‘Reading my story book makes me happy’ – Nargis Dockman (female worker) – Union.Org

Some of them were not sent to primary school by their families for early marriage, some because of poverty, some because of care, and some because their fathers did not want them. Their paths have merged on the way to the community center. They want to learn to read and write, they want to go out of the neighborhood, they want to go somewhere without getting lost, there is no problem in the hospital.

In the Yeşilkent district of Avcılar district, women gather twice a week at the community center in their vicinity to learn how to read and write. Yesilkent Neighborhood, with an estimated population of 100,000, is a poor neighborhood with a predominantly young and middle-aged population, with diverse nationalities and low incomes. Most of the women living in the neighborhood are unpaid domestic workers; They have to do housework, caring for children and the elderly. We have talked to these women who have been deprived of their right to education from an early age. We ask about your dreams and desires. Tania Guyuk, a literacy workshop teacher, shared with us her impact on women and the workshop process.

Can you introduce yourself a little?

Enough: My name is Yater, I am 41 years old, I am married. I have a 17 year old son who is preparing for university. “Did you go to school?” If you ask; I couldn’t go. In those years, I was doing housework and taking care of the animals. We are eight siblings, four sons and four daughters. They send boys to school. I’m always excited about those who go to school. They read the April 23 poem, and I want to read it too. In fact, once I missed my friend’s watch, I worked until the evening to find out and I learned, I never forgot it.

Cypress: My name is Selvi, I am 57 in population, but I am 50 years old. My age seems to be over seven years because they registered for my brother who died before me. I am married and have four children. In the family we have eight siblings, one son and seven daughters. I only went to elementary school for a week. They took it from school, then never sent it again. I took a literacy course in public education for a while, but it didn’t last long. My mother-in-law got sick and I had to leave it half because I had to take care of it. Although it is patient care and housework, I try not to disrupt this workshop as much as possible.

It has always been inside me

Fadim: My name is Fadeem, I am 53 years old. I got married at the age of 14. I became a mother at the age of 16. I have four sons. Due to my mother’s illness, I was able to go to the third grade of primary school. I could not go to school because I had to take care of my mother and my two younger brothers. Even after marriage, I continue to look after them. I had my two brothers read it. I was always interested in learning to read and write, but since there was no one around to teach it, it always stuck with me. When I heard that the literacy workshop was about to start here, I immediately asked the teacher to write to me first.

How do you deal with illiteracy in your life or in your daily life?

Enough: Going to the hospital and somewhere is my biggest problem. I can say that the biggest deficit of literacy in my life was in health and transportation.

Cypress: I had many difficulties in traveling. I have been in Istanbul for 10 years. You can’t go anywhere alone, you can’t go to the hospital, you can’t go out of the neighborhood. My daughter is sitting on the other side of the road, I could not go to her once. When you are illiterate you become blind.

Fadim: I could not go to the hospital alone, nor could I go outside the neighborhood. You get a message from an important place on your phone, you can’t even read it. You always need someone.

I want to be a gynecologist

What was the impact of learning to read and write in your life, what kind of change did it make in you?

Enough: I’m feeling pretty good. As soon as I get out of the workshop I go home and repeat my lessons and do my homework. I have story books, I started reading them and it makes me very happy. Learning to read and write has made my daily life easier. I can read the signs, now I know where to go. I can solve my daily tasks quickly and without needing anyone.

Cypress: I feel small when I learn to read and write. I’ve brought so many story books home, I’m dying to read them. At least now I can read the doctor’s name on the door without anyone needing it.

Fadim: After I started coming to the literacy course, I started to feel more confident and better. Now I can go to the hospital alone without worrying, I can go out of the neighborhood. Being able to work on my own without needing anyone… these make me very happy.

If you had the chance to go to school, what would you like to be or do?

Enough: If I had the chance to go to school, I would want to be a gynecologist.

Cypress: If I had the chance to go to school, of course, my dreams would be very different. I was fine even after sending up to fifth grade. If I went to school, I would want to be a teacher or a doctor. At a young age, we rush into housework and field work. Our dreams have been taken away from us.

Fadim: If I had the opportunity, I would definitely study and become a teacher. Although I can’t be anything, I want to make money by working. When you can’t make money, your words have no validity at home. You always look at someone else’s hand. You can’t get what you want or you can’t get what you want. I want to ensure the rights of housewives. I have been working on child care, adult care, home care for years. As a result, my health problems started. I had pain in my back and legs. As if these health problems happened spontaneously. In fact, women work in a job where there is no set time for entry and exit, no income and endless determination. And no one sees this work, you have no value.

They are much more confident now

Hello Tania, you are doing this voluntarily and I guess the inspiration for this is positive feedback. How long has the workshop been running and how have you determined this requirement?

Tania: It’s been two months since the workshop started, but of course there are. The Yeşilkent Community Center is still very new in this area. After it opened in June 2021, we began meeting traditional summer children with the community center. The women who brought their children to the community center said, “Do you also give literacy workshops for women?” When he asked, we realized it was necessary. After a very short time, we start classes around 15 when we register.

What motivated women to learn to read and write, and what changes did you notice when they began to learn?

Everyone has different desires to learn to read and write. Someone wants to get a driving license, someone is sorry because they can’t help their children with their lessons. One thing they all have in common is that when they were children, their fathers saw no need to send them to school just because they were girls. Now, if these women, who have reached a certain age, extend their time from childcare and household chores and rush to class with such enthusiasm, it means a lot. This initiative is a rebellion against the role and rules that impose on our women. Because illiteracy is keeping women at home, in fact, making them insecure, financially dependent on their husbands… now we see that they feel much better and more confident, and thus the value of literacy workshops is revealed.

Source: Female staff

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