The development workshop cooperative giving voice to the voiceless
This case study presents the case of a specific NGO from Turkey, the Development Workshop Cooperative (DWC), and reveals how the organization engages in advocacy for marginalized communities. Turkey fosters an active NGO scene, especially since the arrival of Syrian refugees in 2011. The DWC is one of the few local NGOs working to provide a voice to the most marginalized populations – namely, the Syrian Dom community, whose members are typically ignored by the Turkish and Syrian governments alike and tend to fall under the radar of most mainstream media due to the lack of access to this specific ethnic group. The Development Workshop Cooperative is also a unique NGO as it is innovatively structured as a non-profit cooperative. The main goal of this chapter is to reveal the communication and advocacy efforts of this innovative NGO to help create awareness about marginalized communities in Turkey and to foster social change and development. This qualitative study presents detailed interviews with two social development experts from the DWC to reveal their working structures, priorities, ongoing projects and advocacy efforts, media relations, main challenges they face, as well as their goals for the future in their work for disadvantaged communities in Turkey. The findings are discussed to reveal strategies for enhanced communication and advocacy for civil society organizations in their work to support disadvantaged and marginalized communities.