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For & With Whom

POLEN is an initiative that targets children and young people between the ages of 4 and 18 and  aims to assist parents and all adults who work with children.

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The seed of the idea for POLEN was sown by Ms. Şekercioğlu Lesport in January 2016.  In the summers of 2016 and 2017, POLEN held its first gatherings with children and their parents in the village of Yanıklar in Fethiye. During the pandemic POLEN focused on  offering online art therapy for children who witnessed trauma, in partnership, with Diyarbakır-Suriçi, "Rengarenk Umutlar Association".


After the February 6 Maraş earthquake, Ms. Şekercioğlu Lesport continued her work at the "Gümüşgöze Children's Home" she founded in a citrus orchard in the Defne district of Hatay that was offered by the beloved Karaali family and named by two girls from the neighborhood. Özlem undertakes the main planning, fundraising and coordination aspects of all activities. 

Aside from Ms. Lesport, two local residents take an active role in carrying out the work in Gümüşgöze Children's House.


In POLEN, various experienced trainers such as permaculture designers, writers, illustrators, artists from different disciplines, academicians, ecological architects, etc. participate and facilitate the workshops voluntarily as part of a specific program.


The activities of the Gümüşgöze Children's Home have been realized and supported by the willing hosting of local residents individuals and communities, as well as the cooperation of associations and organizations working in similar fields.


Gümüşgöze Children's Home could not have been founded and sustain its activities;

If the precious volunteers of the Defne Çemberi had not been mobilized since February;

If Defne & Apollon İpekçilik and Duman family had not opened their home to the volunteers and supported them duringin very difficult times;

If Karaali Family had not open their garden for the children of Gümüşgöze;

If Galatasaray High School students had not provided transportation and supplies;

If Yakto Hayat Soup Kitchen had not provided food;

If  Solidarity Kitchen & GSOAP/Galatasaray Common Sense Platform and many friends had not supported and funded POLEN Collective since 2016 and if 

If the Sivil Düşün Effort Fund did not support our journeys between September and November 2023.

POLEN's publicity outward activities such as social media accounts, website and, fundraising campaigns etc. are carried out by an organized group of volunteers. Özlem Şekercioğlu Lesport provide social media management and editing while; İpek Ulusoy Akgül, İlknur Urkun Kelso and Merve İmer Parek  are helping with translation and editing ; Banu Kanıbelli is handling the website development.

POLEN would also like to extend its gratitude to the following people and organizations:

Beril Sönmez

Şiyma Barkın Kuzmin

Günnur Başar

H. Selen Akçalı

Dila Ungan Kavak

Yasemin Mıstıkoğlu (Cadde TV) 

Bütün Çocuklar Bizim Derneği

Tok Tut (Malatya Arapgir works with children)

Hatay Deprem Dayanışması (Hatay Earthquake Solidarity)

1 Şey Bir Şeydir 

Mavi Kuş Dayanışması  (Blue Bird Solidarity)

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