Current Grantees

Social responsibility is an important priority for IWI. Each year IWI directs a portion of membership fees, activity fees, and event proceeds to a fund used for supporting social responsibility initiatives. With this fund, IWI is able to help small, local non-profit organizations execute projects that benefit women.    

IWI priority areas include:

  • Women and Girls' Leadership
  • Women and Girls' Economic Development
  • Women's Rights (including issues like gender equality, domestic violence, health)
  • Childhood Development and Motherhood
  • Support for Refugees and Migrants

After a formal Call for Proposals in April 2017, IWI carefully reviewed project applications and donated a total of 63,900 TL to the following five Turkish non-profit organizations. The projects will start, and be completed, between July 2017 and April 2018. 


Değişim Liderleri Derneği (DLD) operates a leadership development program, called Sparks, for young women in university from economically disadvantaged backgrounds. Participants are the first in their families to go to university. As a result, they typically do not have many role models to assist with anticipating and understanding the opportunities and challenges faced in university and in their careers.

Through the Sparks program, participants benefit from support networks and also gain valuable leadership and collaboration skills. They meet regularly with mentors and work on teams to identify, plan and implement a community-focused social change project, taking turns to lead initiatives. The program supports economic and social development in Turkey by helping young women reach their fullest potential.

This year, IWI is supporting DLD’s project to create several professionally produced videos that will help attract young women to participate in the program. As well, the videos will be important marketing tools for DLD to find more donors that will enable the program to grow and reach more young women.

Project priority areas:

  • Women and Girls' Leadership
  • Women and Girls' Economic Development


Meme Hastalıkları Koalisyonu Derneği (Europa Donna Türkiye) is part of EUROPA DONNA, an international non-profit organization that focuses on raising awareness of breast health and the importance of early detection and treatment of breast cancer. The organization also advocates for better education, screening, treatments and research.

According to the World Health Organization, breast cancer is the most common form of cancer among women and in less developed regions, it is the most frequent cause of cancer deaths in women. The most effective ways to fight the disease are through awareness, early diagnosis and treatment.

This year, IWI is supporting Europa Donna Türkiye’s project to raise breast health awareness and provide mammography screenings for economically disadvantaged women. The project will target women in southern Turkey, in areas where access to breast health information is limited. Awareness about the importance of breast health will be raised among women from more traditional and conservative communities where the subject is usually not discussed. Women who will benefit from this project include Turkish women as well as migrants from other regions in Turkey and Syria.

Project priority areas:

  • Women’s Rights (Health)
  • Support for Refugees and Migrants


Qnushyo is a grassroots community center in the Yedikule area of Istanbul focused on migrant families. The center provides language and other education-based activities for children and adults.

Qnushyo aims to assist refugees and migrants in the local area with basic needs and help them re-structure and adapt to their new lives. This group typically suffers from psychological stress and the inclusive atmosphere of the center helps them to develop support networks with others who have experienced similar situations. Through the center, children and parents gain knowledge and skills needed to adjust to life in Istanbul. 

The center is entirely run by volunteers. Volunteers from among the adult refugee population lead activities for the children and volunteers from Turkey, U.S, Sweden, Germany, Denmark, UK and other countries are language instructors.

This year IWI is supporting Qnushyo’s Summer School project to provide both learning and recreational activities to children and their mothers over the summer. Education classes will be supplemented with excursions to help children and their mothers experience different areas of Istanbul through visits to sites including a beach, the zoo, and museums.

Project priority areas:

  • Childhood Development and Motherhood
  • Support for Refugees and Migrants

Small Projects Istanbul (SPI) operates a community center in Çapa, a neighborhood in the Fatih district of Istanbul. The center offers a safe place for migrants, primarily from Syria, to develop social connections with others, take part in educational activities and develop skills to foster greater independence. 

SPI’s programs include educational activities for kids, community-building initiatives, and back-to-school assistance. In addition, SPI manages a women’s craft collective, a social enterprise that trains women from the community to create handicraft products, develop skills to run a small enterprise, and identify channels to sell their products. The collective has been successful in helping women produce goods that can generate income and expand their opportunities.

This year, IWI funds will help support the continued expansion of the craft collective to enable more women to participate in the enterprise. Also, the funds will enable the creation of new leadership roles in the collective for those with the interest and aptitude to learn new skills and gain greater job responsibility.

Project priority areas:

  • Women and Girls' Leadership
  • Women and Girls' Economic Development
  • Support for Refugees and Migrants


Yüksek Öğrenimde Rehberliği Tanıtma ve Rehber Yetiştirme Vakfı (Yöret) provides training to teachers, counselors and volunteers who work with at-risk children. The aim of the organization is to increase the psychological resilience of children in the face of adverse situations such as poverty and displacement due to war and conflict.

Yöret focuses its work on economically disadvantaged children and families, including migrants. Through its programs, Yöret helps mitigate violence at home, at school, and in the streets among children and young people, by advocating gender equality, non-violent forms of communication, social inclusion and children’s rights.

This year, IWI is supporting an innovative project to focus on economically disadvantaged mothers in the Sulukule and Çapa communities in Istanbul. Yöret’s project will teach positive parenting skills to mothers including ways to keep children engaged with learning, as well as approaches to dealing with anger and frustration in children. In addition, mothers will find important peer support for themselves. Overall, the project will help both mothers and children deal with past traumatic experiences and the challenges of adjusting to life in Istanbul.

Project priority areas:

  • Childhood Development and Motherhood
  • Support for Refugees and Migrants



© International Women of Istanbul 2017

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