Maltepe University was founded in 1997 and today it has become an internationally recognized global university providing educational services with 9 faculties, 3 graduate schools, 2 schools and a vocational school with the motto "Free in Thought, Modern in Education and Universal in Science".
SOYAÇ was established at Maltepe University on 18 March 2010. The principal aim in founding SOYAC was to develop research and field application projects to assist in the rehabilitation of the children and youth at risk, one of the foremost social problems of the country, in cooperation with the State Organisations concerned with the problem as well as the local authorities and the non-governmental organisations interested in the field. Thus, through these research and application activities, SOYAÇ, next to its contributions to the knowledge and the workers in the field, also aims at the development and putting to effect of new policies concerning children. SOYAÇ is the first and the only one of its kind in the country in being a centre operating within a university matrix for the benefit of street children; and , also, it is the sole representative of Turkey in the “Safe Families Safe Children” (SFSC) , the International Coalition for Street Children, formed by 14 respectable organisations from 10 different countries. Children living and /or working in the streets constitute one of the most fragile and marginalised minorities of urbanised societies. Over the recent years, the positively effective outcomes of interdisciplinary university-society cooperations with approaches to combine theory and practice to find solutions to social problems have come to draw attention. This bears relevance to the active participation of university students in SOYAC projects within the university, under the supervision of the teaching staff of the contributing faculties. The participation of university students in social responsibility projects on a curricular basis not only adds to the significance of university education in the professional sharpening of the students, but also to the personal development of the students in awakening their social consciousness. http://soyac.maltepe.edu.tr/?lang=tr
SOYAÇ works with an approach which consists of a peer-based supportive model providing young people with emotional and social security through attachment relationships they developed with university students. Psychology department teaching staff and students constituted the core group running the program, which also included workshops assisted by teachers and students from other, mostly humanities and arts departments, such as philosophy, drama, music, percussion, radio, and computer studies.
Implemented in conjunction with the Maltepe district governor. The project took place at a high school which has the highest number of school dropout rates. 55 Undergraduate, postgraduate psychology and Erasmus students (under supervision) took part. 3 Academics from psychology and 1 from social work department work in the project. Below there is a quotation from a high school student at the end of the project:
“It has been good that the university students come and talked to us. If they were the teachers I would not tell everything. I have been more open. Having a weekly one to one talk has made me become relaxed. I even wanted to tell someone that I do not know then I told myself to be patient and wait for Ş. .. Ş. Does not want me to get involved in fight and gives me advise that I try what he asks me to do. I think that it has contributed a lot to me. I have regularly meet with Ş. I am very open and tell everything to him. Theatre workshop helps me to think fast and improve my communication skills. I address the things that I was embarrassed about. I got over my fears. It has been contributed my school life. For example before I had never come to the schools on Friday. I am coming just because of you. Many of my friends asked me to run away from school but I stayed in because of the project. It also has contributed to my English. I am also joining English Conversation Club that run by you. I have started raising my hand in English Class. Because of the project I get to know other students at school and they now even become my best friends. Workshops improved our friendships.”(Male, age 16)
YYP was developed by SOYAÇ. Implemented in conjunction with the Sultanbeyli district governor with funding provided by Istanbul Development Agency (ISTKA), this was an eight-month project carried out in a vocational training centre on weekdays in one of the most disadvantaged districts of Istanbul.
TYP was organised and started by SOYAÇ at a state care centre during the 2010-2011 academic year with the cooperation of the managing staff who had the required sensitivity and respect for the children’s socio-cultural identity following which it was transferred to Maltepe University campus. The teaching staff and students of the psychology department constitute the core group running the program for these young people. This consists of workshops assisted by teachers and students from the departments of philosophy, visual and applied arts, drama and dance, radio-tv and cinema, law, foreign languages. These workshops were organized to promote the psycho-social and cognitive development of the participating street boys as well as to facilitate their direct access to the public through their work in art and photography. This program, which began in the state care centre in 2010 continued through-out 2011 with weekly visits by the boys to the university campus where they received one-to-one support from purpose-trained and regularly supervised students. By providing these adolescent boys with a caring matrix of secure attachment relationships, this approach has facilitated their rehabilitation and provided them with interpersonal experiences aimed at developing their capacity to regulate their emotions and increase their sense of self-esteem and resilience a well as develop a desire to develop their life in the future. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tLZqc5hRYWI
’My Istanbul Photography Project has been realised with youth who have already come to establish a mutual trust with SOYAC, and within the scope of the ‘’To Gather With Children Project’’, being run since the 2010- 2011 Academic Year in collaboration with the Ağaçlı Children and Youth Centre (ÇOGEM) controlled by the Istanbul Family and Social Policies Directorate.
The ‘Photography Workshop’ has taken the responsibility to support the active attempt of this marginalised minority to get involved in the life of the society and to intermediate in relaying its voice which had never previously been expressed openly through any opinion. Here the aim of the projector directors, has solely been to facilitate the children’s direct communication with the public through the photographs they have personally taken. To achieve these goals, we have, within the scope of the ‘’My Istanbul Photography Workshop’’ and together with the children from Agaçli ÇOGEM and the enrolled university students, have made discussions on the language and the power of the photograph, and have gone around together in various areas and premises in Istanbul with our cameras in hand. Not only the expertise of the university students in giving technical assistance to the children with the cameras and on the computers, but also the enthusiasm they brought to each step of the way has been effective in the success of the program, especially through the environment of trust and sincerity created. Thus every trip and every photograph can be said to have a story. Moreover, especially when speaking on the images and assumed issues, we all came to recognise ourselves and mutually gained much from each other. The assessments of Kadir, one of the children joining in, on the process of photography illustrates the manner these children make use of their abilities in deciding on the images of their own choice. ‘’Nothing can be as satisfactory as photography. You make a choice, saying ‘this is more effective or beautiful’. http://soyac.maltepe.edu.tr/files/Benim_istanbulum_Fotograf_Atelyesi.pdf
Тhe project EMPAQT (ref. No 564547-EPP-1-2015-1-BG-EPPKA3-PI-FORWARD) is implemented with the support of the European Commission under the Erasmus+ program, Key Action 3: Forward-Looking Cooperation Projects. The texts on this website reflect only the views of their authors, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.