In the last years the every day life of women and children in Rojava and Syria was marked by war, the embargo and violence. The repercussions keep on influencing the daily routine in many ways. The pain and mourning because of the loss of family members and in consequence broken families, the threats of new aggressions by Turkey, the lack of objects of every day life create an insecure future. The mothers are the ones who – strengthened by the women’s movements – keep going and thus keep up the every day life. They take care of bringing up the children, the catering, the health care and the economic survival of the families. For the first time in their lives many mothers have got access to education and found work outside the house. In the 2014 survey of WJAS many women have expressed the need of a qualified child care for the first time. Thus the Foundation decided to set up kindergartens.
Before kindergartens were influenced by the Assad regime, there were no day nurseries. The regime already started the assimilation and arabisation in the kindergartens that were organized as preschools. Until today in schools and kindergartens of the regime all languages except for English and the Arabic language are forbidden. This leads to the loss of the diversity of religions and ethnic groups of Syria. The main teaching method for knowledge acquisition is to memorize.
In contrast to this preschool concept in our kindergartens and daily nurseries it is our concern to put forward the free development of personality of the children, to support parents and children in their development as families, as well as to support the respective mother tongue, especially the Kurdish language. The children can choose from a broad variety of movement, music, painting, handicraft and language training. To support the development of the children there are regular conversations with many participants and one-to-one in which they can express their condition, their criticism and their suggestions. A special treatment is offered for children who suffer from the effects of war, the loss of relatives, poverty and the effects of the flight.
There are regular conversations with the parents about topics concerning the children such as the development of the children, their promotion, attention for the children and space for age-adequate development, etc.. In these conversations gender topics within family and society, the effects of war, violence and embargo and the consequences of a feudal-patriarchal mentality on the development of children are confronted as well.
The attitude of the kindergarten teachers is essential for the development of the children in the kindergartens and day nurseries. The more positive the tutors perceive the possibilities and capabilities of the children the bigger is the space for growth and free development of personality. All children have a necessity of learning and development. The discovery of capabilities and talents of one’s own, the acquisition of knowledge and self-organization, the development of ideas and thoughts of one’s own are as important for the children as they are for the parents.The teachers in all kindergartens and day nurseries have monthly meetings for education and reflection on various topics. Additionally several times per year there are advanced trainings of several days with regard to the topics e.g. development of the child, education, trauma, language promotion etc..
At the moment the Foundation supports seven kindergartens in Qamishlo, two in Girkê Legê, one in Derîk and one in Kobane. We also see the structure of our intercultural kindergartens as a contribution to future peaceful coexistence.
The kindergarten teachers/tutors of our kindergartens are members of the association for education and their salary has been paid by the women’s ministry since 2017. In 2015/2016 we were supported by Feminist Trust to elaborate a gender-responsive educational concept.