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Maya Vakfi supports children in need

In the past 5 years Maya has touched to the lives of 12,000 traumatized children through our mental health and psychosocial support programs. In addition, we have supported nearly 2,500 adults, including families, teachers, civil servants and NGO field workers working to positively impact children’s lives. We are also committed to reinvigorating Turkey’s commitment to volunteerism* and could not have accomplished this without the efforts of our family of more than 500 trained volunteers. KoruMaya will amplify the impact on the larger community.

*Turkey currently ranks in the bottom third of the World Giving’s Index for lack of individual donations and volunteerism.


Welcome to the district of Eyyübiye

There are 375.967 people including Syrians (68.877 for a ratio of 17.06 %.) in Eyyübiye. Comparing Turkey’s Population Growth Rate of Turkey (2018, 14.7% from 12.4% in 2017) with that of Urfa (2018, 24.9% from 23% in 2017], we can see that population growth is steady in Sanliurfa. Sources: The World Bank,, Wikipedia,

Turkey’s Gini Coefficient* 2018

A Gini ratio of zero expresses happens when all values are the same and signifies perfect equality. For perspective, Turkey shares the same Gini ratio as Papa New Guinea while the OECD average is 32. Turkey has the opportunity to grow a thriving middle class through its steady GDP growth rate averaging 1.09 percent from 1998 until 2020 however while Turkey has seen significant economic growth there is still severe unequal economic distribution. Despite solid economic growth the top 1 percent controls around 55 percent of total wealth (Turkish Statistical Institute, 2017).

*World Bank estimate, in economics a Gini Coefficient measures the income or wealth distribution of a nation’s residents and is most commonly used as a measurement of inequality.

A young population on the rise

The median age in Turkey is 31.5 years however in 2017 in Sanliurfa the mean age is 19.8 years old, a substantially young population. Compare this to the entire European Union where the mean age is 42.6 years old. The responsibility often falls on regional governments to engage youth in education, cultural and well-being activities creating a disproportional demand on Urfa’s limited resources.

Of Females in Southeatern Anatolia receive secondary education, gender inequalities remain.

According to the article, Progress and Pitfalls in Women’s Education in Turkey (1839-2017) by Turkish independent authors Ayse Durakbasa & Funda Karapehlivan, “Women’s schooling rates have shown great improvement at the secondary education level in recent years in Turkey and it seems that the gender gap has been almost closed. In the school year of 2014-15, the net secondary education schooling rate for women in Turkey was 79.3% while this number was 79.5% for men. When schooling rates are analysed according to region, however, it can be observed that gender-based inequality persists in some regions. The schooling rate of girls in secondary education in Southeast Anatolia, where the rate is usually the lowest, was 64.2% in 2015-2016 rising to 65.8% in 2016-2017. The gender gap still exists in a number of points; that is, boys’ enrolment rate is higher than that of girls (Ministry of National Education, 2017).”

Have graduated from High School

In 2017, the organization ADNKS measured education levels across Turkey and found the following figures in Sanliurfa (population 2, 031 Million): 139.493 are illiterate, 368.321 literate uneducated, 389, 918 are primary school graduates, while only 166,345 make it to high school graduation, a mere 8.1%. Furthermore according to ISKUR, Syrian refugees in Sanliurfa have low levels of education: 26% have not attended any school and only 7% completed tertiary education. Sources: ADNKS, ISKUR

Similarly, Southern U.K. is affected by low levels of literacy which propelled the National Literacy Trust to investigate and report on literacy problems affecting life expectancy; “the national gap in life expectancy between children from communities with the highest and lowest vulnerability to literacy problems in the country is staggering: a boy growing up in a ward with one of the highest vulnerabilities to literacy problems in the country has a life expectancy 26.1 years shorter than a boy growing up in a ward with one of the lowest vulnerabilities to literacy problems. A localised approach is needed to improve literacy and life expectancy in England.” A similar approach is required in Southern Turkey.

Living below the poverty line in Urfa

According to public statistics institutions, the percentage of people living below the poverty line in the region covering Urfa and Diyarbakir was 17.1% in 2018. Although no figures are available per province, if we breakdown Urfa's population [2.035.809 in 2018], the population defined as living below the poverty line would amount to 348.123 people.

Job opportunities, small farms, sustainable living

According to a 2013 UN Report, 'small-scale organic farming is the only way to feed the world.' A notable characteristic of Turkish agriculture is the small farm size. There are just over 4 million farm households in Turkey. 67% each of these farms owns between 0.1-5 hectares of land. The traditional agriculture sector accounts for about 25% of Turkey’s labor force and 6.8% of its GDP. Turkey is a major producer of grain, cotton, tobacco, olives, sugar beets, pulses, citrus, hazelnuts and livestock. In the agriculture sector, the value of crop production represents 57%, animal products 34%, forestry 6% and fisheries 3%. Sources: UN, New Ag.Info, World Fact Book.

Foreign and domestic tourists flock to Gobeklitepe

The archeological site, Göbeklitepe, is considered the birthplace of early civilizations and home to the world’s oldest temple is located in the province of Sanliurfa. It has become a tourism magnet and welcomed 2 million visitors over a seven-month period in 2019. This is more than what the BBC calls a ‘break record’ [1.3 million in 2019] for the English prehistoric monument Stonehenge. Göbeklitepe is also the center of the Netflix series “The Gift” (Atiye) interpreted by actress Beren Saat: “This is a story born in this part of the world, and Anatolia plays the leading role in this narrative.” Through increased tourism traffic and direct investment in the area Urfa is weaving past wonders with future prospects, Urfa is developing into a cultural hub with more opportunities for investment and job creation. Sources: Daily Sabah, BBC.