This is the Istanbul Rotary Children's Center, located in a poorer district of
downtown. It functions kind of like a YMCA for children and battered women.

Both Service Groups at the Beginning of our Visit

We began with a tour of the center from Özlem. She told us that many of these kids are
forced to sell candy, beg or wash windshields to bring petty money home to thier families. This center offers an
educational outlet for both the kids and their parents to stop this and get the kids back in school.

Then it was time to meet the kids! We brought them candy from Spain and they absolutely loved it.

But they loved my camera even more.


And combing Alexandra's hair too.

Later we went into their art room and noticed that some of the paintings had crying images and other
sad stuff. Although these kids were very animated and happy, you could tell they were in a tough situation.

The center also does arts and crafts courses for the children and their families.

These are 3-D pictures that they were submitting to an art festival.

Later we went to check out their computer room and found most of
their computers in pretty rough shape.

Apparently the kids had been taking the balls out of the mouses to play. Kids will be kids.

This is a pretty big center and VERY EXPENSIVE to maintain; only a few of the rooms have
been developed. So, THIS SPACE is our new project! We are going to raise money
so these kids can have a basketball court!

We also came back on a different day to hang out with the kids again. The first day there
where only about 6 in the center, but this day there were over 30!

While we were hanging out, Deniz and Baran took an opportunity to make fun of the cover
shots on my website. They say I always look like this.

Okan also presented me with a scarf from the Turkish League Champion Fenerbache, my new favorite team!
(Real Madrid had a bad year).

Both Service Groups with the Kids at the End

We are VERY excited to be working with the Istanbul Altunizade Club to help this center!

And I think the kids liked us too.

Click HERE- to learn a little about how Turkey came to be!