İGA Gives Roma Children Access to Art to Receive an Award

Running social management work in the neighborhoods around Istanbul New Airport, İGA was given the International Corporate Social Responsibility Award thanks to the project it developed for Roma children.

İGA has undertaken the construction and the subsequent management of Istanbul New Airport for 25 years before launching in January 2016 the Social Investment Program for the development of regions neighboring the airport. Under the program, İGA carried out various social management efforts in the surrounding neighborhoods. The first phase of the project launched in collaboration with Arnavutköy Tolga Eti Primary School and Durusu Association of Roma Community was given the International Corporate Social Responsibility Award by the Junior Chamber International. 

Speaking about the award, Ülkü Özeren, Environmental and Sustainability Director at İGA, said, “We have identified 9 main headings in line with the needs of the region under İGA’s Social Investment Program. So far, we completed almost 70 different efforts including but not limited to renovating schools and family healthcare centers in neighboring districts and neighborhoods, meeting the basic needs of students lacking sufficient economic means, engaging in collaborative work for training programs for students, establishing interactive libraries, and encouraging local employment and vocational training. It was before a year elapsed after we announced the program that we were bestowed with this award, which has been a source of pride and motivation for us. An internationally-recognized organization established by future leaders who launch key projects supported by the United Nations, the Junior Chamber International has acknowledged the project we did for training and educating the young Roma individuals living in the adjacent neighborhood. This is so meaningful to us. We consider this decision to be a proof of ownership displayed by young people in their own future as well as our cultural heritage and equal opportunities in education.”

A project with three phases

The project aims to employ artistic activities to increase the educational motivation of young people between the ages of 9 and 15 living in Durusu Neighborhood of Arnavutköy, an area mostly populated by the Roma community, and has three phases. Under the pilot work, 18 primary and secondary school students were provided with basic photography training and the work they produced were displayed in the garden of Durusu Association of Roma Community in addition to Büyükçekmece Campus of Istanbul International Community School (IICS) in June 2016. These efforts marked the completion of the first phase of the project. The second phase covers training events for 30 students. The training events have started in November 2016 and are planned to continue until 2017. Students will attend English, Art and Sports courses during the trainings. 

The third phase, on the other hand, will be composed of advanced level trainings in collaboration with artists. To this end, students from Istanbul International Community School will meet a larger group of Roma students for an art school organization, enabling an environment of intercultural exchange. This effort aims to ensure Roma students have an opportunity to blend with people of different cultures as well as an increased motivation through artistic activities, and attend high school education once they complete secondary school. 

About the 2016 Corporate Social Responsibility Awards by the Junior Chamber International
Junior Chamber International is a platform where more than 200 thousand young leaders from 128 countries meet. For the second time this year, JCI Culture has presented the Corporate Social Responsibility Awards to projects creating sustainable added value. While making the award decisions, JCI analyses the level of compatibility with the United Nations Development Goals.