What some have said about our work.
Anne Firth Murray –
Founding President, The Global Fund for Women
Consulting Professor, Stanford University
My work in the fields of human rights and education express my deep interest in the well-being of women globally. Change is possible. Women’s courage and action are key to true positive change in all communities and countries. Organizations such as the Turkish Women’s Initiative are critical in providing girls and women with the opportunity to change their own lives and to learn the skills needed to transform their societies. TWI’s model of learning by doing brings a fresh and innovative approach to acquiring much needed leadership skills.
Turkish Women’s Initiative is an incredibly exciting, innovative and important organization to help young women of modest means develop their leadership and professional skills. It is unique in its experiential leaning models, and its emphasis on valuing and integrating social responsibility as an important component of leadership. TWI has already advanced many aspiring women on their journey to reach their potential , and to assist their communities in creating social change. As a leadership scholar, I am confident that much more is to come from this exceptional organization.
Morten Hansen –
Ranked Top 50 Management Thinker in the World (thinkers50.com)
Professor, University of California, Berkeley
I am passionate about accelerating the participation of women in society as a way to attain global harmony. TWI’s educational program – helping girls and women make valuable contributions to family, careers, community, country and the world – is in perfect alignment. Leadership development combined with a community of support is the key to changing the future.
Soroptimist International of Manhattan Beach did a joint “Live Your Dream Fellowship Grant” for two young women through TWI. We know bringing them to the United States to learn English and experience our culture was a once in a lifetime opportunity for them. Our Club members learned as much from them as they from us. Hearing their stories of determination and struggle for educational and job opportunities and the confidence and leadership skills learned through the TWI programs in Turkey, we were proud to be associated with them.
Helen Block –
Past President of Soroptimist International of Manhattan Beach
In countries like Turkey where girls and women have traditionally been disadvantaged, investment of organizations, such as Turkish Women Initiative (TWI), in empowerment makes a big difference. TWI has helped elevate the professional and personal lives of many by teaching how motivation can be a powerful force for change.TWI has given many girls and women a place to feel empowered, and has boost confidence and comfort in their roles be it socially or professionally. The organization has been building a community of vibrant and dynamic Turkish women. It is these girls and women that will change the role and status of women in the Turkish society.
While Turkey faces many challenges, in my mind few are as important for the country’s future than creating a country where all its citizens be they men or women have to opportunity to fulfill their potential. Unfortunately, Turkey’s performance on gender equality is a woefully inadequate, indeed, a disgrace at 129 out of 134 countries included in the latest 2013 Global Gender Gap Index Report (World Economic Forum, 2014). One part of this index is women’s participation in the labor force, currently hovering around 30%, less than half of our European sisters. The DLD through its Sparks program seeks to empower young university women with the hope that this will ensure they have the confidence to enter and excel in the labor force.
As an educator, what I like most about the Sparks program is its dedication to hands on learning. The old Chinese adage, “I hear and I forget, I see and I remember, I do and I understand” has never been truer. During the eight month Sparks program these young women work in small groups on actual social change projects, learning crucial skills such as team building, effective communication, time and conflict management, and more. Of course, the real testimonials come from the young women themselves. I am proud to be a supporter of DLD and the Turkish Women’s Initiative.