trauma informed schools turkey

Trauma informed schools

About the project


Refugee children often live with trauma that can lead them to become aggressive, isolated or unfocused. Theirworld works to help teachers identify and address behavioural patterns in young people that result from traumatic experiences.


Theirworld partners with Maya Vakfi in Turkey to deliver a programme which helps students cope with traumatic experiences and gives teachers the skills to understand and address their needs.

Theirworld_Maya-Vakfi trauma informed school turkey


The Trauma Informed Schools programme has helped more than 1,000 teachers provide tailored psychosocial support to 5,000 Syrian refugee and Turkish students.

Struggling to cope

75 million children have their education interrupted each year because of conflict, emergency and disaster. Refugees can expect to be displaced for, on average, more than five years – but millions find themselves in exile for much longer.

Children who have been through the trauma of this kind of upheaval can appear withdrawn or undisciplined in school. However, identifying the root cause of a student’s behaviour can be difficult for teachers who lack the necessary training.

In Turkey, Theirworld works with local organisation Maya Vakfi to provide a caring and nurturing environment for young people who are struggling to cope with the after-effects of extremely difficult experiences. More than 5,000 Syrian refugees and Turkish students have benefited from the support the Trauma Informed Schools programme offers.

By training teachers, counsellors, caregivers and parents to detect students’ psychological issues and teach them coping skills, the programme helps create a stable and supportive environment where children can learn more effectively.

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Early childhood education is crucial to all children - but especially for child refugees, many of whom have suffered significant trauma. However, access to quality early learning is often extremely limited, poorly resourced and chronically under-funded.

Feeling safer in school

Teachers have responded very positively to the training, with 96% saying their knowledge and competence improved as a result of the course. The programme has reached over 1,000 teachers and Maya Vakfi has ambitions to expand it to other countries with large refugee populations.

The Trauma Informed Schools programme also offers schools anti-bullying frameworks which help prevent situations that further threaten student wellbeing, and online materials aimed at providing remote learners with mental health support.

Made possible by players of People’s Postcode Lottery, Theirworld’s partnership with Maya Vakfi is a progressive, award-winning programme that provides important support for a historically underserved need.

Refugee children are five times more likely to be out of school than other children around the world. By helping threatened young people feel safer in school, the quality education every child deserves becomes more possible.


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Maya Vakfi

Maya Vakfi provides psychosocial support services to children and youth between the ages of 5-24 who have been exposed to trauma due to natural disasters, pandemics, migration, loss of family and bullying.

Help us give every child around the world a safe place to learn.



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