Organized by Istanbul&I NGO

Donate Now and Help Keep Istanbul&I’s Doors Open!


raised of $15,000 USD goal

425 supporters, Project Closed

Impact: İstanbul, İstanbul

Verified for authenticity.

This campaign will collect all funds raised by March 8, 2021 at 8:45 PM EDT

Istanbul&I needs you! Donate and support us through COVID-19 by keeping our social impact space open, allowing us to work with disadvantaged communities.

CALL TO ACTION: Thanks to donors like you, Istanbul&I has made an ENORMOUS impact on the lives of young people, refugees, and migrants over the last five years. The COVID-19 pandemic has challenged our community. Our organization is facing the grim prospect of having to close its doors, even though social inclusion is needed more now than ever. 

We need YOUR HELP!

Türkçe için buraya tıklayın!

!اضغط هنا للغة العربية


Since Istanbul&I was founded in 2016, we have had over 250 volunteers walk through our doors from over 50 different countries.

Why do we need your help?
Ensuring our community center remains open

The COVID pandemic hit us hard. While we have been able to move most of our programs online, our in-person events are no longer possible, leaving us unable to fundraise at the rate we have in previous years. Without sufficient funding, in the next three months we will have to shut our doors to our community members who rely on our social programs and on the safety our community center provides.

This is where you come in!
Any donation, small or large, will help Istanbul&I to survive this daunting period and enable us to continue our work towards making Istanbul a more inclusive city for all.

What is Istanbul&I?
Over 25 social impact projects and social inclusion programs

Istanbul&I is an international volunteer community based in Istanbul that brings together locals, refugees, and migrants with the aim to improve the social fabric of our base city. Through our community center in Karaköy, we have created a safe place that invites people from all walks of life to learn and grow with one another while improving our city.

Our volunteers have created and participated in over
25 social impact projects, affecting the lives of tens of thousands of individuals. Istanbul&I volunteers come from all walks of life, and many of them are from the same disadvantaged communities our programs serve.

Together, our volunteers create and run volunteer projects with disadvantaged communities in Istanbul. We often collaborate with other NGOs and community centers, providing the volunteers and programs they need to better serve their communities.

We also offer
social inclusion programs free of charge in our own community center, bringing local and international communities together to learn from one another.

Our skill-building workshops, speaking clubs for language learners, academic book and film clubs, culture nights, and other programs reach over 7,000 participants a year.

Volunteer Projects

Iftar&Community: Every year during Ramadan, we hold free community iftar dinners in the disadvantaged neighborhood of Tarlabaşı, a district populated mainly by migrants and minorities in Turkey. Twice a week, our volunteers do creative activities with children until the azhan, when we break bread with the community. This year, we will distribute prepackaged meals and toys and offer online activities instead of eating together for safety reasons due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Homework Help and Educational Workshops: Our volunteers provide homework help and academic workshops to children in Istanbul who are unable to access high-quality education, including refugees who are affected by a language barrier.

Youth Empowerment Workshops: From storytelling to filmmaking to public speaking, our volunteers create workshops to pass their skills along to children and teenagers, often refugees from Syria, Iraq, and Afghanistan and Turkish children from disadvantaged backgrounds.

English and Turkish Language Practice: Our volunteers have provided language lessons and speaking clubs to various communities of all ages. For example, we have helped Syrian children in need of help integrating in Turkish schools, vulnerable adult refugees living in the AMAN LGBTQ+ Shelter, and HIV-positive refugees seeking support from Pozitif Yaşam Derneği (Positive Living Association).

Animal Shelter: We send a team of volunteers each week to support Yedikule Animal Shelter
, taking care of Istanbul’s many street animals. Our volunteers clean the shelter, wash the drinking bowls, unpack food, and have fun with the dogs.

Feeding Homeless People: We send a team of volunteers each week to support Sokak Lambası (Street Lamp) in their nightly visits to Cerrahpaşa Hospital. Our volunteers serve soup to 120 patients and their families each night. In the past, our volunteers have helped run Hayata Sarıl Lokantası, a social aid restaurant that serves free meals to around 100 homeless people daily.

Clothing Redistribution: Until the pandemic made in-person volunteering unfeasible, we assisted Ahtapot Gönüllüleri, a donation center, in organizing and packaging thousands of clothes, shoes, and toy donations for people in poverty around Turkey.

Social Inclusion Programs

ÇayTalks: ÇayTalks gathers 70-80 participants once a month to discuss a selected philosophical topic in small groups. Typically, these events are done over tea in cafes, but have been online during the pandemic.

TALKS: We invite academics, journalists, human rights activists, artists, professionals and public figures of all stripes to give monthly intellectual talks. In 2020, we hosted our first-ever

Refugee Awareness Week
, with over 150 participants, ten guest speakers, and seven different online events throughout the week. We also hosted a panel on Black Lives Matter and Afro-Turks in Turkey, again over Zoom, that attracted over 175 participants. We will host another event for International Women’s Day, a showcase of famous women’s rights NGOs in Istanbul like Mor Çatı, on March 3.

Connections: Our Connections events foster connection among locals and migrants by skipping small talk and going straight to the big and the personal. Events range from creative speed-friending to “connection through empathy” activities, such as our annual celebration of World Hijab Day that will take place on February 3 and feature an inspirational hijabi woman as a speaker.

Culture Nights: We host monthly events celebrating and learning about the many cultures represented in our Istanbul&I community. Our diverse community members are able to showcase their own underrepresented cultures and dispel misconceptions, increasing cross-cultural sensitivity.

Speaking Clubs: Our Turkish and English Speaking Clubs allow language learners to practice speaking and gain confidence with the support of fluent moderators. Building language skills is central to our mission, as it increases cross-cultural awareness and provides people with more opportunities. This year, we will add Arabic, German, and French Speaking Clubs.

Because We’ve Read: Because We’ve Read is a radical, international book club that aims to equip people with the knowledge they need to spark change in their communities. With over 25 chapters around the world, we are proud to host the Istanbul chapter and empower people with new intellectual ideas every month. We started this new chapter online during the pandemic.

Literary Club: Literary Club creates community through art, through two different branches. Book Club is a space for people to explore literature from around the world. Poetry Club is a gathering place for poets to express their emotions through verse and improve their writing. Both clubs have been meeting every other week on Zoom through the pandemic.

Volunteer Training

Self-Development Workshops: Our workshops, in which experts come to share their skills with our volunteers, are focused on career and personal development skills such as resume creation, creating a social media brand, and creating professional goals.

Diversity and Inclusion Training: To ensure our volunteers are equipped with the knowledge and sensitivity to interact with people from all backgrounds and orientations, we organize training programs to increase cross-cultural competence. All of our programs are created with diversity and inclusion in mind.

Social Impact Summit: We organize an annual large-scale conference designed to enhance the skills of young changemakers in our community. In our Social Impact Summit, young people have a chance to meet with mentors from various fields, collaborate to create new social impact projects, and network. This year, the conference will be held online and centered around the theme of mental health.

We believe that volunteerism is an essential aspect of a strong civil society. Our community of over 250 volunteers has worked tirelessly over the past five years to create the unique organization that is Istanbul&I. Now, the organization we have created is in jeopardy. We ask for financial support to continue our work this year. What has been made clear throughout the pandemic is the level of commitment and dedication of our volunteers to the work we do.

Our mission is clear...

But without your help, it may no longer be a reality.

How will we use your donation?
Programming, funding our social impact space, administrative and operational costs

Since we have no large donors and are a youth-led NGO, we are relying solely on this fundraiser to cover the expenses needed for us to impact the lives of tens of thousands of individuals. Our main focus is to secure $15,000 to cover the rent and ensure that all our projects, programs, and events may continue to run, offering our community the same high quality resources and networks.

Please take a look at our budget:

Learn more about us:


Your share could raise over $77


Recent supporters

Amber (yemeksepeti challenge)

$10 USD, 3 years ago

Ibrahim Tasgin

$5 USD, 3 years ago

Someone introduced to I&I's great efforts (a friend of Emma W-S)

$100 USD, 3 years ago

Tuba Üstündağ

$5 USD, 3 years ago

Nesrullah Calis

$20 USD, 3 years ago

An Anonymous kind soul

$40 USD, 3 years ago

Jacqueline N Huaman

$10 USD, 3 years ago

Killian Djaghloul

$3 USD, 3 years ago

Killian Djaghloul

$15 USD, 3 years ago

Sehribanu Turan

$5 USD, 3 years ago

Aaron J Weintraub

$20 USD, 3 years ago

Daniel Ishmael

$30 USD, 3 years ago

Bianca Flynn

$10 USD, 3 years ago

Bahar Bayraktaroğlu

$10 USD, 3 years ago


$5 USD, 3 years ago


$5 USD, 3 years ago

Ahmad Ayyash

$10 USD, 3 years ago

An Anonymous kind soul

$10 USD, 3 years ago

Melek Canbay

$10 USD, 3 years ago

An Anonymous kind soul

$10 USD, 3 years ago

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