Turkey: Syrian Children

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After seeing such atrocities committed to millions of innocent Syrian people and children, we made a decision to do something that will have a long term impact.  We began the launch for a school program to care for 100 Syrian orphans in Turkey in September, 2016.  We reached this goal by February, 2017 thanks to the generosity of our wonderful friends.  Since 2018, we have been sponsoring 120 children through an after school center in Fatih area of Istanbul. We also sponsor a Hifz school on the Asian side by paying rent and teachers' salaries.   


We started our work with Syrian orphans and refugees by visiting and providing them with over 17,500 blankets of love. Meeting the orphans, seeing where they live and how they survive with so little, was very moving.  The blankets helped achieve the goal of keeping them warm during the harsh winter nights, but also we realized that they needed so much more. Meeting these children and their single mothers gave us better insights into their struggles and their unmet needs - the most pressing one being their education.  While the Turkish government provides free education, the kids are unable attend because of a language barrier.  An alternative option is to send kids to a Syrian school, but the mothers or guardians are unable to afford this. As a result, kids 8-12 years old are not going to school and instead work in factories or restaurants as cheap labor. We decided to change this and began sponsoring education for 120 orphans starting April, 2016.  We have selected top schools to partner with that meet our selection criteria of having good management, strong curriculum, dedicated teachers and inspiring ambiance.


Current Need

We need your help to sponsor 120 children at Fatih center and 16 on the Asian side, for $30/month/child.  The center at Fatih has classes for English, Turkish, Arabic, Counseling and Drama.  Make an impact by sponsoring a child today. 

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We will send you a bio of the child you are sponsoring within 4-6 weeks, assuming you are committed to at least one school year's sponsorship. You will be able to communicate with the child by sending an email and may even be able to plan a visit in the future.  

Please click here to view our albums for this project:

Album - Education for Syrian Children

Album - Syria, Sorrow, and Desire to Love


Volunteer Account

We know the desire to help is alive in many hearts.  One of our own volunteers, Lujane Musadi, who travelled to Turkey last winter, shared her experience below:

"Accompanying Dian Alyan on the trip to Turkey was an experience I will never forget.  We constantly see and hear of the daily tragedies that befall the Syrian people, but seeing firsthand the faces of the orphaned children and talking to the widowed mothers who lost everything tares at your heart like nothing else.   I looked a father in the eye who lost his wife and is now caring for five children alone. You could sense the feeling of failure in his voice and the absolute despair. The simple act of handing him two blankets to keep his children warm in the harsh winter months brought tears to his eyes, and as I saw this I couldn’t help but cry alongside him.  In the comfort of our own homes, never has such a simple object had so much meaning.

The opportunities that Givelight gives these children is truly remarkable. They go above and beyond to bring smiles to the faces of these children. During our time there we took a hundred orphans out to lunch, and while there were some who were too traumatized from past experiences to even speak a word to us, others were giddy at the chance to eat out. I will never forget when one of the orphan girls noticed that I had not received my food yet and came up to me to offer me her fries. Givelight is giving these children every possibility to be a normal kid and put their horrible experiences in the past. They do all that they can to give light in times of darkness."

We are confident that we can help support the dreams of even more children, and we hope many of our friends will join us in this endeavor. It's time to wipe away the tears and build dreams for precious, innocent children who deserve just as bright a future as the rest of us.

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  • Jacket Distribution for 90 children in an orphanage in Antaki - Jan 2019
  • Dian's visit to Hanan School to meet the children and explore "Books of Light" project - Dec 2018
  • Dian's visit to Rahma Center for lunch treat - Dec 2018
  • Dian visited the center in Fatih  - Dec 2018
  • Jacket Distribution for 136 children - Oct 2018
  • Begin sponsoring 16 children at Rahma Center for Quran Memorization - Oct 2017
  • Increased sponsorship to 120 children at Hanan School - Sept 2017
  • Begin sponsoring 100 children to attend school - April 2016 
  • Launch school campaign - April 2016
  • Identified 3 schools to send our Syrian children - March 2016
  • Warm Jacket distributed to 300 orphans - March 2016
  • Two GL volunteers traveled to Turkey and distributed to schools and door to door - Jan 2016
  • Shipment from the US arrived (11,000 blanket) - Jan 2016
  • First batch of blanket distributions (2300 blankets) at schools and door to door - Dec 2015
  • Dian and a volunteer traveled to Turkey for Distribution - Dec 2015
  • Local partner to purchase high quality blanket in Turkey to save cost - Dec 2015
  • Raised $105K - Dec 2015
  • Researched and identified credible partners in Istanbul - Dec 2015
  • Launched Blanket of Love campaign - Nov 2015
  • Ramadan Iftaar and Eid gifts every year since inception