Our second study trip took place in Istanbul in July 2019. We were delighted that some of our donors joined us and had an opportunity to meet with our grantees. The video below will give you a glimpse of our study trip, which we hope you can join us in the future.
On the first day of our study trip in Istanbul, we started the day with a thought-provoking panel on the State of Education and Children’s Rights in Turkey. Our panelists, Burcu Meltem Arık Akyüz from the Education Reform Initiative and Gözde Durmuş from Istanbul Bilgi University Child Studies Unit shared their research on the pressing issues on children’s rights. Their valuable input shed light on how our future grants could be better focused for long-lasting impact. The second panel of the morning featured two grantees supported by the Gender Equality Fund, Ipek Bozkurt (We Will Stop Femicides Platform) and Özgür Sunata & Aybeniz Karataş (Women’s Solidarity Foundation). Bozkurt and Karatas discussed their upcoming activities in 2019/2020, made possible with your donations. We had our delicious lunch prepared by Maide Kitchen, a women’s social enterprise. In the afternoon, Özge Sönmez (Yuva Association) led us through a game of identifying endemic animal and plant species in Turkey. She also presented Yuva’s activities within the Ecological Literacy Programme that we supported in 2018/2019. Afterwards we visited Small Projects Istanbul, a community centre in Fatih which provides enrichment, integration and livelihood activities for Syrian and other displaced families rebuilding their lives in the city.
We were hosted by the Istanbul Foundation for Culture and Arts on the second day of our study visit. Özlem Ece and Elif Obdan introduced the Foundation’s activities to promote and support arts nationwide and the recently established Alt Kat. IKSV Alt Kat is a learning and interaction space which aims to directly reach children, youngsters and groups with limited access to arts and culture with participatory, inclusive, multi-cultural and accessible events year-round, free of charge. We, later, listed to presentations from two grantees supported by the Children’s Fund: Aslı Yıkıcı, Science Heroes Association and Burak Ulman from Another School is Possible Association. We were delighted to be reunited with our 2018 grantees Mine Ekinci (Rural Schools Transformation Network), Yeliz Baki (Music for Peace Foundation) and Bego Demir (Clean Clothes Campaign Turkey) for lunch. During lunch, we had the opportunity to talk about their recent work and introduce them to some of our donors, who joined us. Our day concluded with a site visit to Sulukule Volunteers Associationin Fatih. The association works with the community to improve school enrollment and attendance rates locally.
We were extremely moved by the stories and projects we became part of through this study visit. The commitment of our grantees to make a difference inspired all attendees of the study trip. We would like to extend our heartfelt thanks to Sarp Batur and his team (Nople Productions) for documenting the precious memories of this journey and our partners in Turkey, Support Foundation for Civil Society, for organising this study trip and hosting us.