about the project
The catastrophic 7.8 magnitude earthquake on February 6, 2023, in southeast Turkey and Syria and the surrounding regions, resulted in over 50,000 deaths and significant damage to infrastructure, leaving many without homes, schools, and community spaces.
San Francisco Bay Area grassroots organizations, including SF Earthquake Action, Anatolian Arts Institute, and Design+Peace, mobilized immediately for earthquake relief efforts. Activities included vigils, solidarity gatherings, and fundraisers in the San Francisco Bay Area to support the affected communities.
It became evident that the long-term rehabilitation needs included psychological support for children and economic and social empowerment for women.
The HUB: A Sanctuary for Recovery and Growth
HUB/Birlikte Güzel project aims to improve the psychological health of children and youth aged 0-18, increase women's participation in social and business life, and provide skill-building and employment opportunities.
The HUB, consisting of two multi-purpose containers supplemented by a kitchen, shower, and toilet facilities, emerged in response to the urgent need for a dedicated space for healing and rebuilding lives.
The site also hosts a mini-kindergarten, study areas for high school students, and a mini movie theater. Security is maintained 24/7, and the location is accessible via public transportation.
The soft launch on August 25th marked the beginning of the project, attended by founders of UCIM, Design+Peace, Hatay Department of Cultural and Social Affairs, Hatay Bar President, volunteers, and therapists.
Programs and Activities
The focus is on psychological well-being through various workshops including emotions and awareness, acting and theater, psychotherapy, climate awareness, creative drama, fairy tale, and circus performances.
Workshops aimed at building job skills and financial freedom include entrepreneurship, business development, digital marketing, chocolate and pastry making, sewing, project management, and psychotherapy sessions.
The opening ceremony featured children's painting activities, games, gift distributions, and speeches about the project's plans and expectations.
Long-Term Vision and Strategy
Sustainability and Future Steps:
The ongoing efforts aim at maintaining the HUB as a dynamic and sustainable space for community healing and empowerment.
Hosting regular workshops, fundraising events, and collaborating with various NGOs and companies to ensure continued support and expansion of the project.
Planned events include a fundraising event and a Grace Cathedral Anniversary Event targeting a multi-cultural audience.
The project, though in its early stages, has already made significant strides in supporting the Hatay community. Anecdotal evidence and feedback from participants highlight the positive impact on the psychological health and empowerment of women and children. The need for ongoing support and engagement is emphasized.
Fundraising and Community Support
The success of the project can be largely credited to effective fundraising efforts by the community and partner organizations. These events raised vital funds and united diverse communities, demonstrating the strength of collective support in times of crisis.
Key Fundraising Events:
- February 12th & 19th, 2023: Vigil and Solidarity Gatherings at Dolores Park, San Francisco, CA, significantly contributed to early fundraising.
- February 17th, 2023: Concert at Cornerstone, Berkeley, CA, featured artists such as Balkan Bump, Zoe Jakes (DJ set), Mah Ze Tar, and Izzy Wise, donating all profits to relief efforts.
- February 19th, 2023: Balkan Sundays at Amado’s, San Francisco, CA, showcased local music while contributing all profits.
- February 26th, 2023: Benefit Show at Ashkenaz, Berkeley, CA, with local bands La Zuli, Istanbul Connection, Tamara Bliss, and guest artist Will Magid of Balkan Bump.
- March 17th, 2023: Benefit Show at Xochi the Dog Cafe, Berkeley, CA, featuring local band Metanastys.
- March 25th, 2023: Benefit Show at Cafe Leila, Berkeley, CA, with performances by Arcush and Hadi Dede.
Support from Local Businesses:
Businesses such as Tanoor, Reem’s, Simurgh Bakery, and Donkey & Goat Winery were key contributors.
Collaboration and Partnerships
The project is a result of collaborative efforts between local organizations in Turkey and San Francisco Bay Area grassroots organizations. Special thanks go to individual donors, volunteers, and all those who contributed to the fundraising events.
Key partners include Anatolian Arts Institute, UCIM, Bridge to Türkiye Fund, and local businesses and musicians who supported fundraising events.
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Be a Part of Change!
Your contribution, big or small, is crucial to our mission. Support lasting improvements by donating to the Bridge to Türkiye Fund and Design+Peace. Your generosity helps sustain our initiatives and expand our reach. Thank you for your commitment to our cause.
Anatolian Arts Institute (ANA+)
Bridge to Turkey Fund (BTF)
SF Earthquake Action