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.
We know the desire to help is alive in many hearts. Read accounts from visitors who have visited the children we are supporting.
Recently, our board member, Johann and his family visited the center. Click here to read about their visit.
Yosra Mojaddidy is a long-term friend and supporter of GiveLight. She and her husband were traveling to Istanbul and they decided to visit our children. We are very grateful for their support and generosity. Click here to read about their visit.
One of our own volunteers, Lujane Musadi, who travelled to Turkey, 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 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.
Our goal is to send all our kids to College once they finish high school. For those who are not interested in attending College, we will help set them up for vocational training. We are also planning to bring some of our brightest students to study in the U.S./overseas once we can secure sponsorship.
We hope you are inspired by our story and join us in making a bigger impact.
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 is 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.