DOZ e. V. centres within Syria provide courses for local students and children from indigenous families in need and IDPs because most regular schools closed after the level of violence increased. The process of getting children back to school is challenging because most families lack essentials and many children have been orphaned due to the on-going conflict. Therefore, DOZ e. V. teams and volunteers identify children deprived of education and offer those children free courses. In addition, DOZ e. V. teams also offer courses on university level and foreign language courses in a number of languages such as Turkish and English. These courses are offered because the majority of Syrian students can no longer study at their own university due to the increased level of violence. By offering such a wide range of courses for an equally wide range of students, DOZ e. V. hopes to prevent feelings of depression or isolation caused by the absence of a normal social environment.
- Child Protection and Youth Development (CPYD)
DOZ e. V. teams and volunteers within Syria monitor the living standard of children in villages and refugee camps and investigate violence committed against children. Moreover, they reach out to homeless children who are in an even greater danger of becoming subject to violence due to the absence of their parents. DOZ e. V. teams will guide these children and enrol them in child education programs provided by the DOZ e. V. centers. DOZ e. V. also regularly visits families to provide them with information on child protection and child behaviour. DOZ e. V. volunteers pay specific attention to children and students who suffer from isolation or depression by organizing extra activities targeted at this group in the community centres.
- Women Protection and Empowerment (WPE)
Women play an essential role in political, economical and social processes but their role has always been marginalized in the past due to the existing political system and some specific Syrian social traditions. However, a new Syrian generation consisting of youth and student activists working in the community has stood up against the existing situation, this generation does not accept political leadership which denies women a leading role and they are seeking to change some of the existing social traditions to enable women to play a leading role in political groups or civic organizations and society as a whole. To support this movement, DOZ e. V. offers capacity building workshops on a regular basis for women and female activists in order to point out their rights to them. Those workshops are prepared and taught by university students and female activists who possess extensive knowledge and experience in this field and who are aware of the existing challenges in this area. DOZ e. V. also offers (voluntary) jobs within the organization such as leading one of the volunteer teams or developing activities for the DOZ e. V. centers to provide female activists with a practical training in leadership in organizations.
- Protection of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) and Distribution of Non-Food Items (NFIs)
The protection of and assistance to IDPs is one of the main tasks that the DOZ e. V. teams within Syria focus on. Many Syrian families were not able to flee to Turkey so they stayed in cities in northern Syria. Recently, a large number of refugees has come from Sinjar (Iraq) due to ISIS attacks; these refugees have settled in Hasaka, a province in northern Syria. DOZ e. V. teams pay visits to refugee camps to assess the needs of the refugees and to monitor the standard of living within the camps. The teams also visit refugees and IDPs who have settled in houses in the suburbs of the city. Apart from offering some basic needs (for example clean drinking water or milk); DOZ e. V. teams provide refugees and IDPs with information. DOZ e. V. distributes flyers and brochures on co-existence and tolerance and on legal issues and helps these families to integrate in the community. DOZ e. V. also promotes education by offering the children courses in the DOZ e. V. centers.
- Health and Health Awareness Campaigns
The on-going conflict in Syria has led to poverty and deteriorating living circumstances, a consequence of this is the spread of many diseases coupled with the risk of epidemics. DOZ e. V. teams run health campaigns within Syria and distribute brochures and booklets to all people to raise awareness with regard to health and hygiene. DOZ e. V. aims to prevent or limit the further spread of diseases with these measures. DOZ e. V. also offers health workshops conducted by local specialists in this field to offer the community a detailed description about the diseases and ways to reduce the risk of getting infected. Also, DOZ e. V. offer IDPs assistance in finding local clinics and doctors to make sure all people have access to basic medical care.
- Civil Peace and Awareness, Peacebuilding and Prevention of Violence
DOZ e. V. centers focus intensively on raising civil awareness by means of campaigns, workshops seminars and public events with the aim of preventing violence between various groups or individuals within the Syrian society. The effort of peacebuilding is so important because in order to have economic, political and security stability in any society there has to be social stability and civil awareness, this holds true especially for conflict areas. Each of the DOZe. V. centers designs its activities taking into account the current situation in the city where it is situated, sometimes activities change due to security issues on the ground. One of the biggest awareness campaigns is Peace One Day, an annual event on the 21st of September. Syria – Peace One Day consists of a one-week program full of campaigns, seminars, workshops, raising awareness by the distribution of brochures and flyers, poetry evenings, sports, a peace walk and a final social gathering where all political leaders, civil organizations and the local community are invited. This leads to a gradual increase of social stability by providing different groups and individuals with an opportunity to engage in peaceful dialogue.
- Bio-Agriculture and Food Security
Because of the on-going conflict in Syria which started in 2011, a majority of the farmers has been deprived of water, fertilizers and seeds. Hasaka province comprises 29% of the total cultivated land in Syria, it is the main producer of cotton, wheat and vegetables; however, agricultural production is severely diminished due to the on-going conflict. Besides from creating an immediate problem for the local community the diminished production level poses a real threat to food security in Syria as a whole. Hasaka province has over 525 sources of water; however, many farmers still face a water shortage due to electricity cuts, lack of generators and inflation in the price of petrol. DOZ has formed several small teams consisting of agricultural design whose task it is to raise agricultural awareness by specific activities in which farmers learn methods of bio-agriculture. The covered topics include the saving of natural seeds for the next year, the creation of bio-fertilizers, the use of a specific irrigation system to save water and the creation of alternative energy sources. The DOZ teams also organize seminars and workshops on the danger of using genetically modified organisms (GMOs) and the long-term negative effect of those GMOs on the soil and on human health which poses a threat to food security. DOZ has introduced small-scale bio-agricultural projects in the provinces of Hasaka and Aleppo, by running these projects DOZ successfully attracted the attention of local farmers.