Global Reach: Turkey

EMpower in Turkey

Turkey has a large population of young people, and the largest population of refugees in the world.

Education is a top issue, and a key concern is the significantly low level of secondary schooling. Being out of school during adolescence disproportionally affects girls, who are less likely to be employed and face risks of child marriage and early pregnancy. Young women have a lower rate of employment than young men, despite equal educational achievements. Even those enrolled in formal education often can’t develop marketable skills and lack access to employment opportunities. These burdens are felt most strongly in marginalised communities and are often exacerbated by crises.

In Turkey, EMpower seeks to promote safety and well-being and ensure continued education for vulnerable young people, particularly girls, Syrian migrants, those living with disabilities, and LGBTQI+ individuals. There are very few girl-centred programmes in Turkey, so EMpower seeks to orient organisations to this approach. EMpower is also supporting populations affected by the February 2023 earthquakes to deal with their trauma and to continue their education.

Our partners in Turkey:

Cinsel Şiddetle Mücadele Derneği (CSMD)

Istanbul | Funded Since: 2018

CSMD aims to enable youth to protect their mental and sexual health by increasing their knowledge and awareness of dating violence, gender equity, intimate/emotional relationships, individual boundaries, and consent.

EGED/Egitimde Gorme Engelliler Dernegi (Association for Visual Impairment in Education)

Ankara | Funded Since: 2022

EGED focuses on supporting young people with disabilities (especially the blind) by increasing education and employment opportunities, challenging society's perception of disability, increasing accessibility to technology, and decreasing discrimination.

Genc Hayat Foundation (Youth Lives Foundation, YLF)

Istanbul | Funded Since: 2018

Genc Hayat Vakfi uses innovative and supportive approaches to help children and young people discover and develop their skills, with programmes in child labour prevention, youth employability, academics, psychosocial support, and social cohesion.


Ankara | Funded Since: 2022

ICHILD aims to promote and protect children’s rights, working in solidarity and cooperation with them and prioritising their right to participate.

Kodluyoruz Dernegi (We are Coding)

Istanbul | Funded Since: 2019

Kodluyoruz aims to create career opportunities in technology and coding for talented but socio-economically disadvantaged youth by providing high-quality tech education and coding literacy and combating gender-based prejudices in the sector.

Koy Okullari Degisim Agi Dernegi (KODA)

Istanbul | Funded Since: 2019

KODA is group of educators, volunteers, teachers, and families that aims to ensure that all young people living in villages and rural neighbourhoods receive a quality education.

Maya Foundation

Istanbul | Funded Since: 2021

Maya Foundation improves access to quality mental health and psycho-social support, provides inclusive education, and ensures safety for marginalised young people—with a special focus on young Syrian refugees.

Sulukule Volunteers Association (SVA)

Istanbul | Funded Since: 2017

Sulukule Volunteers works with children living in poverty, who have a high school dropout rate, are often exposed to violence at home, and who face discrimination in schools due to their ethnic background.

Suna’nın Kızları (Suna’s Daughters)

Istanbul | Funded Since: 2022

Suna'nın Kızları (Suna's Daughters) strives to promote girls’ access to education and provide support for their developmental needs so that they can complete their educational journey and attain future employment.

WNTT/ We Need to Talk / Konusmamiz Gerek

Istanbul | Funded Since: 2021

We Need to Talk Association works towards menstrual justice and ending period poverty for people that menstruate, by expanding the limited definition of menstruators and addressing their care practices and needs within the Turkish context.

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