Karine Mkrtchyan from Gyumri, was supported with the Turkey-Armenia Travel Grant to visit Istanbul, to build partnership and links with organisations that work for women and learn about the support provided to the irregular migrant Armenian women in Turkey.

“During my meetings with Armenian migrant women and organisations I discovered that the issue of Armenian migrants in Turkey as such is not considered. There are organisations which offer legal assistance, social support and even skills building activities, but there was not any link between the Armenian migrant community and those organizations. My meetings can lead to creating these links, which are of major importance for the women since there is not any diplomatic mission to help them. At the same time, there is a potential for working together for a common mission even though the borders are closed.”

“I had a chance to see the reality Armenian irregular migrant women live in, to live with them and hear their stories. I was jokingly calling them Hero Mums, who managed to cope with hard work, learn the language within weeks, endure all kinds of hardships and dangers with an aim to earn for their families. I discovered that they are the most, courageous and hard working women with a great sense of humour and positive thinking.”