Hayat Sende Gençlik Akademisi Derneği

Vision of the

Organization:

A world that children under legal protection lives in loving and caring families and integrated into the life with equal and strong footing

Impact of the

Organization

Hayat Sende has built a platform that offers youth from state institutions and other disadvantaged backgrounds a myriad of training and experience opportunities to develop their professional and life skills. Functioning as a funnel of engagement, youth at the Academy can benefit from trainings and certificate programs that increase their employability, communication, teamwork and leadership skills. Options cover a wide range, from one-time workshops delivered by experts in a given area, to attending yearlong certificate programs in foreign languages, information technologies or obtaining driving licenses. If the youth wish to deepen their involvement, they are invited to use their newly acquired skills towards social change – either by getting involved in existing social projects of the Academy or starting their own social ventures. To date, the Academy has reached over 2500 youth, activating them to be full citizens and changemakers. Today, Academy's volunteers have become an important human resource for civil society organizations as volunteers. Hayat Sende has also established a special track for those youth showing potential to launch their own ventures and currently mentors and coaches 30 high-potential youth in establishing and sustaining their own social projects.

Realizing the need to work with multipliers and strategic partners to maximize impact, the Academy also started to work on the institutional level. One strategy has been increasing the capacities of key stakeholders and organizations. To this end, Hayat Sende is working with the 40 organizations established by and for supporting individuals from state institutions and orphanages, the NGOs established by social workers and foster family organizations to increase their capacities through trainings, knowledge and best practice exchanges. Another strategy has been to develop strategically important model projects to be adopted by government institutions. For instance, identifying school environment as a critical intervention point, they developed a training program for public school teachers on how to deal with children from state institutions in classroom settings. The program reached 1200 teachers and was adopted by the Ministry of Education to be implemented nationwide.

Due to their deep knowledge and know-how on the needs of youth from state institutions, as well as their strategic partnerships with key organizations and the Academy has also become an important resource and consultant for key government agencies such as the Ministry of Social Affairs. The Academy has also launched a comprehensive communication campaign to address prejudices towards children and youth in state institutions, reaching over 30.000 people through informative presentations, formal and social media channels.

With all these works in mind, Hayat Sende and his fellows has been honored many times by national and international organizations. Hayat Sende has been selected as one of the Young Social Enterprise of the Bilgi Young Social Entrepreneurship Awards. Sabancı Foundation has selected Hayat Sende as Turkey's Changemakers twice. National Youth Parliament awarded Hayat Sende as the Best Youth NGO of Turkey. JCI, the leading youth NGO in the world honored Hayat Sende's founder Abdullah as One of the Ten Outstanding Young Person in Turkey. Ashoka, the leading social entrepreneurship network in the world selected Abdullah as a fellow and has started to support Hayat Sende since 2015. Asia21 Initiative has also honored Abdullah and Hayat Sende as one of the 24 leading organizations in Asia-Pasific Region.

Today, Hayat Sende is considered as one of the most distinguished youth NGO which transforms the problematic child care system in Turkey.

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