Transform a marginalized adolescent girl’s life through the gift of education in rural Turkey!
Chapter IV paragraph 4.2 of the Program of Action of the International Conference on Population and Development states: "Education is one of the most important means of empowering women with the knowledge, skills and self-confidence necessary to participate fully in the development process. Despite notable efforts by many countries around the globe that have appreciably expanded access to basic education, there are approximately 960 million illiterate adults in the world, of whom two-thirds are women. There are 130 million children who are not enrolled in primary school and 70 per cent of them are girls.”
As in many parts of the world, girls in Turkey still face obstacles to education that boys do not. Girls comprise approximately 72 percent of all unschooled children in Turkey. Your support helps Bridge to Turkiye Fund (BTF) in contributing to the progress of bridging the gender gap by providing scholarships for marginalized young girls from rural regions of Turkey. Access to education is a basic human right. Education is a significant factor in reducing poverty and a key to improving quality of life for girls and young women, communities, and countries.
Did you know that for just $45 per month, you can give the gift of education to a child in secondary education in Turkey?
In this update, we are happy to share with you a personal letter we received from one of BTF’s scholarship recipients, Dilek who is a 5th grade student from Erzurum. The letter below is roughly translated as follows:
To My Dear Second Family Who Supports Me!
Although I have never met anyone of you, I love you dearly. Your support has really made me very happy.
My seven siblings and I have spent difficult days since my mom passed away. We are just recovering. Your support came right after those gloomy days. That's why I feel so lucky and happy. I am able to meet my basic needs and buy tests and books with the scholarship you have given me. I feel less of a burden on my father, because I can buy the books I need on my own. Now, I am also more interested in reading books. I have more interest in getting an education. I will do my best to work hard not to waste the support of my father, my siblings, my elderly sisters, and yours. With your support, I'm trying harder each new day because I know I have two families. I am proud of them both. With the strength from God and your support, I will try not to waste your efforts. As I conclude my letter, I hope that you will never forget that I love you all…I hope the day will come and you will see me as a proud teacher. When that day arrives you will have a daughter who will always love and who will never forget you. You have a daughter in Erzurum Karacoban who remembers you in her every prayer. May God's love be with you!
Your Loving Daughter,
Please continue to help support the work of BTF and make a difference in the life of a young girl.
Thanks, as always, for your support!
2012 has been quite a year for the Medine Memi Memorial Girls’ Empowerment Scholarships Project, thanks to the staunch support and dedication from people like you. We are excited and proud to report that we’ve have been able to expand the program to include 16 more academically gifted but economically disadvantaged young women and girls from various rural regions of Turkey. This brings the total scholarships paid so far to nearly $22,000. Of the 16 new scholars supported by this program, 13 are university students who were carefully selected by the Association for Supporting Contemporary Life (Çagdas Yasam Destekleme Dernegi [CYDD]) for “BIR ISIK DA SIZ YAKIN.” BTF is proud to support CYDD as this project aims to provide quality education to young women, who face economic hardship, to continue with their university education and to give them the opportunity to become leaders in their communities in Turkey.
By the end of 2012, we awarded 17 scholarships to college students and 36 to girls in elementary and high school. The average annual scholarships award ranged from $360 to $1080 per student. Our goal is to raise the number of students supported by this program to 50 in 2013. We are excited to also share that one of our students in this program will be graduating this year with a law degree and aspires to be a prosecuting attorney in Turkey. Two of our high school graduates got accepted to dentistry and law schools based on their impressively high scores earned in the university entrance exams.
Bridge to Turkiye Fund (BTF) believes that education for girls is one of the best strategies for protecting girls against violence, abuse, child marriage, and discrimination. Thus, BTF continues its commitment to helping young girls build a better future for themselves and their families, communities, and the World. Together, we can make meaningful and measurable differences in the lives of girls by giving them equal access to education (a fundamental right) to improve their chances to succeed and to raise the next generation of leaders and philanthropists who will continue BTF’s mission to educate girls.
In the coming year, we hope you will consider renewing your support with a tax-deductible contribution to the Medine Memi Girls’ Empowerment Scholarships by donating at the GlobalGiving project page. BTF will direct 100% of your donations to eligible young girls who are supported by this program.
We are very grateful to have you in our community. On behalf of BTF and our young scholars, we thank you and wish you and your families all the best in 2013.
Bridge to Türkiye Fund
Educating girls is not only right, it’s smart. Together, we can create a ripple effect that can transform communities for generations…
Dear BTF Supporter:
On December 19, 2011, the United Nations (UN) General Assembly adopted Resolution 66/170 to declare October 11 as the International Day of the Girl Child, to recognize girls’ rights and the unique challenges girls face around the world. Girls face discrimination, violence and abuse every day across the world. The International Day of the Girl Child, a new global observance, aims to highlight the importance of empowering girls and ensuring their human rights.
Investing in girls is a moral imperative — a matter of basic justice and equality. It is an obligation under the Convention on the Rights of the Child and the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women. It is also critical for achieving the UN’s Millennium Development Goals, advancing economic growth and building peaceful, cohesive societies across the globe. Bridge to Turkiye Fund (BTF) supports the UN programs and believes that education for girls is one of the best strategies for protecting girls against violence, abuse, child marriage, and discrimination. When girls are able to stay in school, girls can build a foundation for a better life for themselves and their families, which will help enrich their lives and enhance their future.
In honor of the UN’s first-ever International Day of the Girl on October 11, BTF invites you to support the Medine Memi Memorial Girls’ Empowerment Scholarships Project to educate and empower girls in rural areas of Turkey and especially those among the poorest. Please stand up for Medine Memi and all girls and young women whose lives were cut short tragically in Turkey and throughout the world, and give the gift of education in their honor on International Day of the Girl tomorrow. Together, we can help create a brighter future for these young women and girls and their communities as a whole.
Since 2010, BTF provided 25 annual scholarships totaling nearly $13,000 to disadvantaged young women and girls from rural regions of Turkey. With your support, for the 2012-13 academic year, we have added six more scholarship recipients who will be supported by this program.
Please consider supporting this worthy cause or become a sponsor by visiting our website at www.bridgetoturkiye.org or at Global Giving project page at http://goto.gg/9853. BTF will direct 100% of your donations to eligible young girls who are supported by this program.
On this inaugural International Day of the Girl, we thank you for stepping up and investing in girls' education in Turkey and investing in the future.
Bridge to Türkiye Fund Team
We hope this summer finds you well! With this report, we would like to update you on Bridge to Turkiye Fund’s (BTF) recent progress and future plans for the Medine Memi Memorial Girls’ Empowerment Scholarships Project.
Global Campaign for Education reports that in 1948, education was set as a basic human right for every person, and enshrined in the Universal Declaration on Human Rights. These goals were also incorporated into the UN Millennium Development Goals in 2000 and 2015, two of which focus on education: (1) ensure that all boys and girls complete primary schooling by 2015 and (2) eliminate gender disparities in primary education by 2005 and at all levels by 2015. Despite some successes, progress towards these goals is painfully slow. To date, some countries are still far from meeting the goal of gender equality in education.
Why is girls' education important? Economic growth and poverty are the main reasons why girls’ education is a smart investment for developing countries. Educating all their people, not just half of them, makes sense for future economic growth. It is known countries with better gender equality are more likely to have higher economic growth. Educated women also tend to be healthier, earn more income, have fewer children, and provide better health care and education for their children; all of which eventually improve the well-being of all individuals and lift households out of poverty. These benefits will transmit across generations, as well as to communities at large.
BTF believes that providing scholarships is an effective way to support disadvantaged young women and girls from rural communities to address the reluctance of parents to educate their girls due to economic hardship. Ultimately, these scholarships will help build communities where every young girl has the same opportunity to succeed and the chance to live out her dreams. BTF strives to campaign to make an impact in this area. There is much more work to be done, but thanks to BTF and its supporters, we are making progress each day. BTF held numerous successful fundraisers within the past three months, raising nearly $6,600 for this program.
To celebrate International Women’s Day (IWD) on March 8th, BTF collaborated with the American Turkish Association of Washington, DC and organized a concert/fundraiser at the Embassy of Turkey for the benefit of Medine Memi Scholarships project. BTF also partnered with the Orange County Turkish American Association for an IWD fundraiser picnic held in Irvine, California on March 11th. In April, BTF’s volunteers in Charlotte, North Carolina organized a very successful fundraiser involving an art auction. Across the Atlantic, another fundraiser event, Hafla on The Hill, a bimonthly music and dance showcase, was held in London to support this program.
Your continued support since 2010 has enabled BTF to provide 25 annual scholarships in the amount of nearly $13,000 to disadvantaged young women and girls from rural regions of Turkey. With your contributions, BTF will continue its support of these girls to improve their lives. We are gearing up for the 2012-13 academic year and are currently evaluating existing scholars as well as identifying new potential scholarship recipients who will be benefit from this program.
Thank you again for your support and for sharing BTF’s passion for improving the lives of young women’s and girls’ through educational scholarships. As a donor, you will help these girls overcome social and economic obstacles and build a brighter future for themselves and the well being of their future families.
BTF is a US-wide organization, established in 2003 by Turkish Americans driven to make a difference, to improve life and to cultivate social change for the common good. BTF is a 100% volunteer-run, grassroots philanthropic bridge between the United States and Turkey. Organized for charitable purposes, BTF is devoted to identifying and mobilizing grassroots resources to focus on two basic areas of development: Turkish Children's Education and Healthcare. Special emphasis is given to elementary education and young women's empowerment. For more information, visit: www.bridgetoturkiye.org and Global Giving https://www.globalgiving.org/projects/medine-memi-girls-empowerment-fund/.
We hope you have a wonderful summer!
Bridge to Turkiye Fund
We hope that your year is going great so far! We would like to take this opportunity to update you on BTF’s recent accomplishments regarding the Medine Memi Memorial Girls’ Empowerment Scholarships and inform you of the upcoming fundraiser events this month. Your continued support since the inception of this fund in March of 2010 has enabled BTF to provide 25 scholarships of nearly $13,000 to disadvantaged young girls from rural regions of Turkey.
The World Bank Report entitled Girls’ Education in the 21st Century reports that extensive practical experience and research evidence have shown that a number of effective demand- and supply-side interventions (for example, scholarships, stipends, conditional cash transfers, recruitment of teachers, and gender-targeted provision of materials) have increased girls’ enrollments in many developing countries. Despite the successes registered to date, some countries are still far from meeting the goal of gender equality in education. It is not the absence of knowledge that is preventing countries from making progress on this goal, but rather, that known effective interventions are not reaching the neediest and excluded groups (i.e., minorities). Similarly, literacy in children in Turkey is improving, however, girls are still significantly disadvantaged: unschooled girls-to-boys ratio in Turkey is still 2 to 1. As BTF volunteers, we understand that there is much more work to be done in this area! We work closely with the NGOs in Turkey to carefully select scholarship recipients from rural regions who have the potential to be successful. Without these scholarships, many of the girls from economically distressed families may be forced to become child brides or child labors.
With your support and contributions, BTF will continue to champion educational initiatives throughout Turkey as an effective means to reduce gender inequality and discrimination. These scholarships are the best investments we can make in providing the hope of a brighter future for disadvantaged girls, their communities, and our world. Ultimately, these scholarships will help build communities where every young girl has the same opportunity to succeed, the chance to live out their dreams, and honor killings are a thing of the past.
We are grateful for your continued interest and support of our Medine Memi Girls’ Empowerment Scholarships project. Today, you can easily make a difference in a girl’s life. For just $30 a month, you can help educate an economically disadvantaged elementary or middle school student in rural Turkey. As a donor or a sponsor you will help a young girl or a woman overcome social and economic obstacles and build a brighter future for herself and the wellbeing of her future family.
Please donate or become a sponsor to help BTF make a lasting difference in the lives of more disadvantaged girls through Global Giving at: http://goto.gg/9853
Thank you for your support and for sharing BTF’s passion for improving young women’s and girls’ lives through educational scholarships.
Happy International Women’s Day!
Bridge to Turkiye Fund Team
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