June 2017

Sparks Program wraps up another year
culminating in the positive transformation of participants
and their communities.

Thanks to TWI’s signature Sparks program in Turkey, hearing-impaired small children have audio books. And high-school girls and university women have a website addressing their needs.

These were just two of the social change projects presented by Sparks participants who gathered, mid-May, for the 8th annual Change Leaders Summit meeting near Izmir, Turkey. Sparks is a leadership skills development program for university women in Turkey.  The Summit brings together Sparks students along with facilitators, volunteers, sponsors and board members.

As always, the three-day event consisted of celebrations and presentations of all the social change projects the students worked on during the eight-month program. This year, the remaining projects included the addition of sugar-free menu items in local restaurants, building a library at a middle school and applying for a European Union project to encourage the use of cloth shopping bags. In addition there were workshops and speeches on effective leadership skills, presentation of awards and graduation certificates, program feedback sessions and lots of fun activities.

It was wonderful to see how the program, skillfully executed by our sister organization in Turkey DLD, has evolved in recent years, making important strides  in reaching its primary goal of developing innovative methods in  leadership training and social responsibility targeted to underserved young women.

As this year’s Summit exemplified, the impact and credibility of the Sparks program continues to broaden the lives, values, and world views of the many present and past Sparks participants. The benefits are many, both to the students and Turkish society as a whole.