Turkey Youth Union Association (TYUA) was founded in 1997 in Ankara. We are a non-governmental and nonprofit youth organization working for the cultural, social development and active participation of young people with fewer opportunities. We aim to; reach out and work with young people from different backgrounds, having different social needs and potentials, support them to be involved into decision making processes, encourage and build a capacity to develop innovative and applicable national youth policies, support young people’s project ideas on social problems, develop their lobbying and advocacy skills, bring young people with different abilities from different backgrounds together so they may learn from each other, support participation of young people with disabilities into civil society and youth programmes in particular, develop inclusive and accessible non-formal education methodologies for the mixed ability groups of young people.
We are advocating against inequality, exclusion and discrimination based on disability and inaccessibility. We are trying to increase the participation of young people with disabilities into decision making processes by strengthening their self advocacy skills. We have been organizing several international projects as a leader organization and participating as a partner organization in many others.
They are mostly EU funded short and long term projects either for capacity building or designing new methodologies. We aim and work to promote a meaningful inclusion and build the capacity of youth organizations to work with mixed ability groups of young people, to provide an inclusive and accessible environment for our volunteers and participants. For the last 14 years we have been cooperating with disabled people’s organizations (DPOs) from all around Turkey as an active member of “Monitoring Group for Disability Rights”.
We are mainly responsible of monitoring discrimination that young people with disabilities encounter especially with regards to their access to higher education, inaccessibility of universities and the limited youth participation. We have been working with/for Deaf young people since 2007 and most of our volunteers can use Turkish sign language. We’ve been organizing capacity building activities for youth and youth NGOs, workshops, round table meetings, panels, seminars and training courses.
Cemile Elif Serbest is a youth worker, project coordinator, international trainer and consultant for about 15 years. She has been working with young people from various disadvantaged backgrounds and designed several short and long term international youth projects on human rights, disability rights, social inclusion, and active youth participation. Since 2007 she has been focusing on developing inclusive methodologies to work with mixed ability groups of young people. She has been actively involved in the monitoring and advocacy work as well as capacity building of youth NGOs in Turkey with regards to combatting against discrimination on the basis of disability.
She has a big passion on Deaf culture and sign language. She is a Turkish Sign Language user and worked as a part-time lecturer teaching Basic Communication Skills in Turkish Sign Language and Deaf Culture. She has adapted a set of qualified non-formal education methodologies on “Deaf to Deaf” human rights education. Deaf facilitators she has trained delivered several “human rights” trainings all around Turkey. She has been providing consultancy service to the Turkish National Agency on accessible youth work and inclusion of young people with disabilities and co-organized national trainings and transnational youth forums. She has also been working in the humanitarian aid sector with refugee communities since 2018 as a Community Engagement Expert.