To alleviate the impacts of COVID-19 policies, many initiatives have been developed by civil society organisations – NGOs, local governments, or citizens. A team of national researchers from the RESISTIRÉ project has collected and highlighted a set of particularly relevant initiatives in 27 European countries and in Iceland, Serbia, the United Kingdom and Turkey. These Better Stories cover eight specific domains: gender-based violence, the labour market, the economy, gender-pay and pension gaps, gender care gaps, decision-making and politics, environmental justice, human and fundamental rights.

This Better Story was collected by Nazli Turker, Pinar Ensari and Ayse Gül Altinay




In December 2019, Deep Poverty Network (DPN) was established as part of the Open Space Association by a group of researchers, sociologists, psychologists, and journalists who initially came together in a solidarity-based community center, Çimenev, mainly for children in a lower-class neighborhood of Istanbul. DPN was founded as research and reading group to investigate the deepening nature of poverty, to make its multidimensional nature visible, to develop a rights-based approach to poverty, and to monitor the human rights of socioeconomically marginalized individuals.

An effective advocacy work on poverty

The conditions of poverty exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic coupled with the economic downturn led the initiative to broaden its activities, mainly by providing food support for families who had limited or no access to food. With its effective advocacy work on poverty as a fundamental human rights issue and widespread rights-based solidarity campaigns during the pandemic, it has become the most visible civil society initiative on poverty in Turkey.

The DPN expanded to the extent that it currently has its own Twitter and Instagram account and is better known than the Open Space Association. Current activities include:

  • research and advocacy
  • in-kind support via solidarity campaigns
  • social work through neighborhood and home visits to monitor the daily living conditions and needs, as well as to facilitate social service support (from municipalities or public institutions).

The database of the initiative currently has 1000 families, 200-300 families being regularly monitored, 60 of which are led by single women.



Picture by Freepik

Find out more about the initiative