Ana sayfa THE INTERNATIONAL Philanthropy Within the Communities of Istanbul: Maya Foundation

Philanthropy Within the Communities of Istanbul: Maya Foundation


Philanthropy: A word in the English language whose rootings were derived from two Greek words “Philos” and “Anthropos”. The former transliterates to: “the act of loving and the latter transliterates to: “humankind”, thus making the definition of the word Philanthropy “the love for humanity”. Philanthropy is believed to be a crucial part of a community or society. 

In today’s communities, the act of philanthropy continues to endeavor through the growing numbers of humanitarian foundations and NGOs that aim at diminishing social or emotional suffering. One of those humanitarian foundations existing amongst the city of Istanbul is “ Maya Vakfı/foundation” which focuses on rehabilitating the traumas faced by victims of war-torn countries. 


Maya Vakfı was founded in the year of 2015, but the foundation includes a series of projects, such as “project lift” which has journeyed since the year 2014 when a philanthropist/high school student by the name of Emir Özsüer discerned the rapidly increasing number of displaced persons or refugees in his hometown Istanbul. Özsüer, who has claimed to have seen an awe of apprehension in the eyes of Refugees began to ponder as to how it was like to stand in the shoes of these displaced individuals, as explained in the foundation’s official website, ( Özsüer states his experience in his very words: “You could read the trauma from their eyes and the fear that resides inside them along with all the overwhelming feelings caused by not being accepted. That moment, I understood that their fear was not just a feeling anymore, but it was a reaction; it was a cry for help. ”

Özsüer, who had visited refugee camps in Gaziantep, persisted in conducting vast researches on traumatic experiences in children, where he then uncovered that childhood trauma brought about agony and torment in their lives and thus came to the conclusion that these individuals deserved benevolent, and compassionate support. As an Individual who was fond of philanthropic practices he established “Project lift” with its slogan “Hold my hand, so I can hold on”. The project was designed to help children recover from traumatic events through applying artistic, musical skills and also dance-based therapy with the assistance of professional psychological role models and other volunteers who were willing to contribute in philanthropic activities. 

To this day Maya Vakfı has stood robust, to help children with myriad 

 Traumatic backgrounds, they have also declared in their domain’s vision and mission segment that “They dream of a productive society, open to exploration, devoted to helping others, filled with healthy individuals who have had a free and safe childhood.”( The foundations also accommodate projects that aim to better children in their academic growth. 

Establishment of successful humanitarian foundations such as Maya Vakfı not only invites philanthropy within the communities in cities such as Istanbul, but it also points out a certain concept of integration that such foundations may construct a diverse environment of individuals who stand hand in hand in obtaining to create a better world with a unified hope of education and rehabilitation, and such foundations also demonstrate how philanthropists can influence a brighter society.

So, would you hold their hand so they can hold on?

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