and Turkish
  • Create a sense of community and address isolation among urban refugees

Targeted population:

  • All urban refugees in Ankara, especially new arrivals and those with specific needs

Challenge addressed:

  • Lack of knowledge of the host countries language
  • Isolation among refugees
  • Access to reliable medical support

Program description:

  • Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS) runs the Refugee Centre in Ankara to welcome refugees to the Turkish capital
  • They began working in Turkey in October 2009 as part of the Ankara Refugee Support Group Programme
  • The centre offers a number of services to refugees including language lessons in English and Turkish, pastoral care, and legal and medical advice
  • Legal support is offered in conjunction with UNHCR
  • Language lessons in English and Turkish are held twice a week, catering for those with no previous knowledge to advanced learners
  • Refugees and asylum seekers who wish to receive financial assistance from JRS must either know Turkish or be in the process of learning the language
  • Learning Turkish is mandatory for any refugee or asylum seeker who wishes to receive financial assistance from JRS
  • Refugees can also collect a grocery card and utilise the popular thrift shop located within the centre, which offers a place to buy cheap second-hand clothes
  • Jesuit Refugee Service also work in Kirikkale, a city located 60km from Ankara, to support the urban refugees living there

Impact on targeted population:

  • Increased numbers of urban refugees were able to improve their foreign language skills, gain medical support and legal advice
  • Helped curb isolation and build a stronger sense of community among urban refugees
  • In Ankara, JRS helps as many as 360 families per year

Conditions required:

  • A site that can host a range of services in a location accessible to urban refugees
  • Financial support to cover a range of activities, including specialist legal and medical knowledge
  • Experienced foreign language teachers, including volunteers

Our impact

  • 3700

    refugees have better access to education and livelihood opportunities

  • 40

    countries in which our partner NGOs are implementing solutions

  • 490

    refugee children benefit from mathematics, english, art and sports classes

  • 700

    women can now support their families

  • 650

    refugees have access to critical healthcare and safety information

Get Involved

We’ve accomplished so much, but the growing urgency of refugee issues in cities means we have a lot more to do and we can’t do it alone. Support the refugee communities that need it most.

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