Istanbul&I: Globally Conscious Youth Changemakers

Support our global volunteer youth community dedicated to social impact, working with displaced and disadvantaged groups in Istanbul.

─░stanbul, Turkey Causes Education Other

Partial Funding

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Support our work to improve our various learning programs for refugee children, increase our impact with the most vulnerable populations in Istanbul, and enable us to provide more opportunities for disadvantaged youth in the city.

Whether it’s through a school, a home, or a hug, Istanbul&I is a community of young people dedicated to bringing refugees and locals in Istanbul together. We teach Arabic and English classes for Syrian refugee children, organize iftars in disadvantaged neighborhoods, and connect Istanbulites with refugees from all over the world to share their experiences. We’re students, young professionals, volunteers, dreamers -- some of us are refugees ourselves.

WHO WE ARE: FROM 12 to 300

In February 2016, Teymour Ashkan and 11 friends created what is now a strong community of 300 volunteers from over 50 countries.

“We met in the lobby of my building, discussed creating a storytelling platform and ended up working 8 hours straight on the concept. It was insane! We didn’t know where we were heading but we felt we had something there.” - Teymour, 24, volunteer coordinator at Istanbul&i, United States.

Soon afterwards, Ramadan started and the 12 friends became 25.

“For Ramadan, we collected money from our personal networks and went to Tarlabaşı [one of the most disadvantaged neighborhood in Istanbul] to share an iftar with the local population.” - Büşra, 25, pre-school teacher, Turkey

 By the end of summer 2016, the community grew to nearly 100 members.  


Learning programs

We collaborate with community centers and NGOs in Istanbul to design and implement much-needed courses for refugee youth. Our volunteers teach environmental design, Arabic, English, Turkish, computer literacy, coding, and health classes.

 We currently work with four different organizations:
ASAM (ages 6-12)
Syrian Scouts (7-18)
Yusra Center (ages 4-9)
Qunysho (7-14)
Other organizations (16-25) 

We work six times a week with over 120 refugee children across these programs. 

We aspire to increase these programs in size, quality and variety. With your support and donations, we will be able to train our volunteers and design better classes and workshops.


During Ramadan we hold free community Iftar dinners accompanied by various social activities in the disadvantaged neighborhood of Tarlabaşı. Many of the neighborhood residents are migrants and minorities in Turkey. Last year, we shared one iftar meal a week during Ramadan with more than 250 underprivileged people.

Playing with the kids before Iftar. 

“You come here, bring us food, play with our children and allow us to enjoy the park! God bless you my kids.” - A mother tells us while enjoying her tea after an Iftar.

With your support, we will prepare and organize twice as many iftars, and provide more activities with the families and children joining us.


Unaccompanied Minors Dorm

There is a large absence of social services for the underage refugee youth in Istanbul that have separated from their families. Due to the legal structures in Turkey, these at-risk teenagers can and do very easily end up in detention centers. A dormitory, which provides urgent shelter, on the Asian side of Istanbul is in need of programming and volunteers. With the funds raised from this campaign, we hope to implement mentor, psychosocial, and educational programs at the dorm for 60 teenagers from Iran, Afghanistan, Syria, and Pakistan.

Social Impact Integrated Collective Space

Securing a sustainable future is paramount to our ongoing success as a rapidly expanding organization. By becoming a licensed NGO we can increase our impact, we are in serious need of an office space for this process. We envision this space, the first of its kind in Istanbul, as somewhere where refugee youth, digital nomads and students can come together to design and organize their own social impact projects.


Istanbul&I is an NGO start-up empowering young people to act innovatively about global and local solutions whilst volunteering with disadvantaged communities. Many of our members come from conflict areas. We design and implement learning programs in community centers for refugee children and connect with the communities we work with through social inclusion events.

After a productive general meeting for planning our projects.

Budget Breakdown:

Our lean model allows us to be very cost effective and sustainable. This model allows us to mostly rely on the skills and resources of our community members as well as collaborating with groups working towards the same goals of building a more pluralist and integrated city. 

Up until now, we have been able to sustain our work through minimal financial resources. As we are growing fast, there is a critical need for more structure to support our work. With the funds raised, we hope to improve the development of our programs, the growth of our community, and enhance our impact. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter, and check out our website! 

How You Can Help

We welcome your donations of any level. We would be so grateful if you to share this with your networks on Facebook, Twitter, or email! Please keep us in mind for anyone who would be interested in supporting our community. 



$10 USD

The Helper

will provide one Arabic, English or Digitial Literacy class.

79 claimed

$25 USD

The Teacher

will provide two Arabic, English or Digital Literacy classes.

46 claimed

$50 USD

The Mentor

wil run our Syrian Scout program for one week.

24 claimed

$100 USD

The Community Influencer

will run half our week's programs across refugee centers in Istanbul.

17 claimed

$500 USD

The Guardian

will launch our project in the Unaccompanied Minors dormitory.

3 claimed

$1000 USD

The Trustee

will keep Istanbul&I running smoothly for a month.

1 claimed