Turkey's Changemakers - Fark Yaratanlar - Alev Zehir (S04- E07)

Uploaded by turkeychangemakers on 27.12.2012

I was given to the Child Protection Agency by my biological parents when I was 8 months old.
And when I was 3,5 years old, I started to live with my Foster Family.
They already had 3 children. But until today they have never made me feel that I am not their biological child
and I grew up in a family where I got all the parental love, tenderness and affection.
They told me the truth when I was 7.
My father brought the identity card copies of my siblings.
I will never forget that day. My ID card was also among them.
They explained me the situation and
added that I was one of their own children,
I was their own daughter and it would never change.
Of course I was very angry and I tore the papers up.
But as I was still a child, I went on playing the games.
That is how the story of Alev Zehir started.
Raised by a foster family under legal protection,
Alev Zehir is now a senior official in one of the public institutions.
But she is leading her life not only for herself,
but also for the children who grew up under legal protection like herself.
In "Hayat Sende Youth Academy Association" that she established with her friends sharing the same destiny,
they are working for the equal access of young people
raised in children protection institutions and foster families.
These children are not correctly defined in the movies and series
which are filled with some hearsay information and unfavorable incidents.
How do we see them in the movies?
They are either thieves, addicted to alcohol or rebellious.
We are fighting against these stereotypes. These children can be a doctor,
a lawyer, a judge or an aircraft engineer.
There are many examples.
But people still continue to judge these children on their backgrounds
instead of their today and future.
As the Association,
we want to create awareness on this issue.
So far, we believe that we have successfully represented the children raised under legal protection.
Our main goal is to prevent them from placing themselves at the bottom of the social hierarchy and help them
become more self-confident and integrated into life. We also try to make the society overcome
their negative perceptions and adopt positive discrimination in favor of these children.
We want to see that these children make a difference in their environment,
have a leadership spirit, and develop new organizational and presentational skills.
We wanted to create a leadership garden
when we first planned "Hayat Sende Youth Academy Association".
So far, we have implemented many activities accordingly.
For example, we organized a "social services project workshop"
and we regularly write projects in this workshop.
We have written 11 projects so far. Moreover, we organize some trainings.
The ultimate purpose of these trainings is to make these young people
participate equally in life and stay away from discrimination.
So, ultimately we aim to develop a regular human resource and provide equal participation for them.
"Hayat Sende Youth Academy Association" is focusing on the future of young people who didn’t have an equal start in life with others.
While making them feel that they are not alone, they also make a big difference
in the lives of thousands of young people who have been raised under legal protection.