The Mother-Infant Support Project, developed by Boğaziçi University and funded by the Bernard van Leer Foundation, is a mission to provide psychosocial support for mothers and mothers-to-be, supporting the development of their children between the ages of 0-3. This mission is carried out by the Refugees Association within the scope of the GIZ CLIP Prosiginject, with a team of 3 people consisting of 2 social workers and 1 supervisor, for refugees.

The beneficiaries are included in the work with the guidance of the social workers working in the Refugee Association. In the project, priority is given to mothers with their first pregnancy. The women included in the project are followed up from the 7th month of their pregnancy. This mission, carried out for refugee women, takes place in the form of home visits of pregnant mothers once before birth, once every 15 days after birth, until the baby is 18 months old. In prenatal visits, psychosocial support is provided to the beneficiary, as well as information on nutrition, childbirth preparation, support for mother-infant development, and postpartum depression. At each home visit, brochures containing information on what kind of development the baby can show according to the month are shared.

In the first postnatal visit, It should be made with a kit to meet the basic needs of the baby. In the following visits, in the first 6 months; establishing a secure bond between mother and infant is supported, and the importance of infant development and breast milk is emphasized. In visits after the first 6 months; information and practices are provided to support the transition to supplementary food and the mental and physical development of the baby.

The reason the mission is based on children aged 0-3 is that during this period, 80% of the children’s brain development is completed. In this process, secure attachment between the parent and the child, a rich language environment, play and exploration experiences are of great importance. It has been found that the problem-solving skills, interpersonal communication, and academic success of the children who are supported by their parents in these matters are higher than the other children.

During the home visits, toys are made for the children together with the parents from materials that can be found in every home, such as water bottles, bottle caps, storage containers, and clothespins. The aim here is to produce games that will enable children to develop without buying expensive toys. Sometimes, toys aimed at improving the mental and fine motor skills of the baby are shared with the parents.