First Steps to New Journey: My life, My Story

Forced Migration, Communication and Media Coverage

by Sezer Aksoy and Duygu Mersin

In past ten years, thousands of people crossed the borders of Turkey because of violent conflicts, wars, and exploitation. As usual, the most innocent ones suffer the biggest burden in forced migration too. Children… Today, there are 4 million immigrants living in Turkey and approximately 1.74 millions of them are children who are the members of a generation who spent biggest part of their lives in wars. They have been experiencing difficulties beyond what their peers can imagine.

Since 2011, hundreds of projects carried out for their welfare by numerous organizations. These projects are mostly concerned with their nutrition, psychological needs, housing, and integration to the new lands they have migrated to. However, there are limited numbers of projects that will enable these young people to shine in their talent. We know that children love to dream, and they are full of potentials. Leaving their country with dreams and hopes in their pockets, some of these children forgetting or never had a chance to explore their talents. They need to be encouraged to embrace their skills and reveal their own essence. In this project, we aim to assist immigrant children to embrace their talents.

How will it work?

During the project, direct observation and story collection methods will be used to make in-depth interviews with willing children and detect the ones who need a chance to show their talents, desire or plans for life. In this sense, we can say that our project will be in format of ‘Humans of New York’ project but with a difference. We are going start a 360-degree social media campaign to make immigrant children’s passions heard and find volunteers to support them. For example, if a child is passionate to be an actress or football player, our project will be a bridge to him/her in finding the volunteer celebrity actor or football player who will support this desire. We will focus on the positive ideas that they have about future and try to give them a chance to shout them through their heart via social media. In this way, some of them may have an opportunity to get their share from life as their peers.

We have chosen this method to run our project because digital story telling is a valuable point for such bridge campaigns as in the example of ‘Ahbap Organization’. One former singer had an outstanding success in Turkey with his efforts to be a bridge between people in need of help and the ones who want to be there for them. Therefore, we believe that if we can make children’s voices heard and build the bridge, we can change their journey for a better and fulfilled future.


Sezer Aksoy

Anadolu University, Turkey.

Master’s degree in Digital Social Media at the University of Southern California.