|Sowing Season: Experience Sharing Meeting October 24, 2014|
On October 24, 2014, representatives of 9 NGOs who completed their projects with the support from the Sabanci Foundation Social Development Grant Program convened at a meeting held at Sabanci Center in Istanbul, hosted by the Chair of the Sabanci Foundation Board of Trustees, Ms. Guler Sabanci.
At the Experience Sharing Meeting moderated by Sirin Payzin, project representatives from the Association of Women with Disabilities, Community Volunteers Foundation, Flying Broom Association, Hayat Sende Youth Academy Association, Karabiga Women’s Cooperative, Mardin Women Cooperation Association, Odemis Women’s Cooperative, Social Rights and Research Association and Women for Women’s Human Rights shared their project outcomes, project experiences, plans for the future as well as the stories of project beneficiaries.
Chair of the Sabanci Foundation Board of Trustees, Ms. Guler Sabanci emphasized in her opening speech that Sabanci Foundation, celebrating its 40th year, is now referred to as “the mother of civil society” in Turkey. Ms. Sabanci said “With the aim of creating a democratic and equitable society, we try to alleviate inequalities and strengthen the civil society. We support projects promoting women, youth and persons with disabilities to participate in all aspects of society. With the “strategic philanthropy” approach, we focus on building the capacity of civil society organizations and try to achieve change making results.”
Pointing out that the projects especially focused on economic participation, rights-based struggle of persons with disabilities and awareness raising activities for women, Ms. Sabanci added that most of the project applications were about economic participation of women, education and combatting violence.
Stating that Turkey ranks 69th out of 187 countries for the last two years according to the 2014 Human Development Index of United Nations Development Program, Ms. Sabanci remarked that Turkey’s annual economic growth of 4 percent could not be transferred enough to social development. Touching upon the emphasis on civil society in the European Commission’s 2014 Progress Report for Turkey, Ms. Sabanci added: “It is emphasized that the consultation and negotiation mechanisms between civil society and government are to be placed on a systematic, structured and permanent basis. At this point, we are all responsible. We have the power to change the results…”
Following the opening speeches, success stories of projects in the Sabanci Foundation Grant Program were shared with participants, public, and the media. Participants then answered the questions raised by media members and the audience.
Prior to this meeting, on October 23, 2014, project representatives of Sabanci Foundation Grant Program 2013 convened at a workshop to share opportunities and obstacles experienced during their project implementation period.