Change Leaders Association (Degisim Liderleri Dernegi)

Change Leaders Association (Degisim Liderleri Dernegi)

Izmit, Izmir, Golcuk, TurkeyIzmit, Turkey
Year Founded:
2011
Organization type: 
nonprofit/ngo/citizen sector
Project Stage:
Scaling
Budget: 
$10,000 - $50,000
Project Summary
Elevator Pitch

Concise Summary: Help us pitch this solution! Provide an explanation within 3-4 short sentences.

University educated young women in Turkey are in a favorable situation to make lasting economic and social contributions to Turkish society. Despite their potential, however, many do not continue in the labor force or rise to leadership positions.

WHAT IF - Inspiration: Write one sentence that describes a way that your project dares to ask, "WHAT IF?"

What if all university educated women could reach their potential and became leaders in their communities?
About Project

Problem: What problem is this project trying to address?

University educated young women in Turkey can be considered “high impact”; they are in a favorable situation to make lasting economic and social contributions to Turkish society. Despite their potential, however, many do not continue in the labor force or rise to leadership positions. These women represent a significantly large population whose needs are not being met and that is grossly underutilized.

Solution: What is the proposed solution? Please be specific!

DLD’s eight-month long Sparks program targets university women from modest backgrounds. The goal of the Sparks program is to help prepare young women to be active, responsible, and productive members of society through a unique hands-on learning model which emphasizes personal growth and community engagement. Through this program the young women develop confidence in their own voices, learn leadership and life skills, improve their abilities to identify and solve problems in their lives, careers and communities. A social change projectis the main tool through which objectives are met.
Impact: How does it Work

Example: Walk us through a specific example(s) of how this solution makes a difference; include its primary activities.

A social change project, developed and implemented by the Sparks program participants, is the main tool through which Sparks objectives are met. The group in the city of Duzce all of whom were nursing students at Duzce University, prepared a pamphlet on the proper use of prescription drugs. They distributed 3,000 pamphlets in the downtown area and on campus, reaching at least 9,000 people. Sparks group in Izmir helped a school for hearing impaired children build a playroom for a fun environment, impacting a total of 500 people including students, teachers, parents and community members.

Impact: What is the impact of the work to date? Also describe the projected future impact for the coming years.

A social change project, developed and implemented by the participants, is the main tool through which Sparks objectives are met. Community projects have been diverse, ranging from education on breast cancer, to harassment in all forms, to establishing programs for women to building/equipping a play facility for developmentally disabled children. Many projects have had a significant impact on their communities. The 120 participants so far gave completed 13 proejcts which based on a conservative estimate has touched a total of 20,000 individuals. One of the Sparks participants Muge Bicimli was one of only 40 students accepted from 20,000 applicants to a major Turkish bank's summer internship program. She has since been offered a part-time job at the bank, all because of her work with DLD.
Sustainability

Financial Sustainability Plan: What is this solution’s plan to ensure financial sustainability?

DLD's expenses are kept to a minimum with the use of volunteers and in-kind sponsorships. Necessary funding is secured from small local businesses and organizations that believe in its mission and engaging them in DLD's activities. This year DLD will start offering courses on a variety of personal and professional development subjects for a fee that will generate on-going revenue.

Marketplace: Who else is addressing the problem outlined here? How does the proposed project differ from these approaches?

There are many organizations in Turkey that promote leadership skill building of university students. DLD is the only one that targets exclusively young women with the sole purpose of promoting women's leadership. In addition the Sparks Program is the only eight-month long program allowing plenty of time for these young women to develop their skills in a safe and nurturing environment.The Sparks program is based on a unique hands-on learning model which emphasizes personal growth and community engagement.
Team

Founding Story

Sema Basol was born in and grew up in Turkey. Upon completing her college degree in Istanbul, she was awarded a scholarship from Turkish Education Foundation to get her MBA in the USA. During her 20 plus year career in corporate marketing and with various community organizations in USA, Sema started seeing the value women bring to the world, the importance of leadership skills, and how these skills can be learned. She then volunteered with various women's organizations to learn how to teach these skills. She founded Turkish Women's Initiative in California in 2008 and then DLD in Turkey in 2011 with the purpose of making a difference in her home country and to help empower young women to be leaders in their communities.
About You
Organization:
Change Leaders Association (Degisim Liderleri Dernegi)
About You
First Name

Sema

Last Name

Basol

About Your Organization
Organization Name

Change Leaders Association (Degisim Liderleri Dernegi)

Organization Country

, KOC, Izmit

Country where this project is creating social impact

, IZM, Izmit, Izmir, Golcuk

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Project
Year founded

2011

Impact
Impact: What is the impact of the work to date?

A social change project, developed and implemented by the Sparks program participants, is the main tool through which Sparks objectives are met. The group in the city of Duzce all of whom were nursing students at Duzce University, prepared a pamphlet on the proper use of prescription drugs. They distributed 3,000 pamphlets in the downtown area and on campus, reaching at least 9,000 people.
The Sparks group in Izmir helped a school for hearing impaired children build a play room with a purpose of creating a fun environment that fosters communication. The play room has impacted a total of 500 people including students, teachers, parents and community members.
Muge Bicimli, a Sparks participant, was one of 40 students chosen from 20,000 applications for summer internship with a major Turkish bank primarily based on her DLD work. She has since been offered a part-time job with the bank.

Barriers: What barriers might hinder the success of your project and how do you plan to overcome them?

Lack of funds to cover expenses is probably the main possible barrier. We do not want to be overly dependent on fundraising so we are now planning to start offering personal and professional development courses for a fee as a source of revenue. We feel this will also offer an opportunity for community members to engage in a new activity to grow their skills and be exposed to new ideas for community development.

Full Impact Potential: What are the main spread strategies moving forward? (Please consider geographic spread, policy reform, and independent replication/adoption of the idea or other mechanisms.)

We first plan to expand the Sparks program by adding new groups of students in cities where we currently have presence by working with our local partners. For example this year in Izmir we are growing the number of students by adding new groups in collaboration with the Turkish Education Foundation which is our primary partner there. We then would like to expand to new cities by engaging in new local partnerships.

Sustainability
Sustainability Plan: What is this solution’s plan to ensure financial sustainability?

DLD keeps its expenses low by using a network of volunteers and soliciting in-kind donations. We also plan to continue to nurture our relationships with local businesses and individuals for small donations which currently account for the majority of our funds. Finally starting to offer personal and professional development courses for a fee will help generate additional funds.

Founding Story: Share a story about the "Aha!" moment that led the founder to get started and/or to see the potential for this to succeed.

Sema Basol was born and raised in Turkey. Upon completion her college, she was awarded a scholarship by the Turkish Education Foundation to get her MBA in the USA. During her 20 year career in marketing in the USA, Sema saw the value of women to the world,and the importance of leadership skills. After volunteering with a number of women's organizations, Sema learned how to teach these leadership skills. She founded Turkish Women's Initiative in the USA in 2008 and then DLD in Turkey in 2011 to be able to make a difference in her home country by empowering young women to be leaders in their own communities.

Partnerships: Tell us about your partnerships.

One of DLD's key partners is Turkish Education Foundation (TEV), one of Turkey's most established foundations providing scholarships to thousands of high school, college and graduate students. Last year TEV opened their first form for university women in Izmir where we piloted the Sparks program with a group of TEV scholarship students. Based on the success of this pilot, this year we are expanding this program to additional students.

Women Powering Work
Is your project targeted at solving any of the following challenges?

Training and education such as skills workshops, entrepreneurship courses, apprenticeship opportunities

Does your project utilize any of the strategies below?

Group learning experiences such as hands-on learning projects, cooperatives, collectives, support groups, and more

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