Once Upon a Time Sur was Playing

Project Summary
Grantee : Colorful Hopes Association
Purpose : Through contributing to the development of self-confidence of children, making them be able to make peace with themselves and differences as well as realize cultural diversity, and feel trust about the different identities where they live in.
Location : Diyarbakır
Grant Amount : 246.545 TL
Project Partner : Association of Sports and Body Movement for Social Empowerment (BoMoVu)
Period : 13 July 2020 - 15 September 2021
Status : Completed
Project Year : 2020


It has been determined that children living in Sur district of Diyarbakır have negative emotions and behaviors such as anxiety, fear, insecurity, hatred and enmity, normalization of violence, and violence among themselves. In order to help children affected by the conflict environment to overcome the trauma they experience, to make peace with themselves and differences, and to regain trust in social peace, the studies should be carried out to reduce the negative process of children.

Project Goals

  • 3-day experience sharing and method development workshops will be held in İstanbul and Diyarbakır with the project partner.
  • Fairy tale nights will be held every month with children from Diyarbakır, who will come together with fairy tale tellers and folk poets (dengbej) in Diyarbakır, to bring children together with the tales and songs which take place in their own neighbourhoods and carry the cultural diversity of the past.
  • Oral history workshops will be held with 75 children at primary, secondary and high school age using different methods according to age group.
  • The games recorded by children at primary school age by the oral history method will be made applicable again with the children.
  • Children at middle school age will write a fairy tale that reflects cultural richness in various places of Sur, with the help of the data obtained through the oral history method, and the tale will be adapted to a play and staged in theatre.
  • High school children will visit memory venues that show the old cultural diversity of Sur, write and stage a theatre play that includes cultural diversity and a sense of social peace.

Project Results

  • 3-day experience sharing and method development workshops implemented in İstanbul and Diyarbakır with the project partner.
  • 15 volunteer butterfly parents attended parent support and mentoring meetings.
  • Fairytale nights implemented six times with children from Diyarbakır, who will come together with fairytale tellers and folk poets (dengbej) in Diyarbakır.
  • At primary school level, 15 children learned the children's games played in Sur from the adults with the oral history method and recorded them.
  • At secondary school level, 26 children listened to tales and stories from adults using the oral history method and recorded them.
  • At high school level, 13 children listened to the history of Sur from the adults using the oral history method and recorded it.
  • The games and tales collected by the primary and secondary school groups were mapped and the collected tales were transformed into a book with the children.
  • The children in the high school group explored ethnic identities, forgotten professions and cultural motifs and staged a traditional theatre play written and performed jointly by the four groups.


“I explored the architecture of Sur, the building blocks and basalt stones, why are they used depending on the legend of Karacadağ, what is the male stone and female stone. There were stone structures, iwans, used in Mardin and Diyarbakir houses. I was very interested in these architectures.” Beneficiary Child

“I used to think that some buildings were unnecessary, bridges for example, but when I learned about their history, it started to interest me.” Beneficiary Child


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