|Sowing Season: Experience Sharing Meeting October 13, 2015|
On October 13, 2015, 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 Persons with Visual Impairments in Education, Association of Women with Disabilities, Hayat Sende Youth Academy Association, Istanbul Bilgi University Sociology and Education Implementation and Research Center, Mother Child Education Foundation, Mus Women’s Roof Association, National Down Syndrome Association, Social Rights and Research Association and Women Center Foundation shared their project outcomes, project experiences, plans for the future as well as the stories of project beneficiaries.
In her opening speech, the Chair of the Sabanci Foundation Board of Trustees, Ms. Guler Sabanci emphasized that Sabanci Foundation has been working to make a difference in people’s lives and contribute to social development for 41 years. Ms. Sabanci continued “No one can solve social problems on their own. Neither can we. Therefore, we need to develop a culture of collaboration. That’s what we did. For 10 years, we have been supporting the projects of NGOs and trying to tackle social problems collaboratively.”
Stating that they have been working with NGOs on different topics such as preventing early and forced marriages, supporting women’s human rights, ending discrimination against persons with disabilities and facilitating social participation of youth not only in future but of today, Ms. Sabanci added “For 10 years, our starting point was to develop the capacity of NGOs and achieve sustainability in civil society. Social development starts with equal opportunities and participation. And it is only possible with existence of a strong civil society.”
Emphasizing that Sabanci Foundation has been working to empower civil society and increase the local capacity, Ms. Sabanci added “All the projects implemented at local level yielded promising results, expanded and set examples. Under the Grant Program, we’ve supported 119 projects so far and touched the lives of almost 700 thousand people in 72 provinces of Turkey. With these projects, women raised awareness about equality, youth and persons with disabilities were encouraged and learned their rights. Witnessing this change and transformation in people’s lives reminds us that everything is possible.”
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 12, 2015, project representatives of Sabanci Foundation Grant Program 2014 convened at a workshop to share experiences during their project implementation period.