Mission of the organization
Mavi Kalem was formed at the aftermath of the 1999 earthquake, and founded in 2000, to respond the needs of the earthquake affected and migrated communities in particular of the disadvantageous groups of women and children in health and education. Since then, it has been implementing projects mainly assisting women and children since its establishment. Projects involving the empowerment, skill development, health services and information sharing have been implemented throughout 2000-2002 in Düzce area, mainly assisting women and children after the earthquake. Since 2002, Mavi Kalem has been implementing projects and activities concerning; educational support, awareness raising on health standards, awareness raising on domestic violence, psychological support, consultancy on health and legal issues for both local and migrated women and children in Fener/ Balat district in Fatih, Istanbul, addressing the needs of children, women and girls of the local community migrated from all regions of Turkey and since 2014 the Syrian children and women in Fener-Balat were included in its beneficiary group. Activities such as Turkish language courses, socialization activities with local population, help in admissions to schools and other official and administrative actions, and psychological support were provided to Syrian children and women. Mavi Kalem has worked toward the Syrian refugee influx related issues since 2011, by conducting needs assessments and gap analysis in Hatay, Gaziantep and Sanliurfa without-camp populations. Also on the national and international level; women' rights and health rights, children's rights, wide spreading of minimum standards in humanitarian aid, youth exchange programs are included in Mavi Kalem's actions. Dissemination and advocacy for humanitarian assistance standards and principles in disasters, emergencies and migration situations is one of Mavi Kalem's work areas. Since 2001 it has been part of Sphere Project, since 2009 INEE Workgroups and for 2 years now part of CHS Alliance. MAVİ KALEM has held the adaptation of Sphere handbook in Turkish successfully and been in cooperation with Ministry of Health, TRC, municipality health departments for its wide spreading, and implementing training programs. Similarly INEE and CHS basic humanitarian aid principal books have been adapted to Turkish and disseminated at national level by Mavi Kalem. It is one of the founding members of SITAP (Civil Society Disaster Platform, national). Mavi Kalem has organized Women in Disasters and Emergencies Workshop hosting women experts, academics, experienced NGO field workers from humanitarian organizations, NGOs, and women right based organizations in 2016. Gender specific issues, needs, and rights in emergency settings were discussed; field experiences and suggestions for improvement were exchanged toward strengthening and mainstreaming the gender perspective in disaster and emergency response. Mavi Kalem, has also delivered its services and expertise to disaster and emergency or poverty affected locations other than its primary implementation area through partnership with other local organizations, in other districts of Istanbul and other provinces such as during the Van earthquake response. Overall organizational strength and capacity lies within the Mavi Kalem's 17 years of implementation experience with focus on public health and education, disaster, emergency and migration specialization, advocacy of women and girls health rights, mainstreaming gender equality perspective in its implementation, developing and designing projects and programs based on the needs and participation and feedback mechanisms of its beneficiaries, volunteers, and supporters, measuring quality and monitoring and evaluation of impact in action rather than quantity focus, integrity and commitment of Mavi Kalem, at all levels to organization's policies in regards to work ethics, preceding women and girls, and children protection, non-discriminatory approach, preservation of confidentiality and respect for dignity, transparency and accountability, anti-fraud and corruption. Since its foundation Mavi Kalem has been working with international donors and experienced in project budget management, and reporting accordingly. Mavi Kalem's administrative and financial system and its management are executed as per Turkey's finance law and associations' law and regulations. Grant agreements, contracts and partnership agreements are also reflected in its implementation and management. Annually Mavi Kalem goes through financial and administrative auditing of relevant governmental body and also independent financial auditing. Mavi Kalem prioritizes gender equality in the implementation and decision making steps of projects and decides and acts with accountability, transparency, participation and approaches differences equal as principal. Mavi Kalem, being a non-profit civil society organization for which 97% of employees are women, applies positive discrimination to women when recruiting, selecting and determining beneficiaries and target groups to promote gender equality. To eliminate social discrimination during stages of project content, project design and project implementation, working with women is prioritized in determination of the project team and selection of financial experts procured from the affiliated participant organization. In addition to being sensitive to gender discrimination in works and studies, Mavi Kalem acts responsibly and is in favor of vulnerable groups avoiding discirimination based on ethnicity, political views, religious beliefs, sexual identity and race in terms of target groups, beneficiaries and employees. Mavi Kalem does not define itself in politic, religious or ethnical personalities. Freedom, human rights, democratic rights, health rights, public gender equality, women rights, LGBT rights, children's rights and prevention of discrimination are supported. www.mavikalem.org ) In addition to all, Mavi Kalem has started a process of institutionalization at 2015 to improve on its experience in project development and implementation it has built last 18 years and aims to develop and improve its policies based on its long experience.