Leonie Zikos & Ruth Lockwood (Turkey)
In the small town of Capadoccia, Turkey, Leonie and Ruth found themselves confronted with the urgent and ongoing needs of Syrian refugees within their local community. As a professional certified art therapist, Leonie witnessed first hand the need for mental health, inclusion and well-being of disadvantaged and disenfranchised Syrian children. As a liaison and a reference point for the future integration of foreigners and Turkish nationals within the ongoing development of tourism and business, Ruth recognized the extent and continued need of her impact on the community. Together, they started Art-Up for Syria, which uses art therapy, puppetry and theater to help refugee children overcome the trauma of war. The project is crucial to improving their empowerment, sense of belonging, resiliency, self-esteem, technical skills and well-being through connections with their Turkish host community and their own cultural roots via creative and innovative activities.
We fund programs, projects and products that aim to positively impact the lives of communities (children, youth, families, etc.) affected by conflict and war in the Middle East.
Refugee children live under unusual and difficult conditions with little or no access to technology that can improve their lives. With our innovative programs, we are reaching a wide range of children with groundbreaking technology that teach them literacy skills and improve their access to higher education.
Millions of refugee children are missing out on an education. Without an opportunity to learn, they risk becoming a lost generation with little chance for a better future. Through sustainable programs, our Fellows are working to ensure refugees can learn and develop the skills they need to succeed in life.
The development of the "whole child" from early childhood through adolescence is critical to long-term development and success of all children. Blossom Hill is committed to providing innovative initiatives for refugee children that will not only prepare them for learning and academic success, but empower them with life skills as they continue to live under difficult conditions.
For refugee youth whose education has been interrupted and ability to earn a livelihood undermined by war and conflict, the future is bleak. We are dedicated to empowering these youth to break from the cycle of poverty by offering innovative vocational training in computer skills, business entrepreneurship and language instruction.