Who Are We?
Istanbul&I is a community that empowers youth through volunteerism. We engage in community projects, social inclusion activities, and social impact initiatives supporting disadvantaged communities while promoting capacity building and social cohesion among the youth of all backgrounds.
To create a diverse and inclusive space that empowers the youth to make a meaningful impact in their community through volunteerism.
We engage in community projects, social inclusion activities, and social impact initiatives supporting disadvantaged communities while promoting capacity building and social cohesion among youth of all backgrounds.
In February 2016, Teymour Ashkan and 11 friends created what is now a strong community of more than 2250 volunteers from over 40 countries.
Originally envisioned as a storytelling platform bringing communities together in Istanbul, Istanbul&I grew to become the city’s first youth social impact group.
One of the earliest activities which brought Istanbul&I closer to its community is Iftar&Community. During Ramadan 2016, we collected donations from our personal networks to begin a program sharing Iftar with the disadvantaged populations of Tarlabaşı. Soon, our dedicated volunteers developed and implemented volunteering programs in collaboration with other various community centers for displaced youth in Istanbul. Among these volunteering programs were digital literacy, English, and Arabic to mention a few. As our community grew, we were able to send more and more volunteers to help other communities such as Qnushyo Kids, Yusra Community Center, and Okmeydanı Sosyal Yardımlaşma ve Dayanışma.
The community grew and our volunteers focused on social integration programs targeted at promoting community, learning and awareness, and developing skills. In November 2017, we became a registered NGO in Turkey and opened our community center in Karaköy. Today, the majority of our social integration programs are organized at the community center.
In short, we created a safe space for the young people in Istanbul. We believed that volunteerism can empower the youth and we see it every year as more and more volunteers join us to create social impact projects, give back to the community, start discussions on global issues, and develop their personal skills.