Leyla Akca Atik (Turkey)
Leyla Akca Atik is a licensed creative art therapist based in Turkey. Four years ago, she launched Project Lift - Hold My Hand to support the increasing need of psychosocial services for refugee children living in Turkey. Her program creates a safe environment for the children to overcome the trauma of war by expressing themselves through art, music and dance sessions. Engaging in such creative and structured psychosocial activities helps children identify their feelings and manage their reactions, increase problem solving skills, practice helpful thinking, and build healthy social connections.
"After I started to come to the program, I became more interested in art making and I wanted to draw more. Before I came here I had lots of bad dreams; here we make dream catchers and protective shields. I believe they are protecting me from those dreams. Now I am having nice dreams in which I am playing games with my friends. I feel more safe now."
“I am happy being here with you and with my friends. This center is my happy place.”
"I play and I love my friends."
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.