A series of projects regarding poverty reduction strategies and integrating economic, social and environmental aspects of sustainable development, promotion of participatory approaches, capacity building studies and observance of disadvantaged groups in all these studies have been carried out by the GAP Administration. One of the most important studies conducted within this context is “GAP-Cheetos Children Development Centres Project.”
The population of GAP Region is quite young and dynamic. 39% of the population in the region is composed of 0-14 age group children. This rate is 26.5% in all over Turkey (Turkish Statistical Institute). In 2013, for GAP it’s 36.7% and for Turkey it’s 24.6%. Since the number of children is high in South-eastern Anatolia Region, it results in insufficient education and services for children.
The physical, mental, social and emotional developments of children occur the fastest during 0-6 age period and these developments influence later periods remarkably. This is why, it is necessary to create education opportunities for pre-school children apart from school age children. Even if the children in poor and uneducated families can keep going to school, since there is no proper environment where they can study their lessons and develop themselves, they cannot study enough and some of them start working in early age. Besides, they encounter such problems as poor infrastructures, having multi-children, poverty, gender inequality, lack of understanding child concept, lack of sports facilities, inadequate social and cultural activities, lack of educational materials, malnutrition, health and health knowledge problems, no access to IT, lack of playgrounds. So that major problems such as dropping out school, no school attendance, failure in school, child labour, violent crimes and drug addiction arise from these problems.
In the Convention on the Rights of the Child in which Turkey is a party, a child is defined as every human being below the age of eighteen years. Besides, the Convention on the Rights of the Child emphasises the fundamental rights of children as “right to Life, right to Develop, right to Protection and right to Participate”. Within this framework, education plays an inevitable role in order to provide children to achieve their fundamental rights and needs. In order to provide equal opportunities in education, poor children especially pre-school children should be provided with proper environment that they can develop themselves emotionally, socially and mentally and there is a need of assistance for these children. The target group of this Project prepared on the basis of these reasons, is preschool children between 05-06 age group and school children between 07-14 age group.
Developed by the GAP Administration in the earlier 2000s, the Project was initiated with “Children’s Reading Rooms” under Multi-Purpose Community Centres (ÇATOMs). In 2003, with the cooperation between PepsiCo and Turkey the Project was named as “GAP-Cheetos Children Development Centres” and they began to open independently from ÇATOMs. As a part of public-private partnership, this pilot and long-term Project is conducted with the sponsorship between PepsiCo and Turkey.
Since 2004, in 8 provinces of GAP Region (Adıyaman, Batman, Diyarbakır, Kilis, Mardin Şanlıurfa ve Şırnak), 11 GAP-Cheetos Children Development Centres have been running. Apart from these, with the technical support of GAP Administration and financial support of PepsiCo, there are 2 more centres operated as one in Kocaeli Suadiye, one in Manisa Soma. The project has reached 38,700 children so far.

gap     pepsico