Support Us

Leonie Zikos & Ruth Lockwood (Turkey)

Founders of Helping Hands

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.