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. Living with Corona / Working with Corona

The virus named Covid-19 which belongs to the Corona strain and which first appeared in China’s Wuhan city in December has spread to many countries.

The first Covid-19 case in Turkey was detected on March 12th. It has also been detected in European countries such as Italy and Germany, and Middle Eastern countries like Iran.

Following the detection of the first case, the precautions and notifications relating to the virus reached its highest rate in Turkey.

Schools are suspended for a week and it has been declared that the online education system will take place afterward. Many institutions and organizations have cancelled or postponed their activities and meetings.

Considering on the one hand the daily pace of life and our workplaces, on the other hand our teammates and their families, we made a plan that would least disrupt our routines while also protecting everyone.

Managing the processes of potential contact with and the protection from Covid-19 with information and precaution rather than fear, would protect us and the people around us.

Mavi Kalem shared its informative and protective efforts with the whole working team and took the following measures in all the offices:

  • The common areas, especially the ones that are subject to frequent physical contact like doors, buttons and phone receivers are regularly disinfected.
  • The necessary information, motivation and supply for handwash are increased.
  • The usage of paper tissue is encouraged; the lidded bins necessary for throwing the tissue right after usage are set in every working area.
  • Informative visuals about handwash and the usage of paper tissues are visibly hanged on the office walls.
  • Informing the women, children and men who visit Mavi Kalem offices about the virus and the measures of precaution has begun and is continuing.
  • The offices are regularly ventilated with open fresh air.
  • Informative content about the usage of masks and gloves are visibly hanged on the office walls.
  • Informative content regarding the importance of a well-balanced diet and sleep to strengthen the immune system are made visible around the offices.
  • Mavi Kalem’s working team and beneficiaries are regularly informed about the virus.
  • The gathering events at Mavi Kalem offices scheduled for 16-20 March are postponed for a week, but the consultation services continue.

For details regarding the spreading Corona virus, you can follow-up the information shared by World Health Organization (WHO), The (Republic of Turkey) Ministry of Health and Turkish Medical Association.


. Refugee Activity at the Western Border of Turkey


Starting from February 28th; Afghan, Iranian, Senegalese, and Syrian women, children and men have been going to the western borders of Turkey, with the news that Turkey’s borders to Europe will be open.fghjgjhgy

When the refugees were not permitted to cross to the Greek side of the border, they gathered at an empty field in Edirne Pazarkule. The population has been increasing there and in other areas around the border since Saturday.

A 3 people team from Mavi Kalem went to Pazarkule on Saturday, February 29th to assess the situation and the needs. Mavi Kalem has worked in coordination with Edirne Provincial Immigration Directorate, ASAM, Social Cooperation and Solidarity Foundation, and United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees in the area.

Because the border area is a transition area, it does not have the sufficient conditions for sheltering. People in the area, including babies, children and pregnant women, are staying on a cold and wet ground in changing weather conditions. The need for materials to protect the refugees from cold and rain is continuous.

As the crowd gets bigger every day, there are an increasing number women and children among the newcomers. Fulfillment of the special needs of women and children among the basic needs will increase their survival energy. For this reason, it is important that the food packages that are being distributed by various organizations support the groups who have special needs such as babies, children, the elderly, and pregnant women. Because drinking water is also used for cleaning purposes, it is necessary that clean water is provided often and regularly every day.


As long as Mavi Kalem was in the field, it has been a part of the humanitarian aid work. Mavi Kalem has provided materials such as high calorie food, sanitary pads, diapers, wet wipes, and baby food.

Mavi Kalem field team left the area in the evening of March 2nd and still monitors the process. We follow the needs that change according to the population and the conditions in the field and plan our work accordingly.

You can make donations from here to support Mavi Kalem’s work.



. Male Participation Workshop Series for the Empowerment of Women

All parts of the Male Participation Workshop Series for the Empowerment of Women that we had started preparing on October 15th, 2018 are completed and on November 6th, 2019 the pilot application has started in our office in Adana.

13 men have participated to the introduction module which took place prior to the program that included violence, parenthood, female labor force participation, and gender workshops, respectively. During the introduction module, the participants, who have found the opportunity to be informed about Mavi Kalem and the workshops, and to get to know each other, shared our excitement. During the pilot application that was completed at the end of November, all the workshops were applied consecutively for the first time and we found the opportunity to evaluate the workshops together with the participants.

Male Participation Workshop Series for the Empowerment of Women has been designed as a component of the Child Protection Project with the idea of Syrian refugee men who live in İstanbul being supportive to the work that aims Syrian women and girls to be empowered. The design of the workshop series was completed with the feedback we had gotten from our strategy team and Syrian men. The workshop series is applied bilingually with consideration of the social structure and cultural values of Syria.



. We Gathered to Share the Male Participation Workshop Series for the Empowerment of Women

Male Participation Workshop Series for the Empowerment of Women, which has been developed for the empowerment of women and the prevention of violence against women, with the support of men, has accomplished yet another goal.

As the end of the year was approaching, we wanted to come together with the participants who have enabled the implementation of this workshop series, the team which has processed the workshop step by step, and everybody who has helped during the development process of the workshop series. In a meeting in which our friends from the general public and national and international institutions were present, we intended to share with which perspective and sensitivity this workshop series that has been informative for all of us, was developed.rdrd

In the meeting that took place in the evening of December 24th, Tuesday at Taksim Point Hotel, the priority was to be able to hear the feedback of the participants of the Male Participation Workshop Series for the Empowerment of Women, and also the feedback of their wives. We found the opportunity to listen to the participants who were in the meeting and also the ones who could not make it, through video. It was a very encouraging and unifying experience.

We would like to share some quotes from the participants:


“We have developed nice friendships in the meetings. We were discussing the things we had learned until we understood everything perfectly.”

“It is great that I have learned these while I am still single. When I get married in the future, I know how to support my wife and children.”

“Thanks to this workshop, we came together as people who would not come together in Syria, when one of us had a problem we all took care of that person.”

“If a man treats a woman well, if he talks to her kindly, the woman will improve. If the woman improves, the whole family improves and become empowered.”

“When we came to Turkey we were in a very bad situation psychologically, Mavi Kalem was there for us in happiness and sadness.”


Apart from the feedback, topics below were discussed during the meeting:

  • Why is male participation necessary for the empowerment of women?
  • The general approach of the Male Participation Workshop Series for the Empowerment of Women
  • How were the participants involved in the content development process?
  • The general framework of the workshops, the difficulties we encountered and what we learned


As 2019 was ending, it was a great experience to share what has been done for over a year and this work that is very valuable to Mavi Kalem.

Besides, this meeting elucidated what the Male Participation Workshop Series for the Empowerment of Women wants to accomplish in 2020.

We are greeting a new year in which the workshops will be applied by Mavi Kalem and other organizations more extensively to reach more people and a new year in which we will come together again and become more empowered…



. Fieldwork has started in Esenyurt Women’s Solidarity and Counseling Center

Our work with Syrian and non-Syrian refugee children and women continues in Esenyurt with the support of German Corporation for International Cooperation (GIZ) and we are bringing Esenyurt Women’s Solidarity and Counseling Center into life.mkfot

With our newly established center, we aim to provide protection and support services to refugee women living in Esenyurt district in order to reduce vulnerabilities such as violence that has increased with disasters like war and migration, child marriages, pregnancy and birth risks, psychological and chronical illnesses and disability.

Our project team visited neighborhood representatives between September 30th and October 21st to introduce our center which has started fieldwork and to discuss possible cooperation. Our team has also visited Esenyurt Municipality Women and Family Services Management, and Benim Ailem Education and Consultation Center to get informed about the services that the units provide. During the visits in which the work that will be carried out with the local agents of Esenyurt district was evaluated, the activities that will take place in the center were also discussed. During the visits, the great interest of the neighborhood representatives and municipality institutions, towards the work that will be carried out and the cooperation that will be developed, was remarkable.

©GIZ/2018/Community Centres and Local Initiatives Project (CLIP). All rights reserved. Licensed to the European Union and the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) under conditions.



. Mavi Kalem 10th Ordinary General Assembly has Gathered

We are going forward by strengthening our management understanding which we have developed throughout a long time together with our new members.

The 10th Ordinary General Assembly of Mavi Kalem for the 2017-2019 term gathered on November 10th, 2019 Sunday at Cezayir Assembly Hall. The election for Board of Management and Board of Inspection took place.

In the new term, in the Board of Management Tiraje Zeynep Yüreğir, Döne Günay Kahraman and Cemaliye Yegane, and in the Board of Inspection Hayriye Kazancı, Meltem Arıoğlu and Şükran Anğay have joined us.

The information of the members that will take charge in the Board of Management and the Board of Inspection in the new term is below:

Board of Management Permanent Members

  1. Emine Filiz Ayla
  2. Tiraje Zeynep Yüreğir
  3. Döne Günay Kahraman
  4. Meryem Tomak
  5. Cemaliye Yagane

Board of Inspection Permanent Members

  1. Hayriye Kazancı
  2. Meltem Arıoğlu
  3. Şükran Anday



. Mavi Kalem is established and constituted based on the notion that volunteering is a way of life. We have learned that everything depends on us. If communication can not be established, it shows that we have failed to manage it, if a child does not want to come and participate in activities, it means that we have failed to provide the means. We have always searched for opportunities and means to realize our work altogether, we have learned a lot from our experiences and we are still learning…


. Mavi Kalem wins juliette Gimon Courage Award

Mavi Kalem has been granted Courage Award which has been presented for the first time in memory of Juliette Gimon whose courageous and inspiring work changed hundreds of thousands of young lives across the globe. Filiz Ayla, General Director of Mavi Kalem, said the award is an encouraging result of the association’s efforts in strengthening children, especially empowerment of girls in disadvantaged communities.


On April 2, 2019 Global Fund for Children gave Juliette Gimon Courage Award to Mavi KalemSocial Assistance and to Solidarity Association from Turkey and to Asociación Generando (ASOGEN)from Guatemala during Global Philanthropy Forum in California. Gamze Karadağ, Vice Chairman of the Board of Directors, received the award on behalf of Mavi Kalem. The Juliette Gimon Courage Award, given for the first time this year, recognizes innovative grassroots organizations around the world that are positively impacting children in especially challenging circumstances.

Mavi Kalem General Director Filiz Ayla said that this award is a pleasing result of Mavi Kalem’s continuous and persevering work for children, especially for empowerment of girls in disadvantaged communities. jg-courage-awards-winner“We are excited by the fact that our endeavors and work that supports children’s education will gain visibility along with this award in the international arena. We would like to thank the Global Fund for Children. We are truly honored to receive Juliette Gimon Courage Award.” Ayla stated that they will continue to launch new projects in the fields of strengthening the lives of children and women, to reach more people and to diversify their work with new collaborations.

John Hecklinger, Global Fund for Children Director, said they have deemed Mavi Kalem and ASOGEN worthy of the award due to the strength, courage, and passion they demonstrate in their work to defend and empower young people in incredibly challenging circumstances. “These values honor Juliette Gimon’s legacy and her work to inspire positive change for children around the world, “Hecklinger said.

For news articles on the award, visit:


. Cater To Their First Bathtub, and Make Babies Grow Healthy!

We have initiated a study to support infants start their lives in a healthy manner. With this project titled “Healthy Baby”, we aim to reach 250 babies within the boundaries of our association’s field of activity at first step.

pict_original6In order to facilitate the increased workload of mothers and to meet the hygiene and health needs of babies, we have prepared a kit consisting of bath tub, baby towel, digital fever gauge, shampoo, diaper rash, washing sponge, washing net and baby nasal aspirator.

You are welcome to click on the link below if you wish to support this project we have set off under the motto of Cater To Their First Bathtub, and Make Babies Grow Healthy!:



. Mavi Kalem aired on TRT 1 Radio channel…

Mavi Kalem aired on TRT 1 Radio channel. Mavi Kalem’s Programme Director Ms. Dilara Baycılı attended Günebakan program on January 25 during which she talked about the works and studies carried out by our association and our projects in 2019.

You can listen to the recording of the program from the link below


. Child Protection Project Is Broadening and Advancing

Our project, which aims to provide better access to qualified child protection services for refugee children and their families and to strengthen children, families and society, continues to grow.

Within the scope of the project, we address the major child protection issues faced and encountered by Syrian and non-Syrian refugee children in Istanbul, including unaccompanied and separated children focused on problems of child abuse, exploitation, child marriage and child labor cases. In the protection offices we have established in Fatih and Zeytinburnu, we work in the areas of “protection” and “empowerment” aimed at the establishment and functioning of the community based child protection structure.

wcocuk-koruma-programiOur Child Protection Project team consists of experienced and skillful social workers who speak Arabic, Turkish and English. Throughout the project period, we are conducting  Individuals Below 18 Years Old Are Children Campaign in order to raise awareness for the risks faced and encountered by children and young people, mainly aimed at child marriage and child labor. Our campaign, which emphasizes that every individual under the age of 18 is a child, asserts that children have the basic rights just like all other individuals in the society.



. Our Works and Studies Focused on Protection

Within the scope of the protection focused work of our project, we see and witness that the risks of violence, ewkizlar-gucleniyorxploitation, abuse and neglect experienced and encountered by the beneficiaries who reach our offices in Fatih and Zeytinburnu regions are widespread. We determine the support and services they need by the Best Interest Analysis method and we conduct the Case Follow-Up Process premediated with regular interviews.
In addition, we contact the Social Services Centers of the region for necessary services, and we follow-up the cases by referring them to the relevant institutions.

Our Child Protection Project is expanding with Empowerment of Young Girls, the pilot study of Men Involvement For Empowerment of Women and Child Protection pillars.


. Pilot Study Of Men Involvement For Empowerment Of Women Commenced

With this study, which we have initiated as a component of the Child Protection Project on 15 October 2018, we aim to ensure that Syrian refugee men living in Istanbul are supportive in their efforts to strengthen the Syrian women and girls.

werkek-katilim-calismasiWe will carry out this process with the information module we will prepare on gender-based violence and we will continue this process with the feedback and support we receive from our Strategy Consultants, Consultant Group and the Voluntary Syrian Men Group. In the preparation of the module, we will realize our works in a bilingual way by taking the cultural values and social structures of the Syrian society into consideration.

At the end of our pilot application, which will end on December 31, 2018, we will develop a strategy document aimed at involvement of men for empowerment of women and mitigation of gender-based violence. We aim to continue and mainstream this study in 2019 in light of the experience and gains we have acquired during this pilot implementation process.

The first meeting of our consultant group with the agenda of how to create more effective information and messages on the prevention of violence against women was held on November 13th with the participation of representatives from organizations working with refugees.


Developing a Model on Education of Syrian Children Project Has Started

Aim of The Developing a Model on Education of Syrian Children Project, which has started in April 2018, is to support the continuation of Syrian children to education especially in secondary education. In this context, the project has three basic components.

First of them is conducting face to face interviews with teachers working with Syrian students about understanding the problems on participation and continuity in education especially in secondary education.

mkalempr1 Second one is translation of Psycho-Social Guide which is prepared by INEE (Inter-Agency Network for Education in Emergencies) that aims to provide continuity in education for children affected by disasters and emergencies based on psycho-social support and social emotional learning. The translation will be followed by adaptation to Turkey with an adaptation group of teachers and translation of the adapted text into Arabic.

The third component is introducing and disseminating the results of the research and adapted guide to stakeholders in the meetings that will be held in Istanbul, Ankara and Gaziantep and organizing the introductory meetings of the guide to teachers in Istanbul.

This project is supported by Malala Fund and leaded by Malala Fund Education Champion Gamze Karadağ. As a result of Developing a Model on Education of Syrian Children Project, the needs of Syrian children in secondary education will be determined, an exemplary and wide spread approach will be introduced to teachers, decision makers in the field of education, representatives of civil society organizations and academics.

You may follow the updates of the project via Mavi Kalem’s Facebook, Instagram and Twitter accounts.

We were in Narbonne/France in 17-24 of April 2016 for the International Network Meeting!


For Erasmus + the European Youth Exchange, we participated in the international network development meetings in Narbonne/France with two volunteers and a team leader. Roudel Association hosted this meeting whose topic was “Living Together: Differences and Identities” With 33 participants from Spain, Germany, Italy, Poland, Greece, Bulgaria, Belgium, Croatia, Liechtenstein, Latvia and Malta, we did workshops about it for 6 days.

In these workshops, our primary topics were refugee camps and their problems which are discussed a lot lately. In a group work, we discussed them considering their positive and negative sides in company with a moderator.

By using Betzavta pedagogy, we designed our either 2d or 3d dream houses on an A4 paper using different materials. Then we put our houses side by side and we shared our dreams and expectations about how we can make the places that we live better and how we can live better with different people.

We talked to inhabitants by wandering around the streets of Narbonne. So that, we had an opportunity to learn not only their culture but also learn different people’s ideas about their hometown.

While we were doing these workshops, we tried to understand each other better since 33 participants had different cultures, religions and perspectives. Besides, we had an opportunity to discuss what else we can do through this network in the future.

Even though the participating organizations have different perspectives and fields to work on, we prepared workshops to find a common goal and to create sustainability of these meetings. In this way, we developed common project drafts for the future by improving our relationships with organizations in the network meeting.

. 23rd of April Festival

This year we made the 23rd of April Festival with 22 children and 15 volunteers on Balat seaside. We had a picnic and played a lot of games. Everyone had a lot of fun!



. Mavi Kalem participated in Protection for Sexual Exploitation and Abuse (PSEA) for Managers Workshop by HAP International


Since the beginning of 2015, Mavi Kalem is a member of HAP (Humanitarian Accountability Partnership).

HAP International organised the Protection for Sexual Exploitation and Abuse for Managers Workshop in Beirut, Lebanon in 2-3 March 2015.

The training content was:

  • PSEA; Background and Context,
  • What is Abuse and what are the differences of Sexual Abuse and Sexual Harassment
  • Organisational code of conduct
  • Complaints handling; policy and practice
  • Management of investigations; Managers’ testimony
  • Gap analysis and action plan

Mavi Kalem uses International Core Humanitarian Standards as a guide for all of  its work and projects.


. Do you want to be a volunteer to support Mavi Kalem children’s lunch expenses/materials?

screen-shot-2014-05-28-at-2-05-37-amWe are carrying out “Children’s Education Support Program” since 2003 .  We are realizing this program in two different periods as school period and summer period with Mavi Kalem’s volunteer team. Our children’s educational support program for 2014-2015 school year began on 11 October 2014. 25-30 children are participating in this program which is also ongoing at weekend (2 fully days). In our program we have been doing 21 different workshops / courses with our 35 volunteers.

2014 – 2015 support of children’s educational program will be completed by the end of June but we are unable to develop a resource for children’s, who attend classes, lunches. Even if just for the weekend, we want to support children’s regular diet. Monthly we need donation for lunch expenses, or you could prepare children lunch at your home and bring us in every weekend. This support would be also a voluntary opportunity. If you want to support children’s healthy diet; we would appreciate to you.

Thank you for your interest,

Please share this announcement with your friends…

short summary about children education program

Mavi Kalem Association