Friday, October 30, 2009

Gender Inequality is increasing in Turkey

2009 Global Gender Gap Report of World Economic Forum ranks Turkey 129st amongst 134 countries. Turkey displays below average performance on all 4 sub indexes (Economy, Health, Education, and Politics) and its performance in 2009 is worse than it was in 2008. Inequality of the genders directly affects many aspects of life for women. However, the employment of women is an area that is the most affected. Although a consensus of opinion has been reached on the importance of women's participation in the labor force, the problem still continues in practice. The share of women holding or seeking employment in Turkey has been decreasing over the past two decades, slipping from 29% in 2008 to 26% in 2009, further opening the gap between women and men.
Here is a synopsis of the report: Bridging the Gender Gap
Read the full report here.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Good News from TPF Grantee Toplum Gonulluleri Vakfi!

July 01, 2009-TPF Grantee Partner Toplum Gonulluleri Vakfi (Community Volunteers Foundation) has recently completed their "Youth and Social Rights Project" which aimed to create a platform for communication among politicians, academicians, NGO representatives, bureaucrats and youth to discuss existing social rights issues that youth in Turkey face and collaboratively produce possible solutions . Three major activities of the project- Peer Training on Social Rights, University Youth and Social Rights Report and University Youth and Social Rights Conference- have all been successfully completed. This year, almost 300 applications were received from all over Turkey and a total of 20 participants were selected for the three dissemination trainings which took place in Istanbul, Izmir and Samsun. According to the survey results of an independent appraiser before and after the trainings, all participants have shown significant improvements in learning levels in the areas focused in the trainings such as right to health services, equal access to education, housing rights, civic participation, freedom of association and employment, among others. To learn more about the project, please visit

Turkish Philanthropic Fund ve Sabanci Vakfi "Gencten Genc'e Paylasim" Projesine Destek Sagliyor

20 Ekim 2009-Sabancı Vakfı ve Turkish Philanthropic Fund (TPF), Sabancı Vakfının 4 yıldır desteklediği Birleşmiş Milletler "Kadınların ve Kız Çocuklarının İnsan Haklarının Korunması ve Geliştirilmesi Ortak Programı" kapsamında geliştirilen Sabancı Vakfı Hibe Programı çerçevesinde ikinci kez işbirliği içine girdi. New York'ta yerleşik olan TPF, Sabancı Vakfı Hibe Programı aracılığıyla Harran Universitesi ogretim uyesi Doc. Dr. Zeynep Simsek'in onculugunde gerceklesen Mevsimlik Tarım İşçilerinin Haklarının Korunması ve Geliştirilmesi Derneği'nin "Gencten Genc'e Paylasim Projesine" fon sağlıyor.

"Gencten Genc'e Paylasim Projesi" göçebe mevsimlik tarım işçilerinde sosyal dışlanmanın akran egitimi modeliyle azaltılmasıni hedeflemektedir. Gocebe mevsimlik tarim iscileri ailelerinden gönüllü gencler arasından belirlenecek 25 genc erkek ve kiz, saglik konulari, cinsiyet esitligi, egitime ulasim konulari, sosyal haklari ve faydalanabilecekleri hizmetler hakkinda egitim alacaklardir. Bu proje kapsaminda, egitim alan genclerin ailelerinin ve cevrelerinin daha bilincli kararlar almasini saglamalari ongoruluyor. Projenin onemli bir yani ise, egitilen 25 gencin her birisinin 25 farkli genci eğitmesi araciligiyla toplam 625 gençe ve ailelerine ulasilabilecek olunmasi.

Turkish Philanthropic Fund and Sabanci Foundation Supports "Seasonal Migrant Workers Youth Program"

October 20, 2009 - Sabanci Foundation and Turkish Philanthropic Fund (TPF) are collaborating once again to support the "United Nations Joint Program on Promoting and Protecting the Human Rights of Women and Girls," through Sabanci Foundation Grant Program, which has been supporting the Joint Program for the last 4 years. Through the Grant Program, TPF of New York will provide funding to support "Seasonal Migrant Workers Youth Program" of Mevsimlik Tarim Iscilerinin Haklarinin Korunmasi ve Gelistirilmesi Dernegi.

"Seasonal Migrant Workers Youth Program" aims to address seasonal migrant workers' issue of social exclusion from society through peer to peer youth education. Initially, 25 young people from the seasonal workers community will be actively informed about issues such as health, gender equality, access to education, availability of social services, and their rights and entitlements to government services.. An important multiplier effect of this project is that each of the trained youth will pass on new perspectives obtained to 25 other young people, ultimately reaching out to 625 people and their families and helping communities to be more aware of their rights and entitlements.

TPF Partnerleri Istanbulda Bulustu

21 Temmuz 2009 tarihinde, Turkish Philanthropy Funds (TPF) partnerleri Turkish Cultural Foundation'in evsahipligi yaptigi toplantida taraflar arasindaki diyalogu arttirmak amacli bir araya geldi. Toplantiya, TPF yonetim kurulu uyeleri yanisira, ACEV, Turk Kultur Vakfi, Anadolu Kultur, Ibrahim Cecen Vakfi, IKSV, TAPV, TUSEV ve Young Guru Academy'den temsilciler katildilar. Organizasyonlar arasinda ileride gerceklesebilecek yeni isbirlikleri tartisildi. Toplantida bulunan organizasyonlarin istegi uzerine, partnerler arasindaki iletisimi yogunlastirmak icin TPF tarafindan Facebook uzerinde bir paylasim platformu olusturuldu

TPF Partners Meeting in Istanbul

On July 21, 2009- Turkish Philanthropy Funds (TPF) Partners gathered at a meeting in Istanbul hosted by the Turkish Cultural Foundation with the aim of increasing communication and collaboration among partners. In addition to TPF Board Members, representatives of ACEV (Mother Child Education Foundation), Turkish Cultural Foundation, Anadolu Kultur, Ibrahim Cecen Foundation, IKSV (Culture and Arts Foundation of Istanbul), TAPV (Turkish Family Health Planning Foundation), TEV (Turkish Education Foundation), TUSEV (Turkish Third Sector Foundation), and Young Guru Academy were present. Ideas for further collaboration were discussed. A virtual platform to connect all partners on Facebook has been created by TPF as requested by all attendees.

Founding Chairman Haldun Tashman Received 2008 Ellis Island Medal of Honor

May 11, 2008- Turkish Philanthropy Funds founding Chairman Haldun Tashman was among this year's recipients of the Ellis Island Medal of Honor presented by the National Ethnic Coalition (NECO) at its annual ceremony in Ellis Island's Great Hall on May 10th.

The Ellis Island Medal of Honor is awarded to outstanding Americans who have distinguished themselves as citizens of the United States and enabled their ancestry groups to maintain their identities while becoming integral parts of American life. Along with Haldun Tashman, this year's recipients will include NYT-best-selling author and health expert Dr. Mehmet Oz; former US Senator Ben Nighthorse Campbell; Gen. Duncan J. McNabb - US Air Force Vice Chief of Staff; Pittsburg Steelers Owner Dan Rooney; and Actor and Founder "Operation Iraqi Children" Gary Sinise.

Established in 1986 by NECO, the Ellis Island Medal of Honor pays tribute to the ancestry groups that comprise America's unique cultural mosaic. To date, more than 1,000 American citizens, including former Presidents Bill Clinton, George Bush, Ronald Reagan, Jimmy Carter, Gerald Ford, and Richard Nixon; Chief Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court William Rehnquist; Muhammad Ali; Rosa Parks; Elie Wiesel; Frank Sinatra; Bob Hope; Her Excellency Sheikha Haya Rashed Al Khalifa, President of the 61st Session of the UN General Assembly; and Quincy Jones, as well as two Turkish recipients, Mike Mustafoglu and Kaya Tuncer were among the recipients.

Both the US Senate and the House of Representatives have officially passed resolutions recognizing the Ellis Island Medal of Honor, which ranks among the country's most prestigious awards. Each year, Ellis Island Medal of Honor recipients are listed in the Congressional Record, honoring those who have made enduring contributions to the United States and to the world.

"This year's recipients are known for both their professional successes and their acts of philanthropy - which have helped those in need here in America and abroad. They join a prestigious list of Americans who have been honored for fostering goodwill and making their communities and the world a better place," explained NECO Executive Director Rosemarie Taglione. "Awardees exemplify the American Dream. I congratulate them and thank them for their continued efforts that touch the lives of so many. You make America proud," Nasser J. Kazeminy, NECO Co-Chairman added.

Mr. Tashman is an entrepreneur from Phoenix, Arizona who came to the United States, after graduating from Robert College of Istanbul in 1966, to study at Columbia Business School with a Fulbright Fellowship. Ten years later embarking in entrepreneurship Mr. Tashman and his partner Steve Uhlmann grew their privately-held company to an annual sales volume of $200 million with 12 manufacturing locations on 3 continents. Since he was able to pursue a solid education through the generosity of others, he made helping people a motto for his life. Mr. Tashman served on the Board of Directors of Phoenix Country Day School from 1993-98, Assembly of Turkish American Associations in Washington, D.C., Turkish-American Business Forum, and Arizona Association of Industries. He is currently a Trustee of Arizona Community Foundation.

Haldun Tashman provides a graduate level Fellowship for MBA students at Columbia University and at Arizona State University (ASU), and has given grants to attract companies from Singapore and Turkey to ASU's Skysong Innovation Center. Also since 2006, he spearheaded two social start-up initiatives: Establishing the first community foundation of Turkey in his hometown, Bolu, and founding a New York-based diaspora organization, Turkish Philanthropy Funds (TPF,, to promote philanthropy among Turkish-Americans.

Currently, Haldun Tashman is the founding Chairman of TPF, which aims to connect donors in the United States with high impact social projects in Turkey or in the United States. "We are very honored that our visionary colleague has received the Ellis Island Medal of Honor this year. This award is a great reflection of what TPF stands for: making outstanding contributions both to our homeland, as well as to our communities in America," noted Ozlenen Kalav, who is the President and Chief Executive Officer of TPF. Mrs. Kalav further indicated that "donors do not give to TPF, rather give through TPF. Individuals may contribute to specific issue areas or organizations through our pooled funds. Or by opening a named fund at TPF, Turkish-Americans can channel their philanthropic dollars to their favorite NGOs in Turkey or to their local causes in the United States."

Bolu Community Foundation Established with the Initiative of Haldun Tashman

June 05, 2008- Turkey's first community foundation, Bolu Community Foundation (BCF), was established in Bolu (a town of approximately 85.000 inhabitants, about 250 km from Istanbul) and presents an important milestone in Turkey's third sector. TPF's founding chairman Haldun Tashman was also the leading founder in this initiative. The Bolu Community Foundation (BCF) aims to promote the well-being of Bolu by supporting critical projects put forth by non profit organizations which address the critical social and economic development of the community. Turkey’s first community foundation, BCF, was established by a gorup of local business and civil society leaders along with Haldun Tashman with the technical support of TUSEV (Third Sector Foundation of Turkey) as part of its new program area on promoting philanthropy and social investment in Turkey.

Turkish Philanthropic Fund and Sabanci Foundation Working Towards Women Empowerment in Turkey

Vice Chair of Sabanci Foundation, Husnu Pacacioglu, "We are very happy that our Grant Program was found attractive by a Turkish foundation outside of Turkey initiating funding for a project ..."

TPF President & CEO Ozlenen Eser Kalav, "It is through these collaborations that we can empower women and be a part of change in Turkey..."

August 15, 2008 - Sabanci Foundation and Turkish Philanthropic Fund (TPF) are collaborating to support "United Nations Joint Program on Promoting and Protecting the Human Rights of Women and Girls," through Sabanci Foundation Grant Program, which has been supporting the Joint Program for the last 3 years. Through the Grant Program, TPF of New York will provide funding to support "Strengthening the Role of Women in the Workforce (Kasik Tutan Elden Para Tutan Ele)" project of Turkish Women Association of Trabzon (Turk Kadinlar Birligi Trabzon Subesi).

"Strengthening the Role of Women in the Workforce" project aims to translate women's competence in local home cooking to commercial opportunities through training. Initially, 20 women will be trained by the instructors of Technical Education Institute (Teknik Ogretim Olgunlasma Enstitusu)and Vocational High School for Girls (Kiz Meslek Lisesi). They will then go through practical training in the sector. There will also be seminars held on legal rights, people and communication skills, healthy eating habits, sanitation, team spirit, and entrepreneurship. Graduates will be assisted in finding jobs or starting their own businesses.

"Sabanci Foundation Grant Program of the "United Nations Joint Program on Promoting and Protecting the Human Rights of Women and Girls" has given funds to 22 projects in 6 pilot cities (İzmir, Kars, Nevşehir, Şanlıurfa, Trabzon, Van)" said Vice Chair of Sabanci Foundation, Husnu Pacacioglu. "We are very happy that our Grants Program was found attractive by a Turkish foundation outside of Turkey initiating funding for a project, and that we are collaborating with TPF by funding a project on one of the strategic programmatic areas of our foundation: women empowerment."

"As a grantmaker from the US, we understand that we need to partner with the local community to affect change," said TPF President & CEO Ozlenen Eser Kalav. "Sabancı Foundation's Grantmaking Program's approach to women issues gave us that chance by enabling us to fund 'professional development.' It is through these collaborations that we can empower women and be a part of change in Turkey where at times the resources are limited.

Turkish Philanthropic Fund ve Sabanci Vakfi Türkiye’de Kadınların Güçlendirilmesine Yönelik Projede İşbirliği Yapıyor

-Sabancı Vakfı Genel Müdürü Hüsnü Paçacıoğlu: "Yurtdışında bulunan bir Türk Vakfının Türkiye'de bir projeye fon aktarmasına önayak olmaktan mutluyuz"...

-TPF Başkanı Özlenen Eser Kalav: "Bu fırsat ile kadınları güçlendirebilir ve Türkiye'de değişimin bir parçası olabiliriz"...

15 Mayis 2008- Sabancı Vakfı ve Türk Filantropi Vakfı (Turkish Philanthropic Fund - TPF), Sabancı Vakfının 3 yıldır desteklediği Birleşmiş Milletler "Kadınların ve Kız Çocuklarının İnsan Haklarının Korunması ve Geliştirilmesi Ortak Programı" kapsamında geliştirilen Sabancı Vakfı Hibe Programı çerçevesinde işbirliği içine girdi. New York'ta yerleşik olan TPF, Sabancı Vakfı Hibe Programı aracılığıyla Türk Kadınlar Birliği Trabzon Şubesinin "Kadının İşgücündeki Rolünü Güçlendirme (Kaşık Tutan Elden Para Tutan Ele)"projesine fon sağlıyor. "Kadının İşgücündeki Rolünü Güçlendirme" projesi; kadının potansiyelinin eğitim aracılığıyla ticari fırsatlara yönlendirilmesini hedeflemektedir. Proje kapsamında, gönüllü kadınlar arasından belirlenecek 20 kadına ilk olarak Teknik Öğretim Olgunlaşma Enstitüsü ve Kız Meslek Lisesi eğitmenleri tarafından "aşçılık" konusunda teorik eğitim verilecek, daha sonra kursiyerler, sektördeki firmalarda kurum stajı yaparak meslekte uzmanlık kazanacaklar. Teorik ve pratik eğitim sonrasında sertifika alan kursiyerlere İŞKUR tarafından iş sağlanmasının yanı sıra isteyenler kendi işlerini kurabilecekler. Mesleki eğitimlerin dışında ayrıca kursiyerlere hukuki haklar, halkla ilişkiler ve iletişim becerileri, sağlıklı beslenme alışkanlıkları, temizlik, ekip ruhu ve girişimcilik konularında da seminerler düzenlenecektir.

Sabancı Vakfı Genel Müdürü Hüsnü Paçacıoğlu; "Ortak Program kapsamında yürütülen Sabancı Vakfı Hibe Programı ile bugüne kadar 6 pilot ilde (İzmir, Kars, Nevşehir, Şanlıurfa, Trabzon, Van) toplam 22 projeye hibe verdiklerini" belirterek, "Hibe Programımızın yurtdışında bulunan bir Türk vakfını; TPF'i cezbederek Türkiye'deki bir projeye kaynak aktarılmasına önayak olmaktan ve Vakfımızın stratejik program alanlarından biri olan"kadınlar"ın güçlenmesine yönelik bir çalışmada TPF ile işbirliği içinde bulunmaktan büyük bir memnuniyet duyuyoruz" dedi.

TPF Başkanı Özlenen Eser Kalav ise, kadınların refah seviyesini yükseltmeyi hedefleyen çalışmaları ile ilgili olarak yaptığı açıklamada; "ABD'de yerleşik sosyal projeler için fon sağlayıcı bir kurum olarak, değişim yaratabilmek için yerel bir ortakla işbirliği yapmamız gerektiğini gördük. Sabancı Vakfı Hibe Programının kadın sorunlarına yaklaşımı, 'profesyonel gelişime' fon katkısında bulunmamızı sağlayarak bize bu fırsatı verdi. İnanıyoruz ki, bu tür işbirliği fırsatları aracılığıyla Türkiye'de kadınları güçlendirebilir ve kaynakların kısıtlı olduğu yerlerde değişimin bir parçası olabiliriz"dedi.

Okul Yap Project in Caykisla in Progress

July 30, 2009- After the devastating 1999 Marmara Earthquake damaged the only elementary school in the Caykisla town of Adapazari, Nick Porcaro, an American Architect and his Turkish wife Ayse Porcaro, along with Asli and Nesli Basgoz, have created a mission for themselves to build a fully functioning school for Caykisla by the ten-year anniversary of the earthquake on August 15, 2009. Having visited Adapazari recently, the Porcaro couple decided to make their philanthropic interest of building a school become reality in Caykisla, a small town outside of Adapazari, which was in dire need of a new school for the eager kids in the town. Mr. Porcaro turned to the Turkish Philanthropy Funds to establish a Donor-Advised Fund so that all contributions made to this project could be deductable under U.S. law while donating for a project in Turkey.

Mr. Porcaro described the conditions in the temporary school built after the earthquake in Caykisla as "appalling - the temporary building had the smell of sewer throughout; classrooms sized for 24 students housed up to 45; the library consisted of merely forty books; a leaky roof; no lunch room, not to mention a host of other health and environmental related hazards." In order to address these problems, the couple has been in contact with several Turkish based foundations such as Turk Egitim Vakfi (Turkish Education Foundation) as well as the Turk Milli Egitim Bakanligi (Turkish Ministry of Education). After establishing his contacts in the region and designing the project himself, Mr. Porcaro and his colleagues in this endeavor were able to raise $490,000 of the $510,000 needed for the completion of the project. In order to raise funds, Mr. Porcaro has given the option of naming classrooms for donors who contribute a certain amount. Seven out of eight classrooms and the library have been dedicated.

The first Concrete Placement Ceremony took place on July, 30 2009 with great participation from donors, Caykisla residents, government officials and representatives from organizations. For more information about the Okul Yap Project, please visit their website at